Quality leadership in schools provides direction, involves a process of influence with intention, and is value-based and vision-driven. While it is common to equate leadership with principals and faculty heads, the research reviewed in this report recognises the variety of leadership roles within a school. There is conclusive evidence that principals have a salient but indirect effect on student outcomes through the goals they establish and the quality of the learning environment they foster.
This report, commissioned by Teaching Australia and produced by the University of Western Sydney, provides a review and empirically-based synthesis of relevant research and seminal works published in the last five years. Professional organisations and members of the teaching profession in each state and territory were consulted to help identify issues and gaps in the review findings and areas for further research, and to explore the need and potential uses for a research database.
Questions explored in the review include:
- What do quality teaching and school leadership contribute to improving social and academic outcomes for Australian students?
- What are the characteristics of 'quality' teaching?
- How is quality teaching shaped by the local and wider contexts for schooling?
- How can quality teaching be developed, communicated and sustained?
- What roles do school leaders play?
- How is the nature of school leadership evolving and responding to change?
- What are the implications of these findings for policy and practice at local, state and national levels?