Stats and Importance of School Leadership

The Impact of School Leadership on Pupil Outcomes

General Findings from The Impact of School Leadership on Pupil Outcomes (University of Nottingham, 2009)

  1. There are statistically significant empirical and qualitatively robust associations between heads’ educational values, qualities and their strategic actions and improvement in school conditions leading to improvements in pupil outcomes. The results confirm and go beyond the model of successful leadership practices identified in the project literature review (Leithwood et al., 2006) that involve Creating Vision and Setting Directions, Restructuring the Organisation and Redesigning Roles and Responsibilities, Developing People and Managing Teaching and Learning. These affect and are affected by school internal conditions, culture and trust.

  2. There are similarities between the effects of leadership practices on improvements in school conditions in Primary and Secondary schools in the study. However, the leadership of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) has a more direct influence upon learning and teaching standards in Primary schools than Secondary schools.

  3. There is no single model of the practice of effective leadership. However, it is possible to identify a common repertoire of broad educational values, personal and interpersonal qualities, dispositions, competencies, decision making processes and a range of internal and external strategic actions which all effective heads in the study possess and use.

  4. Such a common repertoire is necessary but insufficient in itself to secure effectiveness. It is the particular combinations of strategies based upon the heads’ diagnoses of individuals, the needs of schools at different phases of performance development and national policy imperatives which are influential in promoting improved - student outcomes. The study shows how school improvement trajectories evolve over time in several phases.

  5. These strategies are underpinned by clearly articulated sets of values which focus upon promoting individual and social well-being and raising standards of achievement for all pupils. Taken together these effect cultural change as well as changes in school classroom practices.

  6. The research indicates that there are significant differences in the intensity of actions and the use of certain strategies between schools in the Low start and High start groups especially in the secondary sector. A greater emphasis was given to the use of data for the improvement of teaching and learning conditions and classroom observation by schools in the Low start group.

Source details:

The Impact of School Leadership on Pupil Outcomes
Research Report DCSF-RR108
Christopher Day1, Pam Sammons1, David Hopkins2, Alma Harris2, Ken Leithwood3, Qing Gu1, Eleanor Brown1, Elpida Ahtaridou2 and Alison Kington1

1 University of Nottingham 
2 Institute of Education, University of London 
3 University of Toronto


Tags: School Leadership