School leader resources

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Leaders and decision-makers deal with a wide range of responsibilities that centre around what is best for all students and teachers. The IB provides the framework and support for leaders around the world to remove learning barriers, to bridge gaps, and increase the quality of learning and practice.

The IB understands that there are a broad range of myths and misconceptions about IB programmes. To some degree, these understandings may be valid if implementation and teaching practices cater best to a narrowly diverse student population.

By partnering in a learning journey with the IB and the global community of schools, the IB aims to support leaders in their own exploration of the programme design to uncover the value of an IB education for all students. When moving forward with shared understanding, the possibilities for improving outcomes for all students and teachers are achievable.

Leaders commit to empowering learning communities that meet the needs of all students

Educational leaders operate within systems, create the environments and culture, and provide the resources teachers use to meet the needs of all students.

Leaders work hard to…

  • ensure all students succeed by:
    • prioritizing student self-efficacy for learning to equip them with skills that are necessary to be agile in a rapidly changing world
    • co-create a high-quality curriculum that is supported by teacher development, scaffolding for all learners, communities of practice, and authentic assessment
    • provide education that optimizes choices and engages students in their passions and interests, while facilitating open-minded exploration
  • cultivate vibrant learning communities that:
    • engage teachers in supportive peer-to-peer and individual reflection on best educational practices
    • develop learning opportunities for all students using quality curriculum and authentic assessment
    • encourage innovation, professional risk-taking, and problem-solving
    • balance accountability with teacher ownership and responsibility
  • make evidence-based decisions that:
    • use data to inform practice and school-wide improvement
    • enable teachers to improve the strategies they use to support the diverse needs of all students
    • inform the use of resources to optimize impact for school improvement initiatives
  • engage the community to:
    • understand the value of the educational opportunities offered to students
    • partner in ways that contribute to student growth and achievement
    • promote the school’s impact and attract families to the community.

The IB approach is an opportunity for leaders to…

  • increase the post-secondary outcomes for all students by:
    • focusing on the whole learner
    • investing in preparation for college and careers
    • increasing organization skills, work ethic, and willingness to engage in challenging experiences
    • increasing the rate of immediate enrollment, perseverance, and admission to selective institutions [see IB Outcomes Research]
    • implementing globally validated and recognized standards and practices that are balanced with flexibility and adaptability
    • bringing school communities together around a common language that facilitates improvement and innovation, and networking with other local and global communities of practice
    • using reliable assessment data and aligned research to improve practice and implementation that integrate inclusive strategies to support a wide range of learners
  • develop teachers as lifelong learners who:
    • contribute to their profession and support the growth and development of others
    • engage in professional development that is designed to inspire innovation
    • improve school improvement processes so that the whole community can contribute and learn from it
    • network with leaders from schools in their local contexts and around the world who are committed to advancing the quality of education for all students

As leaders explore the Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) as schoolwide models for education, beginning with one course at a time, what might they consider?

  • How might coming together around a common approach to teaching and learning impact the way teachers learn together in professional learning communities?
  • What is the value of offering IB courses to all students as a strategic move to optimize student choices in their high school learning experiences and in their adaptive capacity after graduation?
  • How might leaders value and understand the mixed community perspectives about IB education in their community?
  • How might the use of a common framework better operationalize or improve the systems of support for students currently offered by the school?
  • How might school-wide adoption of at least one aspect of the IB programmes in the school increase excellence and equity?


Adoption of DP courses school-wide brochure Brochure: "Adopting DP Language and Literature for all students" (PDF, 4.7 MB) – Outlines the benefits of adopting DP courses schoolwide, how the IB will support schools and how schools can prepare to introduce the initiative in their communities.
Adoption of DP courses school-wide presentation Presentation: “First steps towards a more inclusive IB Diploma Programme” (PDF, 4.4 MB) – Use these slides to introduce the initiative to school leaders and decision-makers.
Adoption of DP courses school-wide video Video presentation: “IB Language and Literature course for all” – IB educators share their experience with the school-wide adoption of DP language and Literature in their schools.