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Early Years Leadership; Introduction

• Understanding of leadership and how it operates in your early
years setting.
• Demonstration of awareness of factors that influence leadership and
• Understanding how teamwork can support leadership skills
• Reflecting on personal leadership and teamwork skills.
• Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): Section 39 of the British
government's Childcare Act 2006.
• EYFS comprises a set of Welfare Requirements and a set of Learning
and Development Requirements.
• For children below the age of compulsory education.
• On providers outside the state system and not receiving state
Roles of Early Years Leaders

• Support the Head Teacher in the effective and efficient running of the Early
Years team, embracing the schools ethos, values and aims, being an
exemplary role model.
• Contribute to the development of excellence through developing and creating
of policies, supporting staff during their implementation, monitoring and
evaluating their impact.
• Play a major role, under the direction of the Head Teacher, in monitoring and
evaluating the provision and outcomes for pupils in the Early Years, using
this information work with the Head Teacher to create Early Years
development and improvement plans.
• Be an outstanding teacher and lead teaching and learning within the Early
Years Team, creating an engaging curriculum and actively engaging parents
in the life of the school.
• Ensure that the Early Years team work together effectively and efficiently, by
providing excellent organisational ability, leadership and management skills.
• Be responsible for implementing assessment procedures and be accountable
for the outcomes of pupils in the Early Years
Early Years Leaders Q&A

Q: How well have EY practitioners been prepared for a leadership role
from their university training and from their in-school training?

A: ‘Leadership and management module linked to Career Entry

Development Profile (CEDP).’

Q: As someone who has specialised in EY at university, what do you have

leadership responsibility for?

A: ‘I have responsibility for EY and lead transition in KSI.’

Early Years Leaders Q&A

Q: How did you find the transition from managing children to managing

A: ‘Need to be clear with your expectations without causing offence,

being open to suggestions and being a critical friend.’

Q: How is EY leadership different to whole- school subject leadership?

A: ‘Different curriculum. Some staff don’t really understand EY in the

school. EY is seen to be a ‘‘bolt on’’ to the rest of the school. It’s an island
in the middle of the school as it’s a different curriculum, and a different
way of doing things.
Early Years Leaders Q&A

Q: How could senior leaders support you more to help you in your role of
EY leader?

A: ‘Needs to be a clear set of roles and responsibilities. Attitude among

some staff that EY leadership is not as important as core subjects. If
leadership responsibilities were rotated, then all staff would have a better
understanding of expectations and what happens in EY. Some staff have
very little appreciation of how hard it can be to lead EY.’

Q: How has your school supported you in your leadership role?

A: ‘There was very little support in the first few years of teaching, but this
has changed over the years as EY has become more important.’
Assessment of Interview of Early Years
Leaders Professional

• Leadership has been under-researched in the Early Years (EY) sector of
primary schools in England, especially in leading change for professional

• Newer EY practitioners are better prepared for leadership from their

university training in comparison to more experienced EY practitioners.

• The culture of the organisation (Schein, 2010) has a large impact on the
way leaders view their staff as teacher leaders.

• Lack of a clear vision (Gronn, 2003) modelled for furthering teacher

leadership and management abilities
Assessment of Interview of Early Years
Leaders Professional

• Transformation of managerial skills by offering intellectual stimulus
and providing individual support to early and later years practitioners
(Leithwood & Jantzi, 2005) is more evident.

• EY practitioners develop a better insight into their own practice when

they can observe the various leadership styles of both men and women
(Boone, 2003).

• The school organisation and the culture has to be facilitative, allowing

the early years practitioners to take risks and develop their own
leadership styles when dealing with people and change management
(Muijs et al., 2004).
Recommendations for Enhancement of
Early Years Leadership

• Institutions have a role to play in developing the critical faculty of
their trainees

• There has to be more emphasis on leadership and management,

especially in the final year of training and including the final teaching
practice in this contentious area.

