Friday, August 3, 11:30-12:00, SUB Room 233, Theme: Leadership

This paper explores the development and implementation of a programme to support teacher leadership in the island communities of Scotland. The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) worked with teachers in the Orkney and Shetland Islands to develop a bespoke professional learning programme in 2015 - 16 for delivery in 2016- 17. The aim was to support teachers to explore their role as leaders in the classroom and school community, connecting teachers between the island communities. The programme was based on the values base in the professional standards of the General Teacher Council for Scotland and asked teachers to lead a curriculum development in their own setting. The theoretical base of the programme was established from Scottish work on teacher agency (Priestly et al., 2015). Data was collected through the documentation of the development, including personal notes, and working documents created in the programme. Discourse analysis was used to identify the outcomes for the joint development and the first groups of teachers participating in the programme. The analysis of the development work recorded the challenges faced by rural authorities to establish a structure where teachers could 'lead the curriculum' when not in a promoted post. This linked to outcomes from the delivery where teachers recorded their frustration about a lack of professional development opportunities. A key outcome was that island values informed practice and supported teaching values. This research has directly informed the provision of rural teacher leadership opportunities through the Scottish College of Educational Leadership.


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