Leadership and Managements Influence on effective schools
Leadership and management have a major influence on improving and maintaining the fit environment and any other crucial elements for making a good school. Most researchers consider that effective leadership is the most important factor in creating a good school. For example, Fulan (2003) quoted in Brighouse and Woods (2008) says, ‘leadership is to the current decade what standards were to the 1990s for those interested in large-scale reform, even when well implemented, can take us only part way to large-scale reform. It is only leadership that can take us all the way’. So in this assignment there will be a fairly broad explanation of the concepts of leadership and management and their crucial roles in creating an effective school. I will mention some examples of leaders I have met in some schools where I worked in Egypt.
Many researchers believe that successful leaders can manage change efficiently in their schools to achieve success and effectiveness. They have an essential role in each one of the other essential factors of creating the good school beginning from stating a vision for the present and the future. I will refer briefly to the vision of education in Egypt. It is a national vision for achieving quality in Egyptian schools. Also I will stress on the shared values among the school community and the importance of a fit climate from all aspects in creating a good school and the role of leadership in this process. I will show the significant role of the quality of teaching and learning for producing effective education, in addition to using assessment for learning rather than just of learning.
Another factor of a good school is the continuous staff development including teachers and non-teachers for ensuring high individual proficiency for every one in the school. Self-evaluation and critical review for individuals and the whole school also are very essential to ensure high achievement and high quality education in the school. Moreover, involving parents and community is a significant component of the successful school. It can contribute to support and improve the school. All of these elements if accomplished co-coordinately and effectively by effective leaders, there will be an environment in which effective education can flourish the good school.
What is a good school and what is the role of leadership and management in making it successful?
Defining the good school can not be from one perspective, high achievement for example. A good school is the school that, in addition to achieving excellent results, has a high reputation. It is a beautiful and happy school. Every pupil and member of staff likes it, where every body finds the safe and fit climate to learn or work. It prepares pupils to be well-educated and useful citizens in the future for themselves and for the society. In this sense, Higham, Hopkins and Matthews, (2009) state;
Ask schools about the purpose of education and almost all will talk about fulfilling each student’s potential. Ask how and most will set out a vision of a healthy mix of knowledge, skills and qualifications, the well-being of every child and their preparation for adult life.
So successful school tries to achieve high quality education for pupils to have a good learning and gain the required knowledge and skills. This enables them to get good positions and have a decent life in the future. Then, they will be beneficial for the whole community.
There are main factors must be provided and integrated together to create the successful school. The most important of them is the effective leadership and management, which plays the major role in this process.
Leadership and management in schools
Leadership and management in schools have been defined in various ways by many researchers. They handled them from perspectives of the differences between them. For example, one definition by Team Technology (1995) states that, ‘Leadership is stating a new vision for an organisation and a leader is the head for that new direction, while management directs people and resources in this organisation according to rules and regulations that have already been established’.
So to show the difference between leadership and management, we should see what may happen when we have one without the other. If there is a leadership without management, this will establish a vision that the members of the school follow without realising to what extent it will be fulfilled, then they will struggle to make it succeed. While, if there is a management without leadership, it will direct resources to ensure that all tasks are done according to plans and regulations. But when leadership and management are integrated together, the resources will be managed well for achieving the stated vision. (Team Technology, 1995).
This view is acceptable because in schools, the headteacher should not be just a manager who only manages resources and applies rules. He should be a leader who states a vision for the school, inspires and motivates others, exploits every possible resource and involves his managers for accomplishing this vision.
Another definition, by Maurik (2001) quoted in Brighouse and Woods (2008). He argues that, ‘there is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership is for the spirit, compounded of personality and vision; its practice is an art, management is of the mind, a matter of accurate calculation; its practice is a science. Managers are necessary; leaders are essential’. This definition, also considers that effective leaders state a vision for the school and direct the way for achieving it on the ground. While managers manage resources to accomplish this stated vision. So, obviously there are some differences between the two concepts in particular features; however both of them are very important in running schools. As a result they should complement each other and combined together for creating the good school.
