Argumentative Essay

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Importance of Leadership in Early Years

Importance of Leadership in Early Years


This argumentative paper aimed to locate the national and international researched arguments and documentary evidence relating to leadership in the early years sector to make the strong arguments and support the point of essay. A wide-ranging search was undertaken? including electronic databases and search engines such as ERIC? Google Scholar? a range of websites including research associations and government sites? as well as a trawl of printed and electronic journals on leadership and early years. The choice of material to include was based on clear management? leadership and early years criteria.

While articles in peer-reviewed journals form a major part of reviewed materials? there was much of interest to be found in conference papers? books? professional journals and research reports? and we have therefore included materials from these sources as well. We present an overview of findings? followed by key points to be drawn out of the review. We finish with a section which provides a summary of each of our sources.


'Good leadership is critical to a successful school. Success comes from aiming high with the clear vision? ethos and communication that good leadership brings. We will act to support high quality school leadership and inspired? ambitious school communities.' The Scottish Executive states that it 'sees the role of leadership in schools and the wider educational community growing in importance' (Scottish Executive? 2005? p2).

The importance the Executive attaches to leadership and development of leadership capacity is reflected in the leadership agenda set out in Ambitious? Excellent Schools (Scottish Executive? 2004a; Scottish Executive? 2005). These documents make the link between effective leadership? leadership development and pupils' school success. The stated intention is that by assisting schools in their leadership work? not adding to their workload (Scottish Executive? 2005)? schools will be more able to develop pupils' 'capacities as successful learners? confident individuals? responsible citizens and effective contributors to society' (A Curriculum for Excellence? Scottish Executive? 2004).

This argumentative paper reveals that before our new Scottish initiative to address the curriculum 3-18? leadership in the early years sector has been virtually ignored at governmental level - this is an international rather than a purely Scottish phenomenon? and is reflected most strongly in the growing literature on leadership in early childhood emerging from New Zealand (McLeod? 2003; Meade? 2003; Scrivens? 2003? 2004; Thornton? 2005).

It should be acknowledged that the New Zealand context for early childhood services is different from our own. In Scotland since 2000 early childhood education has become a duty of provision on local authorities? and the connection with the statutory school sector is a long established one? whereas in New Zealand state provision of early childhood services is relatively new and not yet universal. Where experience converges is in the complex and different nature of leadership in early childhood by comparison with the statutory school sector? and the importance of early childhood services being managed in informed collaborative? co-operative and community-oriented ...
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