For the last two years, the European Commission has supported the Lithuanian Government with its reform of the national school curriculum. Funded through the EU’s Structural Reform Support Programme, and implemented by the British Council, this project trained a group of school principals in the techniques of instructional leadership. During the first year of the project 29 school principals participated in over 100 hours of on-line coaching with a group of international experts. At the end of this time, the school principals and international trainers worked together with representatives of the Lithuanian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the National Agency for Education to design a “toolkit” of resources to support the training of other school leaders. In year two, another 243 Lithuanian school leaders have used the training materials in the “toolkit” and were coached by their peers to help implement the renewed school curriculum in the country.

Wales is a part of the UK that has its own devolved education system. Wales has about the same number of schools and teachers as Lithuania. It has just gone through the revision of its own school curriculum and the core group of Lithuanian principals, as part of the project, were given the opportunity to visit Wales in a study visit in May 2022.

A Lithuanian delegation of 25 school leaders took part in this study visit. Six schools hosted the Lithuanian delegates to share their experiences of implementing the new school curriculum. At a high-level conference, arranged for the visitors, the Welsh Government and education professionals from across the country explained the part they played in the implementation of the new curriculum.

Participants of the conference had the opportunity to discuss a broad range of aspects of the Welsh education system, including school inspection; leadership development; the role played by universities; changes made to Initial Teacher Education; and inclusion of pupils with special needs (“Additional Learning Needs”).

The visit to Wales offered a unique opportunity for Lithuanian school leaders to develop international networks, learn about good practices from teachers and leaders in a similar country. According to participants, delegates have been able to use much of what they saw in Wales to develop their own thinking on curriculum reform and to pass on this knowledge to other school leaders in their own country.