Effective leadership and management are considered the most fundamental component in the effectiveness of schools and education in general. But some researchers believe that leadership relies on personal talents and skills of leaders. (Bennet, Crawford and Cartwright, 2003). This view is fairly accepted because it is thought by many people that most success is created by talented leaders who use their excellent skills in managing their organisations. They exploit any human or material resource efficiently for achieving effectiveness and success.
On the other hand, there are other researchers believe that leadership is a task in the institutional environment, which is perhaps done by a certain member or more in the organisation. So leadership is considered a flexible concept; an organisational quality, which depends on individual experience, or on an individual’s formal position in the organisation. (Bennet et al, 2003).
Effective leadership is very crucial in school. It can be seen obviously across ages that great leaders made the history. They changed our lives positively in different fields. This is the same thing in education, successful leaders in educational organisations, specifically in schools; lead their schools to success. Effective leader takes on his shoulder the burden of achieving success, and feels this is his mission and responsibility. So such a leader devotes himself for his vision. He is sincere, trusted and strong, and does not just seek private benefits or personal glory.
Developing leadership and management
It is essential for understanding institutional effectiveness to appreciate the difference between leadership and management and how they are developed. Management is seen just as doing things right and leadership as doing the right things. Effective leader can combine the couple groups of skills appropriately in difficult situations. Also he has the talents that enable him to manage and organise himself effectively. This is the basis for his effectiveness as a leader. The skills can be learned if the leader is motivated and prepared to devote time to determine and make crucial changes in his behaviour. (DfEE, 2000).
There are different styles of leadership, leaders can use and vary between them according to the situation to achieve success, such as; autocratic leadership, bureaucratic leadership, charismatic leadership, democratic leadership, laissez-faire leadership, people-oriented leadership, servant leadership, task-oriented leadership, transactional leadership and transformational leadership. (Mind Tools, 2009). I will briefly compare the last two of them and their impact on creating a good school.
Transactional and transformational leadership
As mentioned earlier there are many styles of leadership; some of them are preferred and more effective than others in running schools. For instance, Bear, Crawwell and Millikan (1991) believe that the educational leadership should be transformational rather than transactional. Leadership is transformational and democratic in many examples, namely, there is a simple replace of one thing for another, for example, parents and pupils happy in the case of a head and teaching staff. The transformational leader responds to the members’ demands, however, he searches for possible talents and motives in those members, tries to satisfy higher needs and engages them in the process of leadership.
The transformational leader is democratic in his management. He concentrates on human resources and achieving the long-term vision of the school by managing all possible resources and efforts for this goal. He leads the direction to implement success. He is flexible and engages all the staff in the process of decision-making, while the transactional leader is an autocratic manager. He is stubborn and strict in applying rules and only having all the tasks done on time. His vision is limited and he does not encourage others to share in making decisions.
Most of teachers prefer the democratic leadership because it encourages cooperation, respect and self-esteem among the staff. It makes every member do his best for achieving high performance and excellence in the school. This is because every individual feels that success is the responsibility of all as a result of being engaged in the process of decision-making by the democratic leader.
There is another type of leadership called distributed leadership. It involves much democracy and sharing opinions in the process of solving problems, decision-making and managing the school. It is defined as a type of cooperative leadership, where teachers who collaborate together can develop their experience. So the responsibility is not on one only, but it is distributed on all the school community. The key feature of distributed leadership is the cooperation and team work, where teacher leaders can collaborate with other teachers to achieve the desired objectives. So distributed leadership may contribute to improve and develop the school as internal authority for change and effectiveness. (Harries, 2004).
I remember when I was a student in the secondary stage in Egypt, the school then was managed by a very strong headteacher. I mean a leader not just a headteacher. He had a very strong personality, as the leader should be. Every one; a teacher, a non-teacher, a student or a parent respected him. He, in fact, was strict in applying rules, but this was a kind of varying his way of leadership according to the current situation. However, he was a democratic leader in general. He was involving teachers and parents in making decisions. He had valuable objectives for his vision. He wanted the school to be competitive to other famous successful schools. He wanted students, teachers and all the staff to love the school. It was really to far extent a successful school. But after few years when I left this stage, other headteachers managed that school, but they were rather weak leaders as a result the school gradually missed its fame and no longer became successful as it was before. So the leader should always set the vision for others to follow after him.
