Instructional Leadership Training, Uganda

Low-Cost, High-Impact Teacher Training

The Varkey Foundation designed the ‘Instructional Leadership Programme’ a low-cost training, high impact programme that addresses the issue of teacher quality.

The 5-day intensive face to face course, aimed at school principals and senior management team members, focuses on the skills required to improve pedagogy within the school and includes an embedded “train-the-trainer” course so principals can cascade their learning to teachers at their schools.

Building on the success of the Instructional Leadership Programme, and to maximise the sustainability and embed the impact of our interventions, we have since broadened the scope of the project: 

  1. Training for Teacher Training College tutors:  We train Teaching College Tutors in the latest teaching methodologies over a 12 month period, developing their knowledge and the quality of their training.  They in turn, pass these new methodologies onto pre-service teachers entering Ugandan schools.
  2. Establishment of Satellite schools:  We have enhanced the sustainability of the Instructional Leadership Programme by creating ‘Satellite Schools’ in schools where leaders have gone through the Instructional Leadership Programme.  These satellite schools host 10 other nearby schools and, over a 12-month period, are supported by the Varkey Foundation with school improvement activities, further professional development and to build professional learning networks.
  3. Saturday Workshops:  Every second Saturday of the school term, the Varkey Foundation delivers a 3-hour workshop to School Leaders, based on based analysis of school needs taken from the field and building on the content from the initial 5-day programme.
  4. Saturation of training across whole counties and sub-counties:  The Varkey Foundation remains until all sub- county schools are all trained (saturated).  This has proven particularly effective, both practically, and to ensure good practice is embedded throughout a geographical area. The Varkey Foundation also provides training to District and County DEOs/CCTs/NGOs who can support the training by applying pressure at school-level and monitoring impact.

The Varkey Foundation has been delivering an Instructional Leadership programme for headteachers and senior leaders across Uganda since May 2013. The programme has now impacted on over 25,000 Ugandan teachers.

Read the Challenge Fund case study on Teach for Uganda here


Amuru is a district still recovering from war and VFs intervention has rekindled our teachers hearts. The intervention has improved the quality of our teachers and we are seeing real impact in our schools. We are now sure that our children are learning, they are enjoying class more and student/teacher attendance has improved. The VF intervention has ensured that there is impact in the most important place- the classroom.’

Lanyero Joyce -  Senior Education Officer, Amuru District

‘We have attended many workshops, usually, when we go back to the rooms, we discuss issues of transport refund, what we left at home….., but at this workshop, when we go back to our rooms, we discuss what we have learned during the day and how we can take this back into our schools . This workshop is truly different from any we have ever attended’

Otim Bismarck – Teacher Nwoya District

Providing vocational teacher training to improve children’s quality of learning.
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