Highly Effective Leadership in Children's Centres
28 June 2012
The National College commissioned the NFER to investigate highly effective leadership in Sure Start Children’s Centres. The research included a literature review and case studies of 25 Children’s Centres.
The research identified eight core behaviours of highly effective Children's Centre leaders, including: engaging responsively with families; embracing integrated working; and motivating and empowering staff. The research also investigated 'system leadership' - leading across the foundation years to develop a self-improving system. This requires leaders to act strategically to improve outcomes for children and families outside of their own centre's reach area. Key system leadership behaviours include: focusing on achieving best outcomes for children and families across the foundation years; and tackling underperformance across the system.
- leading in a time of intense change
- maintaining high-quality services and staff morale in the face of uncertainty and funding cuts
- dealing with increasing number of vulnerable families, combined with fewer sources of support
- tackling barriers to effective data-sharing between partner agencies.