• Critical analysis of the strategic leadership development practised

across the whole school setting (Davies & Davies, 2006)

• Mauch and Spaulding (1992) recommend that teachers help learners

understand the connection between effort and ability rather than lead
them to believe that learning depends almost exclusively on either one
Recommendations for Enhancement of
Early Years Leadership

• Attribution theory tells that learners should believe that their efforts to learn
and master new tasks will not be in vain.

• Failure to meet goals that are unrealistic may cause learners to doubt their
abilities and to approach the learning task with a lessened commitment to

• Teaching learners how to set realistic goals, therefore, is an important aspect

of any instructional program that aims to build intrinsic motivation.

• This can be attained through:

 Carefully monitoring their attributional messages
 Focusing on learning strategies
 Refraining from ability
 Grouping promoting cooperation among learners
 Helping learners set realistic goals.
Recommendations for Enhancement of
Early Years Leadership

New models of early years leadership training should be introduced which
address the following areas:

 Encouragement of distributed leadership approaches

 Support and mentoring provided by other leaders
 Opportunities for reflection on real-life experiences and scenarios
 Follow up support over a sustained period of time
 A programme based on the particular assessed needs of individual
 A programme which is problem focused and specific to workplace
 Collegiality and networking opportunities
 Inclusion of the wider team in aspects of the programme
 Ongoing leadership development programmes.
Recommendations for Enhancement of
Early Years Leadership

The development of a Personal Development Plan (PDP) in order to address
discrepancies and shortcomings. Following are some benefits:
• PEP gives a clear insight into the child’s educational development and
• Transitions are planned and documented to support the child’s
developmental needs.
• If the child’s development raises concerns there is clear evidence that
appropriate actions/ interventions are in place that clearly focus on
accelerating child’s learning.
• Children’s development is in line with Development Matters or their
development has accelerated.
• Identified actions/ interventions match learning needs.
• The child’s voice is recorded and there is evidence that it is fully acted upon
through next steps and adult actions.
• All aspects of the PEP are completed in detail.
• Pupil Premium/ Early Years Pupil Premium is evidenced and shows
measurable impact on development.

Boone, C., 2003. A comparison of male and female principals' perceptions of their
leadership behaviors in high-achieving North Carolina schools.
Davies, B.J. and Davies, B., 2006. Developing a model for strategic leadership in
schools. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 34(1), pp.121-
Dunlop, A.W., 2008. A literature review on leadership in the early years. URL:
http://www. ltscotland. org. uk/publications/a/leadershipreview. asp–Download
vom, 5, p.2011.
Gronn, P., 2003. The new work of educational leaders: Changing leadership practice in
an era of school reform. Sage.
Jones, C. and Pound, L., 2008. Leadership and management in the early years: From
principles to practice. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Leithwood, K. and Jantzi, D., 2005. Transformational leadership. The essentials of
school leadership, pp.31-43.
Mauch, J. and Spaulding, S., 1992. The internationalization of higher education: Who
should be taught what and how. The Journal of General Education, pp.111-129.
McDowall Clark, R. and Murray, J., 2012. Reconceptualizing leadership in the early
years. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Miller, L. and Cable, C. eds., 2010. Professionalization, leadership and management
in the early years. Sage.
Mistry, M. and Sood, K., 2012. Challenges of Early Years leadership preparation: a
comparison between early and experienced Early Years practitioners in
England. Management in Education, 26(1), pp.28-37.
Moyles, J., 2006. Effective leadership and management in the early years. McGraw-
Hill Education (UK).
Muijs, D., Aubrey, C., Harris, A. and Briggs, M., 2004. How do they manage? A
review of the research on leadership in early childhood. Journal of Early
Childhood Research, 2(2), pp.157-169.
Schein, E.H., 2010. Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley &
Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Manni, L., 2007. Effective leadership in the early years
sector: The ELEYS study. Institute of Education Press.
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