Recommendation 9: Develop a leadership strategy that promotes professional collaboration and a culture of continuous improvement

The leadership strategy needs to be systematic

Various initiatives have sought to strengthen school leadership in the Netherlands. But these need to be more systematic and more ambitious. The Netherlands should therefore develop a leadership strategy that includes:

  • • Promotion of collaboration among school leaders, teachers and school boards and the linked development of a culture of continuous improvement. This should fit MoECS ambitions of transforming all schools into a learning organisation.
  • MoECS should consider establishing a mandatory national induction programme for school leaders, guaranteeing the quality of the induction and mentoring support. School boards should ensure that all new school leaders participate in the programme. Successful completion of the induction period could serve as a starting point for inclusion in mandatory school leadership registers (for all levels).
  • • School boards should ensure annual appraisals for all school leaders - not as a bureaucratic exercise but as a practical and relevant means of facilitating professional development. Adequate training should be provided to school board members for conducting appraisals and personal development planning that is aligned to school goals.
  • • The Netherlands should continue building the capacity of school leaders and leadership teams to conduct school self-evaluations. School leaders should have the capacity to: promote collaboration within and beyond the school and actively take part; establish strategic partnerships (with schools, teacher training institutions, businesses, etc.); use data and promote the use of data; and foster self-evaluation in a learning culture geared towards continuous improvement. Schools, particularly poor performing schools will need support if they are to develop into learning organisations, which is a key objective of the Teachers Agenda 2013-2020. Strong school leaders are a precondition for this to happen.


1. The sector agreements describe the ambitions for the respective sectors (primary education and secondary education) for the period from 2014 to 2017. The agreements cover priorities, objectives, measures and investments.

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