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Effective School Leadership

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“You have to take people with you, you can’t be bullish. You have got to build collaboration

and get people to work together.”

- Sir David Carter

School Leadership in its essence is done in a variety of strategies and methods

which school administrators deem efficient, timely and appropriate for the institution and

to the learners especially. Moreover, the characteristics of effective school leaders, who

are the frontiers of school governance, cannot be handpicked and laid down effortlessly

like picking rocks from sand. It involves a great deal of sifting and comparing of

educational leadership and practices throughout the world.

In the set of characteristics, identified by Professors David Woods and Chris

Husbands and Dr. Chris Brown, which is believed to be shared by successful school

leaders, one could see that student progress and self-development were given much

emphasis whilst leaders set high expectations of success for their students. Community

partnership is also unequivocally considered by effective leaders since they build not only

a classroom-based knowledge for their individual pupils but also a wide range of

opportunities to support learning within and out of the classroom. These eight

characteristics identified by the Institute of Education (IoE) academics are exact positive

attributes of a school leader. However, the numerous ways school leaders could exhibit

effective school leadership does not end there.


Sir David Carter, chief executive of Cabot Learning Federation, has his own

additional qualities, which may be implicit to the given eight characteristics in the IoE list,

but is nonetheless crucial to successful school leadership. Among these are the balance

of strategic and operational roles and ability to manage change and understand how it

works, talent spotting, sense of moral purpose. Among these three additional attributes, I

believe talent spotting could be a lot more effective. Groping for strengths and

weaknesses among the personnel and teaching staff and using these information to get

people to their right roles, could make a great impact in introducing and implementing

change in an institution.

In totality, for leaders to uphold their authority and influence, and to pave a way for

an effective school leadership, they must possess a high level of emotional intelligence

and exercise their interpersonal skills. After all, the magic of making people do what you

want them to lies in your ability to persuade them rather than how you direct them. As the

words of Sir David Carter, “…you can’t be bullish… you have to get people to work