Educational Leadership Pathways Map

Leadership Pathways to Small, Green, Inclusive Learning Communities
Independent Schools
Fee Paying
Micro Schools (usually 5 - 10 pupils)
Government / Local Authority Schools
Academy and Free Schools
Non-fee paying
Home based
(Local Authority)
(Voluntary Aided /
Voluntary Controlled)
(22% of English Primaries)
Free Schools
Curriculum for Wales, 2022:
- Interdisciplinary
- Values and ethics
- Rights and respect
- Commitment to sustainability
Case Study 1: Small Primary School in Wales
- Approximately 150 pupils on roll
- Wellbeing and relationships
- Cynefin (a place of many belongings)
- Self actualisation and interdependence
National Curriculum for England
- Subject based
- 175 pages on English, Maths and Science
- 22 pages on all other subjects
- Neglects human rights, wellbeing, sustainability.
Rural location:
- Small
- Outdoor learning / forest schools
- Often federated
Milburn Primary School, Cumbria:
- Fewer than 10 pupils on roll
- Flexi-school
- Forest school and swimming
- Fundraising by Friends of Milburn School
Forest of Teasdale, Pennines:
- Fewer than 10 pupils on roll
- Outdoor learning
- Eco School (silver)
- International School Award
Inclusive Christian Values Promote
Social and Ecological Justice
Selside Endowed CE School, Cumbria:
- 45 pupils on roll
- Nature immersion
- Care for each other
- Care for the environment
- Connected locally and globally
Fixed Orthodox Values
School Leadership:
- Courage to do things differently
- Tend to be focused on
raising standards
Oasis Academy Putney, London
- 207 pupils on roll
- Equality and justice
- Transforming (self, local, national, global)
- Nature connection, outdoor learning and Eco-School
- Tend to be medium and large
- More difficult to prioritise relationships
Legislation supports Democratic Education:
- Free school policy rooted in
social, democratic freedom
Policy Restrictions:
- English Free Schools must be large,
minimum 2 form entry (New Schools Network, 2020)
Case Study 2: Den Groenne Friskole, Denmark
- 185 pupils on roll (grades 0-9)
- For transition to a more equitable and sustainable world
- Children are knowledge producers and change agents
- Nature immersion
Progressive fee structure
and good bursary system
Elite, fees exclude those
from low income families
Reflections Small School, Worthing:
- 24 places (Year R, 1 and 2)
- Reggio Emilia and Danish Forest School approach
- Child is rich in potential, strong, powerful and competent
- Enquiry and artistic expression
Park School, Devon, UK:
- 47 pupils on roll
- Fees based on ability to pay
- Human scale, primacy of relationships
- Established over 30 years ago
Financial Sustainability
- Fundraising requires
time and energy, with
no guarantee of success.
Clear mission and
evidence of impact
- Social and ecological justice
Oaklands Small School, Yorkshire, UK:
- Established in 1993, closed 1996
- Charity dependent on grants and voluntary contributions
- Transformative for the children who attended
Case Study 3: Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, Bangladesh:
- School boats serve as school bus and classroom,
bringing education to the child, even during the monsoon.
- Improved access to primary education, particularly for girls
- Primary education, human rights, sustainable livelihoods
Need sufficient facilities to meet
Independent School Standards.
Family Partnership:
- Flexi-school for home
educating families
Case Study 4: Hove Micro-School, Hove, UK:
- Places for 10 children ages 5 - 13
- Mixed age classes (KS1, KS2, KS3)
- School fits around the child
- Outdoor learning opportunities
Network Leadership:
- Values social and
ecological justice
For Profits:
This space has been co-opted by
for profit, low cost private school chains,
'micro'-schools up to 150 pupils, utilising
digital learning platforms and 'self directed
learning' to drive down teaching costs.
Teeton Science Schools, Yellowstone National Park, USA:
- Transformative, place based education
- Strong commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
- 48% of families receive tuition fee assistance
- Child led, small class sizes, learning through experience
Created by Jennifer Altamirano Smith, 2021
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