29 april International Masterclass (EN) - National Standards for School Leadership

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  • Datum
  • Tijd -
  • Locatie Online, by Zoom (link follows by email before the masterclass)

> Sign in for this masterclass by filling in this form.

Entrance fee: Free

Target audience:

  • Associations for school leaders in secondary education world wide
  • Professional organizations for European School Heads
  • School leaders
  • Experts and researchers in qualification frameworks for school leaders
  • Experts in leadership and professionalization

We are very pleased to invite you to our ‘International Masterclass about the National Standards for School Leadership’. The International Masterclass will take place on the 29th of April 2021.

> 📗 Dutch National Standards for School Leadership in Secondary Education (click to download)

The Dutch Registry of School Leaders in Secondary Education (in Dutch: Schoolleidersregister Voortgezet Onderwijs, abbreviated as SRVO) launched the revised Dutch National Standards for School Leadership in Secondary Education in January. The Masterclass on April 29 is a good opportunity to have a look at the Dutch National Standards with international colleagues. In addition, we will compare multiple (worldwide) Professional Standards and discuss them together. 

During the masterclass, participants can follow different workshops. For example, some countries do not have their own standards, what does that mean for their school leaders in secondary education? 


  • 2.15 pm
    Meeting other attendees (music, possibility to chat)
  • 2.30 pm
    Introduction of the masterclass by Noortje Schadenberg – director of SRVO, the Netherlands
  • 2.40 - 3.00 pm 
    Plenary part about the Dutch National Standards by dr. Loes van Wessum, one of the researchers involved

    Loes van Wessum will present the process of (1) comparison of the different international standards from The Netherlands (2014 version), Canada, United States, Australia and United Kingdom, that served as a basis for the revised Dutch National Standards for School Leadership in secondary education.

    Moreover, the revision consisted of (2) additional exploratory literature study and (3) interviews with different involved stakeholders (e.g. school leaders). The result is a document that is close to daily practice, with a focus on leadership practices and personal qualities. The National Standards serve as a development-oriented, common language for the teaching profession.
  • 3.00 – 3.45 pm 
    Workshops - round 1

    1. Jan Heystek (South Africa), Research Director at North-West University, Potchefstroom
    Jan Heystek will reflect – together with the participants - on both the Dutch National Standards and the Policy on the South African Standard for Principals. Interesting questions for this workshop are among others: if school leaders are professionals, why do we need standards? How does the nationals standards relate to integrated quality management? And how can you combine standards on leadership practices with the practice of distributed leadership?

    Documents as background:
  1. Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) for School-based Educators
  2. Personnel Administrative Measures (PAM), 2016
  3. Policy on the South African Standard for Principal Leadership, 2015
  • 2. Leadership is not a position, it is a disposition - Joe O'Connell (Ireland) & Marieke van Tienhoven (Netherlands)
    The person of the leader is key in the visions on leadership of both Joe O’Connell (Ireland) and Marieke van Tienhoven (The Netherlands). What they share is their experience as a school leader, different are the countries they worked in. Joe will share the practice of professional learning in Ireland, the Irish standards and their notions on distributive leadership. He will also reflect on what he values most in the revised Dutch national standards. Marieke will elaborate on her experience as a school leader in Egypt and the Netherlands and reflect on the personal qualities in the Dutch standards.
  • 3.45 - 4.00 pm
  • 4.00 - 4.45 pm 
    Workshops - round 2

    1. Julia Penning de Vries (The Netherlands), Assistant Professor at Utrecht University
    This workshop focuses on the leadership practice of taking the lead on staff development. Julia Penning de Vries will elaborate on two aspects of this leadership practice. Firstly, strategic human resource management and how the development of staff can contribute to educational goals of the school. Secondly, it is up to school leaders in daily practice to stimulate and support their team members. Julia recently finished her research on what is needed for especially middle managers (team leaders for example) in people management. She will investigate this topic with the participants from an international point of view.

