Improving school leadership and support for teachers
Teachers in the Czech Republic are rare and they have a bad deal. Only a half of the graduates of pedagogy programmes start teaching at schools. Almost a half from those already teaching is over 50 years old, and half of the teachers is endangered by burnout. More than a half of Czech teachers do not consider their work worthwhile, and they lack passion in what they do. Czech teachers are poorly paid as they only reach 75% of the salary level of tertiary-educated workers. Compared to foreign countries, frontal teaching method significantly outweighs other methods based on individual work of students or small-group work without the direct supervision of a teacher. The ability to innovate and personalize lessons and motivate children to study varies widely with particular teachers.
Headteachers are overloaded with paperwork and operational issues and lack the space to support teachers from the position of a pedagogical leader. There is no such thing like systemic planning or support for their work.
All these facts have a significant impact on learning outcomes of Czech students resulting in long-term deterioration of numeracy and scientific literacy. In international comparison, Czech students have been lagging behind in achievements in reading literacy over the last 20 years and least commonly claim they enjoy going to school.
Why it is important
Researches show that teachers and school leaders influence up to 60% of learning outcomes. Investments in superior training of new teachers and the development of actual teachers play a crucial role.
The quality of headteachers proves to be the second most important factor influencing learning outcomes of students at school. The headteacher in the role of pedagogical leader is a key figure in the implementation of systemic support for teachers at schools.
What we strive for
In headteachers, we are interested in creating a system of their permanent professional development and consolidation of their role of pedagogical leader who leads his teachers and school as a whole for the benefit of students.
Professional development of teachers and school leaders means to us supporting high-quality education in the following ways:
- We increase the quality of education of prospective teachers
- We support top innovative projects developing current teachers and spread proven know-how in the education system
- We create a system of permanent professional development of headteachers as pedagogical leaders
- We measure the impact of our projects
- We make analyses describing the condition and needs of the Czech education system
We support all activities mentioned above only in case that they stand a chance to bring a sustainable improvement at the system level.