School leadership and student outcomes: what do we know?

Autor(es): Bush, Tony

Date: 2024

Pages: p. 3-5

Serie: Educational Management Administration & Leadership

Series Volume: 52, 1 (2024)

The impact of school leadership on student outcomes is an important aspect of educational research, policy and practice. The assumption that high-quality leadership contributes significantly to enhanced school and student outcomes is well supported by research. This vital theme underpins the articles in this issue of EMAL. Cheng Yong Tan, Clive Dimmock and Allan Walker examined a large corpus of literature to explore the associations between school leadership practices and student outcomes in different school contexts. Sedat Gumus and his colleagues extend the discussion of leadership and student outcomes to consider whether and how principal qualifications impact on student achievement. Yanzheng Li and Zorka Karanxha examine the relationship between one specific model (transformational leadership) and student achievement. While most studies use the school as the unit of analysis, Huang Wu and colleagues examine the links between school-to-school collaboration and student achievement, drawing on data from 76 schools within 52 US districts. Hilde Forgang and Jan Paulsen address the links between leaders’ core practices and student achievement in high- and low-performing rural schools in Norway. Alireza Tamadoni and colleagues examine the contextual challenges facing school principals through a systematic review of 169 studies found in the Scopus, Web of Science and ERIC databases. An important practical aspect of leadership is attending meetings. Gopal Midha argues that they comprise the largest percentage of principal time. The author provides a systematic review of literature on principal meetings, drawn from 62 academic journal articles and book chapters. Displaced children also create challenges for education systems. Brian Vassallo examines this phenomenon in respect of Malta, an island state located between Europe and Africa. He does so through a single case study of a school experiencing demographic change. Conflict also has implications for school leadership within the affected country, as noted by Thida Kheang with respect to Cambodia. There is ample evidence that senior school leadership can be very stressful. Reported long hours, coupled with the growing complexity of the role, were further exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, to create a ‘perfect storm’ of personal and professional pressures. Stuart Scott, Caroline Limbert and Peter Sykes investigate this issue through a survey of all headteachers in Wales. Workload stress is a significant example of the emotional aspects of school leadership. Matias Sanfuentes and his colleagues examine the emotional implications of implementing public education reform in Chile. Jacqueline Baxter and Katharine Jewitt report on the governance structures arising from the emergence and rapid growth of multi-academy trusts (MATs) in England. These trusts comprise groups of schools, with multi-level governance arrangements, set out in schemes of delegation. 

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