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Journal cover: Journal of Educational Administration

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Online from: 1963

Subject Area: Education

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Principal leadership for outstanding educational outcomes


Document Information:
Title:Principal leadership for outstanding educational outcomes
Author(s):Stephen Dinham, (Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Citation:Stephen Dinham, (2005) "Principal leadership for outstanding educational outcomes", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 43 Iss: 4, pp.338 - 356
Keywords:Australia, Leadership, Principals, Research, Secondary education
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09578230510605405 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – Aims to explore the role of Principals in producing outstanding education outcomes in Years 7 to 10 in New South Wales (Australia) government schools.

Design/methodology/approach – Sites where “outstanding” educational outcomes were believed to be occurring were selected using a variety of data including performance in standardised tests, public examinations, various value added measures and nominations from various stakeholders. Sites were of two types: subject departments responsible for teaching certain subjects and teams responsible for cross-school programs in Years 7 to 10. Sites were selected to be broadly representative. Some schools had more than one site, e.g. Mathematics and Student Welfare. A total of 50 sites across NSW from 38 secondary schools were studied.

Findings – With both subject departments and teams responsible for cross-school programs, leadership was found to be a key factor in the achievement of outstanding educational outcomes. Often, this leadership was exercised by the Principal, but additional key personnel included Head Teachers (heads of faculties/departments), Deputy Principals, and teachers playing leading roles in faculties and programs. Analysis of data revealed certain attributes and practices of the Principals of these schools, which are explored, central to which is a focus on students and their learning.

Research limitations/implications – Principals were those of secondary schools from one educational system. Other papers will explore the role of leaders such as Heads of Department, Deputy Principals and teacher leaders.

Practical implications – This article has implications for principal selection, training, appraisal and professional development.

Originality/value – Detailed case studies have provided an examination of leadership effectiveness in a wide range of contexts, which much commonality confirmed.



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