Another example from my experience in teaching, I worked in two schools, the first one was a middle school, where I worked for one year. It was a small rural school of 150 pupils. The headteacher was a weak and bureaucratic leader; he wanted to have all the jobs done as regular every day. However he was a good man, but because the school was an afternoon-period, he was only staying in the school for the first two periods. Then he was leaving the school letting the oldest teacher run it the rest of the day. In fact, he was not an active or effective leader. As a result that oldest teacher was considered the actual headteacher of the school, although he was not much respected by the staff. This led to that the school was not a good one. So there were conflicts among the staff and the headteacher, instead of overcoming this, he was trying to let the members of the staff dispute with each other to compensate his weakness in personality and managing the school. Therefore I tried to leave this school and go to another one.
In the next school, where I worked, there was a headteacher, in fact he had a strong personality and a good administrative experience. He was much more a manager than a leader. He tried as a bureaucratic leader to follow rules, routines and to have all tasks done as usual. But on the other hand, it was thought by many of the staff members that he was not very wise in running financial matters. The school was a productive one, as it was a technical industrial school. It had a department for ready- made clothes, which was producing products and displaying them for sale. Here was the problem, where every year the budget, the expenses and the incomes were not spent in a proper way for improving and developing the buildings and facilitates of the school. So the head must be very wise and intelligent in his management and seeks the general benefit not just his private one.
The role of leaders in managing change for improving schools
It is thought by many researchers that change is inevitable. It must happen across time because every thing is changeable in the world. Every thing grows and develops. There are always new in every field. So all organisations, including schools, should anticipate continuous change and prepare to cope with it. Effective leaders manage change to utilise from it and achieve development and improvement for their schools.
Change does not occur suddenly. But it may develop from minor and accumulated changes to major ones. It also needs time to be fulfilled. So schools will develop to be future schools, and to be different things, but they will be related to today’s schools. Here the change takes place. Hence, it is considered a growing change that very probably will prevail in the future. (Leithwood, Jantzi and Steinback, 1999).
Change has some aspects in schools and education, Brighouse and Woods (2008) for example argue that while visiting libraries was not easy in the past, the internet now is available for every body to get information and knowledge easily. The teacher is no longer the only provider of knowledge. Now he is a facilitator and developer of pupils’ learning, skills and values. So the teacher today knows that he should improve his practices.
Therefore, schools change regularly, coping with reality in order to improve and achieve success and effectiveness. But effective leaders should perceive what needs to be changed and why. Beerel (2009) stresses this, when she states that; ‘the change process begins with why and what needs to change and continues right to the executions and implementation of change’. School leaders, consequently, should be very careful when managing change, especially complex ones. They should understand the new changes and select the best from them, they, then engage the whole school community to manage and adapt to the new aspects of change.
Changes in a school should not contradict with its vision and direction. Preedy, Glatter and Wise (2003) stress this stating that leaders must be effective in managing complex change. They should make a balance between the external changes and the standards and goals of the school. Therefore, this requires a strategic overview of the direction of the school, and then leaders can plan the future of the school in the most appropriate and effective method.
Across ages, there are always necessary major changes in the education system. There are, and still will be, newer policies, curriculums, methodologies, or educational theories. That is, in addition to scientific and technological developments, this requires effective leaders who are able to deal with changes and make use of them effectively. Such changes, as Whitaker (1993) states; may cause confusion in the educational system. So, leadership in schools is very important, where the leaders are capable of developing the educational experience. They can inspire and motivate members of the school community to increase their abilities to adjust and adapt to new changes and conditions. When this happens efficiently, then the school will be able to achieve development and improvement in the future.
The clear vision and shared values
First of all, effective leaders reflect and state a vision for the school for the future. They always try to remind all the staff about this vision in the meetings and assemblies. Furthermore, they involve teachers, non-teachers, senior pupils and parents in stating and updating the vision. (Brighouse, 2006). This ensures a complete agreement. Then all of those feel that they share in the process of decision-making from the beginning. As a result all members in the school do their best to achieve the stated vision and the mission of the school.
