By Christopher Day, Pam Sammons, David Hopkins, Alma Harris, Ken Leithwood, Qing Gu, Eleanor Brown, Elpida Ahtaridou and Alison Kington.
The report sets out findings from research which focused on schools that were identified to have significantly raised pupil attainment levels over a three year period. Many of the schools continued to maintain or further improve their results in subsequent years. This indicates that improvement has become embedded in the school’s work and culture.
Heads in more effective schools are successful in improving pupil outcomes through who they are – their values, virtues dispositions, attributes and competences. The strategies they use, and the specific combination and timely implementation and management of these strategies in response to the contexts in which they work, are also important.
Headteachers are perceived as the main source of leadership by staff, governors and parents. Their educational values, strategic intelligence, and leadership strategies shape the school and classroom processes and practices which result in improved pupil outcomes.
Successful school leaders improve teaching and learning and thus pupil outcomes indirectly and most powerfully through their influence on staff motivation, commitment, teaching practices and through developing teachers’ capacities for leadership. Effective leaders apply strategies in ways that are sensitive to school and student background characteristics, to nationally defined needs and to their core educational ideals.
The Impact of School Leadership is available from DCFS http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/DCSF-RR108.pdf