    You can read more about this topic in two recent publications.
  1. Are we on the same page? Understanding shared perceptions of people management: a multilevel multimethod study in schools (in English, password = 148618)
  2. Evaluation of strategic human resource management (in Dutch)

    2. Alison Weatherston (Scotland), Lead Specialist at Education Scotland
    Alison Weatherston has been involved in rewriting the Scottish Standards and is now responsible for the programme Into Headship, Scotland’s national programme for aspiring headteachers. In this workshop she will focus on the way the standards are put into practice in Scotland, and explore the similarities and differences between the Dutch and Scottisch standards, together with the participants. As the Scottish standards will become mandatory from August 2021 on, she will share the role the professional learning programme plays in the process of strengthening confidence and providing support for (aspiring) head teachers.
  • 4.45 - 5.00 pm
    All speakers reflect on and give advices for the Dutch National Standards for School Leadership
  • Closure


©Loes van Wessum

Loes van Wessum

Dr. Loes van Wessum is i.a. Associate Lector 'Leiderschap in Onderwijs en Opvoeding' (Leadership in Education and Upbringing) at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle, the Netherlands.

She was one of the involved researchers during the revision of the former National Standards of 2014 as a basis for the recent version of 2021.

©Jan Heystek

Jan Heystek

Jan Heystek is working as Research Director of the research entity Edu-Lead, Northwest University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. He is working since 1995 in the field of education management and leadership at universities.

His research is about school improvement and leadership, to assist in a better and deeper understanding how to develop and support school principals as leaders, and improve the quality of education for all learners. South Africa has a standard for principalship. Jan Heystek is working with similar documents from other countries, for example the United States. The Dutch standards are new and therefore something which he would like to explore, to determine how it does relate to what South Africa is doing, compared to similar processes.

©Joe O'Connell

Joe O'Connell

Dr. Joe O’Connell has served as a post-primary school principal in Ireland, was founding director of St Senan’s Education office supporting the Boards of Management of the Catholic dioceses of Limerick, Kerry and Killaloe in the Reublic of Ireland and also served as Director of Limerick Education Centre with responsibility for the continuing professional development in the city and county of Limerick, Ireland.  

He currently supports a wide range of organisations and professional bodies in addressing issues such as organisational development, managing and building relationships across the school community, dealing with challenging situations and promoting collaborative leadership and team development.

Joe’s doctoral studies focussed on leadership and organisational development and since April of 2019 he has become a member of the European Commission’s expert advisory group on school leadership and development.

©Marieke van Tienhoven

Marieke van Tienhoven

Marieke began her career as a secondary school teacher and has occupied a number of progressively challenging leadership roles.

Working as a team leader and teacher trainer in the Dutch national education system, she expanded her educational experience through operating internationally during a seven year period in the middle east. Marieke has a depth of understanding and insight into leadership in multicultural environments and across a variety of international curriculum.

As a person who is curious and has a strong desire for continuous personal development, she strives to connect personal attributes to the daily practice of being a leader in a variety of contexts and to share her experience with others.

She has recently started her own consultancy and interim services business and is currently active in the Netherlands and Europe.

In addition to her work life Marieke is an enthusiastic scuba diver, musical composer and vocalist and amateur photographer. She travels widely and has a passion for hiking in wild places.

©Julia Penning de Vries

Julia Penning de Vries

Julia Penning de Vries studied Sociology (BSc, 2010 - 2014) and Research in Public Administration and Organizational Science (MSc, 2014 - 2016) at Utrecht University. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Utrecht University School of Governance. In her PhD research, she studied the antecedents and consequences of shared perceptions (between employees and supervisors) of people management. Her research is conducted in the context of the educational sector.

©Alison Weatherston

Alison Weatherston

Alison Weatherston is Lead Specialist, with responsibility for school leadership, in the Professional Learning and Leadership Directorate in 'Education Scotland'. This role involves the development of programmes for aspiring headteachers and those new to post, including the national Into Headship programme, leading to the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s Standard for Headship.

Alison works with colleagues and a range of partners across Scotland to develop meaningful and supportive professional learning activities, with a focus on leading learning and was involved in the review and refresh of the Professional Standards in Scotland.

Alison has had a career of over 30 years in education with a background in primary teaching, working in the west of Scotland, including as headteacher and local authority officer. In a changing educational landscape, her professional energy and drive come from motivating, encouraging and supporting school leaders to continue to make a positive difference for young people.