The school community has shared values, where every one considers that success is not just the leader’s responsibility, but it is the responsibility of all. The school states a system for using formative and self- assessment for learning not just of learning. Moreover, the school makes sure that all pupils realise that education is a lifelong and continuous. The successful leader is able to let all the school community appreciates these values and relates them to the mission statement. Then, every one in the school seeks the highest levels of achievement and improvement for all. For pupils, they know well that there are no borders for their efforts. In the school, there is always mutual respect among all staff and pupils. Every one is involved in the achievement of others and in the full success of the school. All members of the school community exert their efforts for the continuous learning for themselves and for others. The effective leader facilitates these goals and supports love of learning, achievement and success. (Brighouse, 2006).
In Egypt, in fact, the vision for education and all schools in general, is stated by authorities. For instance, in the guide of ‘the Quality of Egyptian Schools’, the Egyptian Ministry of Education declares that;
the vision of Pre-University Education as; it is up to the Ministry of Education to ensure high quality education for all; as one of the fundamental human rights, within a decentralised system based on community participation. And that the education in Egypt should be a pioneering model in the region, working on preparing citizens for the society of knowledge under a new social contract based on democracy, justice and a permanent passage for the future. Therefore, all elements of the input in the educational process should coordinate and employ effectively to reach the output of highly competitive ability at the local, regional and global levels while preserving the constant values of the nation.
(Suleiman and Abdel-Aziz, 2006).
This vision statement is fascinating, but it is just at the theoretical level. How can it be achieved on the ground? Today in Egypt, the majority think that reality is not satisfactory. The reform of education and achieving such a vision needs radical changes from the top, in leaders, policies, curriculums and methodologies. Nevertheless, the project of Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education is a new form of this reform. It has already begun to be achieved on the ground in many schools but it needs time, effective and strong leaders to manage change and resources to fulfill the desired goals and generalising the quality in all Egyptian schools.
Fit climate in schools
Creating a fit climate is very important for the success of a school. There are many aspects of a fit climate; physical, visual, aural and behavioural aspects. First of all the school should be in a quiet area far from noise and crowd but also not far from pupils and staff’s residences. The buildings should be well-organised and beautiful from inside and outside. There should be enough numbers of wide classrooms of maximum twenty pupils, equipped with all necessary chairs, desks, cupboards, hangers and all ICT tools for facilitating teaching and learning. There should be wide corridors and communal areas for the smooth of movement in addition to assembly rooms for meetings and a small theatre for shows and hounoring celebrations.
All of dining rooms, sufficient rooms for teachers and staff, a big hall for reception and waiting area are necessary. Also there should be a big library with many PCs and quiet rooms for study. That is in addition to many IT rooms for study and research. The science lab should be provided with all modern equipments and appliances for experiments. Nice lavatories are very important. There should be plenty of them in each floor. The playgrounds should be vast and have a lot of green pitches and courts for different sports. Wall displays too are important. They should include time tables, charts and maps of school buildings and signs for directions. Posters also should show the school policies and standards about order and daily routines for both staff and pupils. Models of pupils’ works and hourning boards should be displayed as well.
Unfortunately, a lot of these things are lacking in Egyptian schools because of the shortage of resources and funding which is a problem for many developing countries except in private and some experimental schools where these facilities are fairly provided because a lot of fees are charged from pupils.
Here, comes the role of the leader. He must make use of every penny from the budget. He should try to make, if needed, annual improvements or reforms in the school buildings. He can consult members of the staff and make priorities of the urgent demands. The good leader is honest and trusted. Also he is very efficient and practical in dealing with financial matters. But the leader may not find sufficient resources as in most of Egyptian schools because of, as mentioned earlier, the shortage of budgets. However, the intelligent leader can think of additional resources. He might involve staff, pupils and parents in this matter. Some headteachers in Egypt ask for volunteering donations and contributions from rich parents or charity societies. Others may make a small canteen inside the school and appoint one member from the staff to run it as an additional task. It sells foods, drinks and stationery for staff and pupils. Then the incomes contribute to raise the budget of the school
Brighouse and Woods (2008) argue that the aural climate is very important in the school, where classrooms and most of areas should be carpeted, calm music are played during lunch hour by either pupils or using a DJ. But lunch hours are not available in most of Egyptian schools. There is just a break and only in kindergartens and some primary schools, biscuits are distributed to pupils in a limited time.
