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Title: Leadership development in small island states : the case of the Seychelles
Author: Barallon, Linda
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 664X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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In common with many other countries including small island developing states (SIDS), the criteria for appointment as a head teacher in the Seychelles were not formalised but, in practice, promotion was based mainly on teaching qualifications and experience, level of commitment shown to education, and contributions made to public life. Since 2002, educational leadership training has been offered to senior school leaders through a partnership between Seychelles and UK universities but it is not clear whether these qualifications enable head teachers to lead their institutions effectively. In practice, the acquisition of such training is being considered in the selection and appointment of senior school leaders but this is not yet an official policy. This thesis reports research focused on people in headship and other senior leadership positions in Seychelles who have followed one of these programmes. The research is an evaluation of the leadership development project designed to inform senior ministry officials of its impact. It presents a critical view of leadership development and its impact in a specific context, a SIDS with a centralised education system. In a survey involving 100% of these trained leaders, the interview responses highlight issues related to the basis of their selection for training and subsequent appointment in post; their training experiences, the extent to which they have been able to put into practice what they have learnt, and how their learning has impacted on their respective school. Responses obtained from senior Ministry officials show how the trained leaders’ performance after training is perceived within the Ministry. A case study of a primary school examines in depth observable changes in leadership practices impacting on school outcomes that are attributed to leadership training and development. The research shows that the Seychelles education system was very successful in preparing its leaders through partnerships with HE education bodies; with more than 90% of senior school leaders (heads and deputy heads) achieving a master’s qualification. The findings also show a positive impact in terms of leaders’ satisfaction with the course, changes in their knowledge, disposition and skills; changes in their leadership practices and, to some extent, improved school outcomes. The findings revealed a lack of established structures and comprehensive programmes for induction and mentoring of leaders; the lack of formal criteria and procedures for the selection of leaders for training, appointment, promotion and deployment; and limited provision for on-going support and continuous professional development. Central selection prevails with female domination of leadership positions at system and institutional levels. The significance of this research is mainly in its originality as the only study of leadership development, and its impact on school outcomes, in Seychelles.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; LB Theory and practice of education