Leadership and Learning - International Perspectives

Leadership and Learning - International Perspectives

At this event you will have the opportunity to hear from excellent keynote speakers with international standing (Beatriz Pont from the OECD, Gillian Hamilton and Graham Donaldson) and to have informal discussions with representatives of most of the education systems where there is an opportunity for you to take part in an ESHA or LEAP job-shadowing placement. You will also be able to take part in workshops which are domestically focussed but which are a product of international influence.

This event is open to promoted teachers from all sectors.

Thanks to sponsorship from Education Scotland we are able to offer all delegates our member rate of £45+VAT for this event.

Keynote 1: Beatriz Pont (OECD) – Leadership for effective change in schools: An international perspective


Beatriz will look into current school leadership policies and practices across OECD countries to explore how leadership overall plays a key role in educational improvement, the role it can play in supporting change towards 21st century learning and the conditions and environment that can be conducive for this to happen. Brief Bio: Beatriz Pont is senior education policy analyst at the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills.

With extensive experience in education policy reform internationally, she currently leads OECD Implementing Education Policies Programme. She has specialised in various areas of education policy and reform, including school leadership, equity and quality in education, adult learning and adult skills and launched the comparative series Education Policy Outlook. She has also worked with individual countries such as Greece, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Sweden or United Kingdom (Wales) in their school improvement reform efforts. Previously, Beatriz was researcher on education and social policies in the Economic and Social Council of the Government of Spain and worked for Andersen Consulting (Accenture). She studied Political Science at Pitzer College, Claremont, California, holds a MIA from Columbia University and a PhD in Political Science from Complutense University, Madrid. She has been research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences (Tokyo University) and at the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP, Science Po, Paris). She holds an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.

Keynote 2: Gillian Hamilton (SCEL/ES) - Importance of professional development and learning from other systems

Gillian will share her learning from recent engagement with national and international leadership organisations. She will reflect on the opportunities and challenges from emerging international practice and consider implications for our leadership learning and development in Scotland.

Gillian Hamilton took up post of Strategic Director (Professional Learning and Leadership) in Education Scotland, following the transfer of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) to Education Scotland in April 2018. Prior to this transfer, Gillian was the first Chief Executive of SCEL at its inception in 2014.

Gillian has worked in Scottish education for 28 years and has held posts as a Primary Teacher, Senior Teacher, Depute Head Teacher and Head Teacher in schools in Glasgow, North and East Ayrshire. She was Head of Educational Services at GTC Scotland for three years where she led the revision of the Professional Standards and the pilot programmes of Professional Update. She has been a member of a number of national educational groups with a focus on professional learning and leadership. She is currently a member of the Strategic Board for Teacher Education,  Head Teacher Recruitment working group and the independent panel looking at Career Pathways.

Keynote 3: Graham Donaldson: What are schools for?


School systems across the world are increasingly asking this question in the face of uncertainty about the nature of the world in which today’s young people will live their adult lives. We will need creative and purposeful leadership across the political and professional spheres if education is to continue to serve our young people well. Graham Donaldson will look at the implications for schools of the forces that are driving change and argue that we need to reimagine leadership and to support teaching as a learning and engaged profession.

A former teacher, Graham Donaldson headed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) from 2002-10. He radically reformed the approach to inspection, combining external accountability with self-evaluation and capacity building. Following retirement from HMIE, his report ‘Teaching Scotland’s Future’ (2011), made 50 recommendations about teacher education in Scotland which have all been accepted by the government and are the subject of an ongoing reform programme. He has also undertaken a review of the national curriculum in Wales and the 68 recommendations in his radical report, ‘Successful Futures’ (2015), have also been accepted in full and embodied in a major, long-term reform programme. Graham has worked as an international expert for OECD, participating in reviews of education in Australia, Portugal and Sweden. In addition to various forms of consultancy and continuing to act periodically as an international expert to OECD projects, he is currently an Honorary Professor in Glasgow University and an advisor to the Minister for Education and Skills in Wales. Graham is also a member of the First Minister of Scotland’s International Council of Education Advisors.

Draft Programme




Keynote 1: Beatriz Pont (OECD) – Leadership for effective change in schools: An international perspective


Gillian Hamilton (SCEL/ES) – Importance of professional development and learning from other systems


Coffee &  Café Sessions on different systems – ‘Key strengths & challenges’

These will be table sessions where groups have focussed opportunities to learn about and discuss other education systems.  (Systems that our school leaders could choose to have an exchange with through either LEAP or ESHA.)  

Countries confirmed:

Australia, England, Ireland, Norway, Slovenia.  


Plenary – Reflections with panel




Workshops focussed on activity following OECD and ICEA reports

  • Teacher Leadership
  • OPC International Leader Programme
  • System Leadership


Graham Donaldson – International Lessons for Empowerment: What are schools for?


Reflections and close

22 January 2019 - Edinburgh


AHDS Members: £45 + VAT Non Members: £45 + VAT


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Terms and conditions

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