For the behaviour of both staff and pupils, as discussed earlier, the spirit of mutual respect among staff and pupils should prevail in the school. There should be something like general document in the school, which stated by the leader with the assistance of his deputies and senior teachers. All of staff too should share with their views in this process. This document determines the rules, the ethos, the responsibilities and the relationships in the school. (Brighouse, 2006). It should be agreed with by all the staff, where every member acts and reacts according to these shared values. Cooperation and support should be the common behaviour among the school community. The headteacher or the leader should allow all members of the staff to share their opinions in the process of making decisions. Also a system of rewards and sanctions for both staff and pupils needs to be shown and known by every one. Now it can said that all these aspects of a fit climate in the school should be integrated together by effective leader and his managers to achieve excellence in the process of education and making the school a successful one. Also Brighouse and Woods, (2008) argue that;
School climate is more than the aural or the visual. It is caught in the corridors; in the way people behave one to another, in doors that are held open or closed carelessly in your face, in adults and members of the staff who have the time for a snatched smile or a chat with passing students or pass unblinking or un-recognising a fellow member of the community.
Furthermore, it is thought that the most important thing in the climate of the school is that every one, either from staff or pupils should feel that the school is one integrated body, where every one feels respect and safety in it. Then every body will consider that the success of the school is his or her responsibility. In the fit environment pupils should be dealt with well and involved in all the activities of the school because they are our wealth. All try to make the good school for them to achieve success and have effective education.
Managing teaching, learning and assessment
All of teaching, learning and assessment have a great influence on the effectiveness of the educational process. They are the basis of the daily life of the school. If they are managed efficiently by leaders and all staff, they will contribute to make a good school and achieve excellent education. Brighouse (2006) stresses the importance of these factors stating that; ‘at the heart of any really successful school is teaching, which leads to learning. Ultimately, after the successful assessment of work by the teacher, it enables the pupils to assess their own work, as they become increasingly autonomous’.
Effective teaching is very important in schools because it leads to effective learning. Consequently, this will result in high achievement for pupils, which is considered a major factor of the good school. Where, ‘a focus on achievement for every pupil is probably the most valuable attribute of a high performing school’. (Taylor and Ryan, 2005). So effective leaders should ensure good teaching in their schools. This can be achieved if firstly, they are as insistent as possible on appointing good qualified teachers in the school. Then, they should always encourage and support teachers to improve their practices by continuous professional development. Leaders can enrol them in training and professional development programmes.
There are a lot for teachers to enhance their teaching, for example Brighouse (2006) argues that teachers should always talk about teaching. They should observe each others. They also need to plan, organise and evaluate their practices. Teachers can even teach each others for increasing their experience and improving their teaching.
Effective leader also should have the ability to attract and retain good teachers. This can be achieved by providing teaching assistants and supporting staff to assist expert teachers in doing daily routines such as; registering attendance, photocopying, marking, seating pupils or working with groups of pupils and low attainers. This provides more time and effort for teachers to teach better and to be retained in the school. (Taylor and Ryan, 2005).
Teachers should always use effective methods and strategies in teaching such as; explaining, modelling, questioning, role-playing and telling stories. They should vary among these strategies. They should use ICT tools for enhancing both of their teaching and pupils’ learning. In my teaching, for example I always try to improve my practices by over preparation; good lesson planning and further readings. Furthermore, I usually talk with my colleagues about our teaching, what and how to teach and how to deal with certain or problematic situations in classrooms. I sometimes ask some colleagues to observe them during their teaching. Also, when a supervisor or a senior teacher observes me, I ask them for feed back and recommendations to improve my teaching.
