Bedford Way Papers Series 36

Accelerated Leadership Development

Fast-Tracking School Leaders

November 2010
More details
  • Publisher
    UCL IOE Press
  • Published
    1st November 2010
  • ISBN 9780854738847
  • Language English
  • Pages 122 pp.
  • Size 6.25" x 9.25"
  • Images figures

Accelerated Leadership Development captures and communicates the lessons learnt from successful fast-track leadership programs in the private and public sector and provides a model which schools can follow and customize as they develop their own leadership strategy. As large numbers of headteachers and other senior staff retire the book illustrates practical ways in which school leadership teams can face the growing challenge of talent management.

The book outlines the most effective fast-track leadership initiatives including ways of identifying and retaining high-potential staff in school settings, examining the possible consequences and implications of talent identification and succession planning, while simultaneously considering the risks and challenges these schemes raise for schools and the wider education system. The book goes on to provide detailed descriptions of two fast-track education leadership programs run in England and illustrates how a range of organizations from outside the education sector and from different countries, run accelerated, fast-track and high-potential leadership schemes.

Accelerated Leadership Development is essential reading for all school leadership teams and school governing bodies and will be an invaluable resource for academics and researchers working in the field of leadership and school management.

“How can we tackle the impending leadership crisis in schools? With nearly a quarter of headteachers due to retire in the next 5 years we need to replace the ad hoc arrangements of the past with a systematic approach to leadership recruitment. This invaluable book by Peter Earley and Jeff Jones shows the way. Accelerated leadership development is a highly controversial issue, often generating more heat than light. Now in this concise volume we have an essential comprehensive guide which combines rigorous exploration of the concept, detailed examples from the public and private sector, cogent analysis of two major national education programmes and a practical strategy that schools can follow. When I read a book like this I ask the fundamental question – can I use and apply it in my work? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Leadership talent spotting must be seen by schools, consortia and local authorities as a priority. This book gives them the means of doing this which is both professionally credible and practically compelling.”

Graham Handscomb, Essex County Council; Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, UK

“This is the first major book to focus on accelerated leadership development, a phenomenon of great contemporary significance, because of the succession challenges facing many developed countries. Peter Earley and Jeff Jones should be congratulated on bringing together the research and literature on this important theme in such a clear and accessible manner. Policy-makers and senior practitioners will find much of value in this book, as they consider how to develop new school leaders.”

Professor Tony Bush, Professor of Leadership in the Institute of Education, University of Warwick, UK

"Earley and Jones have focused their insightful and substantive attention on a topic that is highly relevant to both a UK and an international audience. Although the issue of the lengthy period of time to headship is less of a problem in other national contexts, the topic of accelerated leadership development is no less problematic. Because leading schools has become intense and complex and the need for leaders to quickly turn around schools is now a major national policy agenda in the U.S., rigorous and relevant information on the models and approaches of accelerated leadership development is critical. The authors have provided both a theoretical and practical perspective that informs policy, contributes to quality professional development and sets directions for future research."

Gary M. Crow, Professor of Leadership and Policy Studies, Indiana University, USA

List of figures and tables
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction: Why accelerated leadership development and why now?

2 Accelerated leadership development: Theory and concepts
3 Accelerated leadership development: Approaches and methods
4 High potential programmes: Examples from the private and public sectors

5 Accelerating the development of school staff
6 Accelerated leadership development in schools: Fast-track teachers
7 Accelerated leadership development in schools: Future Leaders
8 A fast-track leadership development strategy for schools
9 The challenge of fast tracking
10 Conclusion


Peter Earley

Peter Earley is at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK.

Jeff Jones

Jeff Jones is at the CfBT Education Trust (UK).