Work, learning and professional practice: the role of leadership apprenticeships
Written by Peter Earley   


How leaders learn to become leaders has been an area of much research. When asked what were the key experiences in learning leadership, leaders often speak of the importance of ‘on-the-job’experiences, yet these experiences are rarely fully detailed in the research literature. The importance of ‘apprenticeships’ and being attached to institutions for periods of time for learning and development purposes is well known and occurs in a number of occupations from beginning teachers to trades people. This project plans to investigate the range of ‘on-the-job’ experiences with particular reference to what might be termed ‘leadership apprenticeships’. Drawing upon a recently completed evaluation of an innovative fast track leadership development programme called ‘Future Leaders’, the role and value for learning and professional practice of a year’s residency in a host school, working with and for an effective headteacher, will be investigated.