Newsletter 31 School Leadership
Seven strong claims about successful school leadership by Kenneth Leithwood, Christopher Day, Pam Sammons, Alma Harris and David Hopkins
This is a summary of the key findings of a review of literature undertaken by the authors as a point of departure for a large-scale empirical study organised around what we refer to as ‘strong claims’ about successful school leadership.
1. School leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning.
2. Almost all successful leaders draw on the same repertoire of basic leadership practices.
3. The ways in which leaders apply these basic leadership practices – not the practices themselves – demonstrate responsiveness to, rather than dictation by, the contexts in which they work.
4. School leaders improve teaching and learning indirectly and most powerfully through their influence on staff motivation, commitment and working conditions.
5. School leadership has a greater influence on schools and students when it is widely distributed.
6. Some patterns of distribution are more effective than others.
7. A small handful of personal traits explains a high proportion of the variation in leadership effectiveness.
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