When effective teaching, suitable methods and a good climate are provided by effective leader and his managers and teachers in the school, then, there will be effective learning. Dimmock (1993) confirms this stating that; ‘it is suggested that four sets of factors exert a strong influence on student learning: the method by which students are expected to learn; the quality of teaching; a supportive learning climate; and a quality curriculum….’ So pupils need good teaching, good curriculums and a safe and fit environment to learn well.
Assessment is another crucial factor in the educational system which can have a strong influence on the effectiveness of schools. Assessment should be for learning not just of learning. (Brighouse and Woods, 2008). It should not be limited on marking or grading of formal examinations. There should be a policy of assessment in the school stated by the leader and senior staff members but it does not contradict with the formal national criteria for assessing pupils’ performance and achievement.
There should be a variety of assessment tools such as; pupils assess themselves, by for example, comparing their work with the teacher’s model. They can assess their progress by comparing their present learning and performance with the stated standards of achievement. Peer –assessment is also a good tool for pupils to assess each other’s performance and progress.
Formative and summative assessments should be used and integrated together to assess pupils. Formative assessments are continuous assessments during teaching and learning. They include various ways such as; observations, questions, discussions and portfolios. They are used to check pupils’ understanding and give feedback for teachers about their effectiveness in teaching. This enables them to monitor pupils’ learning and improve their teaching practices as well. Additionally, formative assessments provide pupils with feedback about their performance and progress. This also enables them to enhance their learning.
Summative assessments are essential too for formal assessment of pupils’ achievement. They usually are in the form of state examinations. They, in combination with informal assessments, help in evaluating the performance of the school. This assists it in continuous development and improvement. Also, Brighouse (2006) states that assessment should be for learning and it is mainly marking pupils’ work which has many forms such as; marking by peers, self marking, by computers, by teachers or by support staff. These assessments give feedback and reports for pupils themselves and for parents as well to know their children’s progress. Overall, formal and informal assessments of performance and achievement are very important in enhancing pupils’ learning and increasing the effectiveness of schools.
Continuing professional development
Continuing professional development for both teachers and non- teachers is very important in enhancing their performance and experience. This contributes to improve the effectiveness of pupils’ learning and high achievement. Therefore, school leaders should encourage, not only teachers but support staff as well, to develop themselves continuously. Teachers should develop their teaching and skills individually by further readings, study and research making use of the internet and specialised books and researches. This develops their knowledge, information and skills.
On the other side, school leaders, cooperating with authorities, should provide training programmes and workshops for teachers and support staff. They may make awards and incentives for encouraging all to join these programmes. Here, Dimmock (1993) argues that effective school needs to develop continuous professional development based on its vision and supported by available resources. Dimmock (1993) adds that the staff should share in choosing the professional development activities. And for those who are reluctant to engage in training programmes, they should be obliged to attend workshops to share information after the end of these programmes.
Successful leaders always do their best in creating a desire and energy in the staff members to be continuous learners and develop their professionalism and competence. They also try to learn leadership at all levels and share their experiences together. All of these contribute to improving the performance and the success of school. (Brighouse and Woods, 2008).
In Egypt now there are many professional development programmes such as; the training programme for enhancing education. This programme includes both teachers and support staff like; librarians and social workers. They learn new curriculums, methodologies and using ICT tools for example. There are also courses for teachers in the centres of video conferences for nearly the same purposes. These trainings are led by educational experts, professors or senior supervisors. I once attended a video conference training of new English curriculum for the preparatory first year. It was really useful for my practice. Also, there are intensive ECDL training programmes for all teachers and non-teachers. They have become obligatory for new applicants for teaching jobs. Finally, the missions of Egyptian teachers have being sent to UK, France and USA for many years. All of these assist in the continuous professional development of Egyptian teachers.
