Day, C. et al. (2000) Leading Schools in Times of Change. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. PP 158-178

Search Key words; School improvement, leadership, ethics, values, vision, school improvement.

Day (2000) considers the characteristics of effective leadership from twelve headteacher and the relationship between leadership and school improvement. Day (2009) also explores past and future models of leadership.

  • Firstly, school leadership in the late 1990’s in all countries has become increasingly complex with demands upon schools and to expect results in short timescales. This puts pressure on individual institutions and therefore headteachers. Headteachers being accountable for the performance of their school and to improve their school through measurable ways.
  • Dominant discourse of leadership is a mixture of ‘old managerialism’ by direct control and people centred management, ‘new managerialism’.

Leadership and School Culture

Schools that have been effective and have the capacity to improve their staff are led by headteachers who make a ‘measurable contribution to the effectiveness of their staff.’ Transformational leadership focus on moral values and how this is disclosed to others.

  • use power with or through other people rather than exercising control
  • Giving others real responsibility and developing others ‘best mode’ to move organization forward
  • relinquishing the idea of structure as control but replacing it with building the learning capacities of others

Self governance schools have resulted in a greater divide between ‘leaders’ and ‘followers’. So major challenge is to break down this barrier. Strong framework for teamwork and participation in decision making. This however created ongoing tensions which has to be managed and mediated. Morality, emotion and social bonds provide far more powerful ways to motivation and commitment. This can be obtained by encouraging staff in discussion about values and beliefs as well as decision making processes, emphasising mutual respect and providing support.

Post Transformational Leadership : a values led contingency model

Governments have imposed policies which are economic approach to management. These heads are operating differently with these pressures and are more concerned with ensuring their schools are caring, focused and inquiring communities.

Two most important findings –

  • effective leaders are constantly and consistently managing several competing tensions and dilemmas
  • effective leaders are above all people centred – people make the difference between success and failure

Explains the four ‘ranked’ models of ‘competing values’ framework that will have an effective upon performance.  These leaders must have the ability to read and adjust to the set of circumstances they face. Adapting strategies and tactics but not values to unanticipated events and new demands.