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Types of Leadership in Primary School

Leadership is a significant element that reinforces the commitments and energies of pupils, parents and the school’s staff. Additionally, the purpose of leadership is to provide a clear direction that enables the school to work and develop.

The management’s role is to ensure that the administrative and organizational functions in the schools are executed properly.  To achieve this, the management expertise must be complemented with effective leadership skills.  On the other hand, if the day to day management expertise does not incorporate effective leadership styles, then the school’s goals and vision become unattainable.

In this research proposal, various leadership styles will be identified.  The proposed study intends to identify the leadership models that offer the most positive impact on the performance of primary schools.    The identified styles will be recommended to all the principals and other stakeholders in primary schools, so that performance and good relations is enhanced in schools.

Primary schools are a foundational stage in which the pupils are given a foundation for the educational and social life and therefore proper management at this stage is crucial.  The study will incorporate both primary and secondary research to determine the various leadership styles and how they impact performance of primary school organizations.

1.0.  Literature Review

Substantial studies agree that effective leadership is important in schools (Rhodes & Brundrett, 2006; Rutherford, 2005).  According to Estyn (2001) effective leadership and management by governors, head teachers and the school staff are key components in enabling high standards of the educational achievement of the pupils as well as the improvement of the school.

The school’s headteacher particularly needs to have outstanding leadership skills in order to secure the success or improvement of the school.  Estyn (2001) identifies the features of good practice and that important areas of leadership and management in primary schools include the operational planning of the school’s vision and strategy.  Other areas include management and leadership in teaching and learning, managing and leading the staff, and the efficient and effective deployment of the school’s staff and resources.

Rutherford (2005) like Estyn (2001) argues that the headteacher’s leadership styles can make a dramatic difference in raising the school’s standards. Rutherford (2005) challenges some of the previous studies that have stated that the headteacher’s role has little and indirect influence on the pupils’ four outcome aspects-achievement, behaviour, attitude, and recruitment.

Rutherford (2005) points to the consistency of the UK government and other agencies in reinforcing quality leadership skills in school heads, and suggest that this is efficient evidence to show that the headteacher’s leadership role is crucial.

On the other hand, Rutherford (2005) blames the initiatives of both the Conservative government and the Labour government to bring frenetic change to the school’s system without letting the school’s heads have proper time to approve the implementation of the policies.  In line with this, the Observer (2002) reports of the lack of faith in the hastily introduced A-level system in which the teachers and examiners were not given sufficient guidance, leading to nationwide performances that were termed scandalous.

Moreover, an issue flared in which the former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s act of hiring private tutors for his students was seen as a lack of trust in the UK’s education system.  Importantly, the Observer (2002) suggested that the scandalous performance would not have happened if the Prime Minister did not make education an individualized obsession but instead should have mostly involved the teachers.

Mahieu and Clycq (2007) conducted a study to establish the impact of good practices in three primary schools Belgium’s city-Antwerp. An interview was conducted to and the responses analyzed at three levels-classrooms, school, and public.

The study also considered the Flemish legislation of schools’ requirements. Despite all the requirements of compulsory and quality education for all students, it was found out that governmental recognition and fund support would enhance the management of schools for better performances.

Spillance (2005) identifies the area of teaching and learning as one that needs outstanding leadership skills.  Importantly, the author acclaims that as much as leadership in this area is targeted for the output, unitary or monolithic practices should cease being the ideal leadership strategies to enhance performance.

Spillance (2005) further argues that the relationship between school leadership and the school subject are not clearly understood because studies on leadership treat teaching as an undifferentiated construct.  Conclusively, Spillance (2005) suggests that a distributed leadership model involves a more in-depth analysis of various areas in the primary education.

There could either be a growing homogeneity or differences in managerial and market trends of educational policies. According to Webb, Vulliamy, Sarja, and Hamalainen (2006) homogeneity in educational practices are as a result of globalization.

However, a glocalization effect occurs when various localities have different governmental educational policies.  All the same, Webb, et al. (2006) recommends management of educational reform through collegial working relationships globally.  Similarly to Spillance (2005), Webb, et al. (2006) also  suggest that distributed leadership tactics and treatment of schools as working organizations promote good leadership and this will lead to  good performance of schools worldwide.

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