About the Erasmus+ project "Getting Heads Together"

Getting Heads Together

School leaders (Headteachers; Deputy/Assistant Headteachers; Year Group/Phase Leaders; Subject/Curriculum Leaders etc.) face complex problems as part of their role. According to research in adult development, school leaders can be helped to respond to such complexity by developing how they make sense of problems. The Getting Heads Together project looks to develop and pilot a model of school leadership development and professional learning that enhances how school leaders make sense of the complex challenges within their role. The project seeks to combine the experience and expertise of school leaders and the theories of adult development, to create this program. It will develop the materials and approach, pilot this within the project partnership, and study the impact of this approach. Following the pilot and any refinement of materials, it would then seek to publish materials as an open, free to use resource, that would also support the training of others to facilitate the use of these materials within their organisation.

According to adult psychology, there are two critical aspects in developing capacity for handling complex organisations:

  • Individuals have to be exposed to situations which are relatable to them; and
  • Individuals need to be exposed to radically different ways of seeing and comprehending the problem.

Whilst the role of headteacher (and other school leaders) is similar across the EU Partners, the contexts and demands they face are very different. The difference in context and policy demands will force headteachers in different countries to think about the same problems/tasks in different ways. With the right curriculum, encouraging headteachers to work and discuss their management challenges across borders will expose headteachers to different ways of thinking. It is this considerable difference within a familiar context which can promote adult development, and thus enhance their capacity for complexity.

To conclude, the GHT project seeks to build a model that could support leaders in both Primary and Secondary Schools.
To reach its aim, the project has four key objectives:

  • Develop models for transformational growth in school leaders
  • Create a set of training materials based on the models developed
  • Publish case studies to evidence school leader development
  • Write a research/policy paper to highlight lessons learned and broaden impact.

It will achieve these objectives through a partnership of both Higher Education Institutions (from the UK/University of Gloucester and Greece/University of Thessaly) and School Partners (from the UK, Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Turkey). Taking on a collaborative approach, all Partners will actively engage in the development of the outputs, ensuring they are robust and highly relevant to the target beneficiary groups of schools and their leaders. Through these outputs, high quality materials will be developed and disseminated to ensure impact, not only in the five Partner countries, but also in schools across Europe where school leaders face complex problems.