Self-evaluation and critical review of the school
Many researchers have stressed the importance of school-self evaluation in its improvement and success. It is defined simply by Scheerens’defintion (2002);’…as the type of internal school evaluation where the professionals that carry out the programme or core service of organisation (i.e. teachers and headteachers) carry out the evaluation in their own organisation (i.e. the school). So school leaders and the whole school community evaluate the performance of the school. This evaluation includes pupils’ achievement, teachers and non-teachers’ performance and the progress of the whole school according to its stated mission and the national standards of education. Good school leaders make their schools take the responsibility for reflecting critically on their performance. Then they have self-accountability of enhancing pupils’ education. Therefore, self-evaluation helps in the process of school development and improvement. (Brighouse and Woods, 2008). (
Good leaders engage all teachers, support staff, pupils and parents in evaluating the school. That is in addition to formal evaluation by specialised authorities. The data about school strengths and weaknesses are collected from them and analysed to be used for achieving the school improvement. (TCfCSRI, 2008). This idea is not available in Egyptian schools now because most evaluation is conducted by specialised formal committees of supervisors and inspectors. So it is hoped to have self-evaluation of these schools to achieve continuous internal improvement of the school in addition to external one by authorities.
Parents and community involvement
Involving parents in schools is important in improving their children’s learning. So good leaders should always make their schools have partnership with families in all different ways because engaging them in pupils’ learning has a great influence on their achievement. (TCfCSRI, 2008). Good schools can engage parents in various ways. They involve them in school activities and events. They engage them in programmes within schools to train them how to provide a safe home climate and how to support their children in their learning and homework. Schools also engage parents in their children’s learning by sending them news letters and reports about their performance to follow their progress. (Brighouse and Woods, 2008).
Good leaders engage parents as stakeholders from the beginning of stating a vision for the school. Further, they engage them in the process of self-evaluation of the school. Parents also should be invited in school meetings and award celebrations to share in the school life and discuss their children’s achievement continuously. In Egyptian schools, parents participate in school life in the meetings of parents’ council in schools. In these meetings with the headteacher and his deputies and senior teachers, they discuss some problems in the school especially financial ones and how to solve them. Parents may donate for schools as assistance in increasing their resources.
For community engagement in schools, TCfCSRI (2008) states that; ‘community participation in a school can provide the school with outside support_ both in terms of community good will and resources.’ so Good leaders should allow local community to engage in their schools to provide support and external review for them. Also Brighouse and Woods (2008) argue that headteachers should have relationships with local agencies and governors to help in planning development, reviewing and improving schools.
In Egypt, there are some relationships between schools and some local businesses and companies. These schools, in fact are technical and industrial schools, so they are productive and may collaborate with local agencies in displaying and selling their products. On the other hand there are some huge architecture companies establish their own technical schools to get well-trained and qualified workers and employee. However, community participation now still is not satisfactory. So it is hopefully to be wider for developing and improving schools to achieve success and effectiveness.
In conclusion, as discussed in this essay, leadership and management have a great role in creating a good school. The influence of both has been tackled by many researchers across time. It was found that leadership and management are the secret in achieving effectiveness in schools because effective leaders and their managers have the most important role in all factors of the successful school. Leaders state the school vision and managers manage resources effectively to implement it. They also manage changes to improve the school. Furthermore, good leaders provide the school with a fit climate visually, aurally and behaviourally for ensuring effective education.
Teaching, learning and assessment as well are fundamental in the success of the school; hence successful leaders strive to provide good teaching, curriculums, methodologies and a fit environment for pupils to get effective learning and high achievement. They also state a system for using formal and informal assessments for pupils’ performance. Leadership and management too can play a significant role in encouraging and sustaining continuous professional development for teachers and all the staff for enhancing education. Excellent leaders use school self-evaluation and engage all the staff, parents and pupils in this process to improve their schools effectively. Finally they benefit from the role of parents and community in supporting schools and pupils’ learning. All of these factors contribute to make a good school where education can flourish.
So all of these elements, which we have learned from our seminars and readings, gave us complete thoughts of how a good school should be and the role of leadership and management in each element. Therefore, we, as teachers, can use this valuable knowledge for making positive change in our schools in Egypt. But if there are difficulties in doing this, we can begin with ourselves by improving our practices and providing our classrooms with a fit environment for effective learning. Also we may try to be teacher leaders using our experience to support our colleagues to enhance their teaching. We also can apply what we have learned about effective leadership and management when we reach higher positions as headteachers to make change and reform in our schools. In addition we may enroll in further training programmes of leadership and management and encourage all teachers to have the same opportunities to prepare generations of good leaders.
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