This paper seeks to demonstrate how the principal was instrumental in turning around an underperforming school by using a leadership style that modelled appropriate behaviour, and which was consultative, conciliatory, inspirational and empathetic, through having a clearly articulated whole‐child‐focused educational philosophy, by building relationships and developing staff, and through displaying a range of appropriate personal qualities such as integrity, high energy, sensitivity, enthusiasm, and persistence.
This was a multiple‐perspective, observational case study that included individual and group interviews with the principal, staff, parents and students, and involved shadowing the principal for a total of three days.
The four themes found in the original study remained important. In addition, the leadership of the assistant principal, and increasingly that of teachers working in teams, were important for success. During the study it became obvious that to move the school from a good school to a great school would likely require a different approach to leadership, changes to school direction, and new improvement strategies. The principal indicated that she was not able to do this and it was time for a new principal to take on this challenge.
This is part of a larger study that is revisiting case studies of successful principals to explore sustainability of successful school leadership and successful schools.
Drysdale, L., Goode, H. and Gurr, D. (2009), "An Australian model of successful school leadership: Moving from success to sustainability", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 47 No. 6, pp. 697-708. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578230910993087Download as .RIS
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