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  • Staff Performance and Development

    ESF Leadership Capability


    The importance of leadership in ensuring

    quality outcomes for students is second only

    to quality teaching in terms of impact.

    Leaders at all levels of ESF play a crucial

    role in achieving this impact.

    Connect with us on: EDU14/15CPD02

    This booklet has been printed on recycled and recyclable paper.

  • The ESF Leadership Capability Framework is based upon current internationally recognised frameworks (for example, the ACEL Leadership and Capability Framework, Ontario Leadership Framework for Principals and Vice-Principals, The Standard for Headship in Scotland and the National Standards for Head Teachers in the UK) as well as the previous ESF Standards and Competencies Framework. Critical friends in the educational field, Allan Walker, Simon Breakspeare and Patrick Duignan have also provided input and advice on the framework.

    ESF Teaching Capability Framework

    Acknowledgements Thanks to those responsible for the development of the ESF Leadership Capability Framework:

    David Fitzgerald, ESF Primary School Development Adviser (Project Leader)

    Catriona Tuimaka, Teacher, Discovery College

    Chris Coyle, Principal, ESF International Kindergarten, Wu Kai Sha

    Chris Durbin, ESF Secondary School Development Adviser

    Chris Rowlands, Vice Principal, Sha Tin College

    Ciaran Fay, Vice Principal, Kowloon Junior School

    Daniel Trump, Former Vice Principal, Island School

    Debbie Graham, Former Primary School Development Adviser

    Francis Wilkinson, Principal, ESF Abacus International Kindergarten

    Graham Silverthorne, Principal, South Island School

    Ian Clayton, Former Vice Principal, West Island School

    Jacques-Oliver Perches, ESF Head of CPD

    Jamie Schmitz, Head of Primary, Renaissance College

    Mark Cripps, Former Principal, Kowloon Junior School

    Pam Ryan, Former ESF Director of Education

    Robert Szorenyi, Former Vice Principal, Jockey Club Sarah Roe School

    Vania Tiatto, Former Head of Primary, Discovery College

    2015 Review Team David Fitzgerald, ESF Primary School Development Adviser (Project Leader)

    Chris Barr, Head of Primary, Discovery College

    Dom Massarella, Vice Principal, West Island School

    Judy Cooper, Vice Principal, King George V School

    Sandra Hite, Principal, ESF International Kindergarten, Tung Chung

    Susan Chung, Vice Principal, Beacon Hill School

    Reference Base

    Foreword The ESF Teaching Capability Framework and ESF

    Leadership Capability Framework describe the attributes of

    effective teaching and of effective leadership for learning.

    The frameworks provide a statement of professional

    standards of competence against which teachers and

    leaders in ESF can evaluate areas of professional strength

    and development. The process of professional reflection

    and development (PRD), formerly known as performance

    management (PM), and continuous professional

    development (CPD) are derived from and aligned with the

    ESF capability frameworks.

    The importance of leadership in ensuring positive outcomes for students is second only to the

    quality of teaching. Teachers and leaders at all levels in ESF are selected on the basis that they

    are highly capable educators.

    ESF is committed to continuous professional development of staff because the quality of the

    education we provide cannot exceed the quality of our teachers. Through enabling teachers to

    develop their professional thinking and innovative practice we can ensure exceptional learning

    experiences and outcomes for our students.

    The capability frameworks and the revised editions were developed by teachers and leaders in

    ESF. The frameworks reflect the unique context and quality expected in ESF schools.

    The contribution from the Committee of Teachers and the Committee of Principals to the

    development and revision of the capability frameworks must be acknowledged along with the

    drive and leadership from members of the education team.

    Thanks go to all colleagues involved in developing the capability frameworks.

    Belinda Greer

    Chief Executive Officer

    English Schools Foundation


    ESF Leadership Capability Framework

  • The Overall Context The Staff Performance and Development Framework sits alongside the School

    Performance and Development Framework, the latter describing the four school-

    related areas of planning, evaluation, reporting and compliance, and the former covering

    the two sets of capabilities, leadership and teaching, and the related elements of professional

    learning and performance management.

    A Strength-based Model of Performance and Development

    School Performance & Development

    Staff Performance & Development

    Development Planning

    Evaluation Reporting Compliance

    ESF Statement of Commitment

    Leadership Capabilities

    Teaching Capabilities

    *Strategic *Annual

    *Internal *External

    Performance Management

    Professional Development

    Why Capabilities? Capability, according to Stephenson (1992), depends on our ability to use our knowledge and skills in complex and

    changing situations. This is more than simply possessing skills. It is leaders and teachers ‘taking appropriate and effective

    action within unfamiliar and changing circumstances’. We believe capabilities require practitioners to integrate practices,

    skills, knowledge and attitudes and apply these in new and changing circumstances.

    Purposes of the Leadership Capability Framework The English Schools Foundation Leadership Framework is a tool that will assist all schools to develop the

    capability and leadership of educational staff at all levels of ESF. The Framework sets out the capabilities ESF

    leaders need for effective and successful practice, not just in familiar contexts, but in unfamiliar, complex and

    dynamic circumstances. The ESF Leadership Framework is a resource to be used by individuals, teams, schools

    and ESF as both a basis and a guide for:

    • inspiring a shared vision of leadership across ESF;

    • promoting a common language and understanding around leadership;

    • strategic thinking and planning;

    • building the breadth and depth of leadership in ESF;

    • informing and designing the implementation of quality professional learning for leaders across ESF;

    • self-reflection, self/personal learning and career planning;

    • providing advice to staff on career progression and development;

    • generating recruitment and selection role descriptions for leaders at various levels;

    • monitoring, mentoring and coaching leaders in ESF schools through the performance management


    At the heart of the ESF Leadership Framework is the direct relationship between leadership and

    student learning outcomes. This we believe should be the beginning and end point of all leadership


    02 03

    ESF Leadership Capability Framework

  • ESF is committed to ensuring positive

    working relationships with its leaders

    and staff so that they are treated as

    respected and trusted members of the

    ESF community and so

    that their contribution is

    sought and valued.


    •The ESF Professional Code is central to our values, vision and mission.

    •ESF has policies and processes in place that enhance positive working relationships.

    •ESF recognises and values excellence at all levels of the organisation.

    •Professional trust and respect underpin all interactions with leaders and staff.

    •ESF seeks to be open and transparent in its policies and processes and welcomes feed-back and ideas from all members of staff

    •Staff performance is assessed through an agreed, consistent, sensitive and transparent process.

    •Any performance or disciplinary matter is managed with dignity and sensibility.

    Professional Culture

    The Structure of the Leadership Capability Framework The ESF Leadership Framework is based on the three domains of:

    • Leading Self

    • Leading Others

    • Leading the Foundation

    The three Domains are elaborated in terms of 30 Capabilities

    which outline what leaders should know and be able to do. In

    practice, leadership draws on aspects of all three domains and

    they should be regarded as interconnected and interdependent.

    The capabilities are the underlying skills, knowledge and attitudes

    necessary for leaders to perform their roles. Capabilities in the

    Framework are statements of observable behaviour, or practices

    which would typically be demonstrated through the exercise of

    this capability.

    Leading Self

    Leading Others

    Leading the Foundation

    Layer 1 Layer 2 Layer 3 Layer 4

    Domain Capability


    Practices Skills





    ESF Commitment to Staff Performance and Development

    ESF is committed to continuous

    improvement of student achievement,

    of staff performance,


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