Shared leadership : building productive relationships
Effective leadership in schools has always been crucial for effective teaching and learning but, in the present political climate, leadership in schools matters more than ever. The demands on leadership are increasing: social change, standardisation and accountability, parental expectations, constant pressure for student achievement, and the ever-changing knowledge base on which learning is built, all have an enormous impact on schools. As a consequence, school leaders must be able to build capacity in themselves and others to respond swiftly, knowledgeably and responsibly, to the constant currents of uncertainty and change. The inclusion of people other than the principal in decision-making, power-sharing and leadership has been advocated by a number of writers; some call it distributed leadership, others say teacher leadership, or parallel leadership. Whatever you call it, the concept of sharing leadership is foundational to the sustainability of leaders. If schools are to survive and thrive they must develop the leadership capabilities of everyone in the organisation, thus building the capacity of the organisation as a whole. [Author abstract, ed]
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