Raising Standards Together

National Academy for Educational Leadership

The National Academy for Educational Leadership (NAEL) will ensure high quality leadership provision for everyone in the education sector.

International research demonstrates that the influence of school leadership is second only to classroom teaching (Barber et al (2010)). This is why leadership is one of the four enabling objectives in Education in Wales: Our National Mission (external link).

To meet this objective, the NAEL will be established in 2018.


A Task and Finish Group has been in place since December 2016 to support the development of the NAEL. They have established the vision, principles and governance structure for the new organisation in partnership with stakeholders, which the vision and principles document outlines.

They have also been working on specific issues such as:

  • potential funding models
  • how to represent stakeholders in the governance structure
  • ensuring leadership provision is of a high quality, and equally accessible for everyone.

The NAEL will not be a deliverer of provision, but will ensure equal access to high quality leadership development opportunities.

The input of stakeholders has been fundamental to the development of the shape, functions and focus of the NAEL. Engagement events, regional roadshows, forums and workshops on specific issues have taken place over the last year.

The Task and Finish group agreed early on that one of the first objectives for the NAEL should be to ensure provision for aspiring and existing Headteachers. This should make headships more attractive and improve retention and recruitment. In the long term the NAEL will ensure the availability of leadership development for everyone in the education sector.

The NAEL will be a Company Limited by Guarantee with a CEO and Board. It will have a strong online presence and its core functions will include:

  • Ensuring the availability of programmes and provision to support leadership development, and where there are gaps, commissioning suitable provision
  • Assuring the quality of the available provision via a process of endorsement
  • Promoting the use and accessibility of leadership research and  national and international best practice
  • Offering support and advice on leadership career pathways
  • Creating a community of peers and offer information and advice.

The roadshow report outlines the next steps in developing the NAEL.

Document Downloads

Roadshow Report (October 2017)

Vision and Principles

Task and Finish Group

The Task and Finish group members are:

  • Ann Keane – former HMCI – Chair
  • Sir Alasdair MacDonald
  • Professor Mick Waters
  • Consortia representative – Debbie Harteveld – MD EAS
  • Union representative – Rob Williams, NAHT
  • Education Workforce Council (EWC) – Hayden Llewellyn
  • WLGA – Chris Llewelyn
  • Association of Directors of Education Wales (ADEW) – Aled Evans
  • Headteacher representative – Tegwen Ellis
  • Estyn – Meilyr Rowlands and Claire Morgan (Observers)
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