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Successful leadership practices of head teachers for school improvement: Some evidence from Pakistan

Naseer Ahmad Salfi (Division of Education, University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 5 July 2011




The main purpose of this study is to identify the successful leadership practices of head teachers for school improvement at secondary level in Pakistan.


The study was descriptive (survey type) in nature. It was conducted on a sample of 351 secondary school head teachers, 702 elementary and secondary school teachers working in the government secondary schools of Punjab province. Data were collected using a mixed‐methods research design that included: review of related literature, documents indicating school achievements and student attainment, questionnaires and in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with different stakeholders including the head teachers, teachers, parents and students. The validity and reliability of the instruments was ensured through experts' opinions and pilot testing in mid‐2007; the overall reliability was established at 0.923 alpha level.


The findings of the study revealed that the majority of the head teachers of successful schools developed a common and shared school vision and promoted a culture of collaboration, support and trust. They empowered others to lead and distributed leadership responsibilities throughout the school; involved different stakeholders in the process of decision making; developed and maintained good relationships among different personnel of school community. They emphasised the professional development of teachers as well as themselves, and involved parents and community in the process of school improvement.

Practical implications

The findings of this article may be useful for other countries of almost similar socio‐economic status, to improve quality of teaching and learning at secondary level.


The paper shows that policy makers, administrators, managers and head teachers at secondary school level may improve school performance by adopting effective strategies for school improvement in Pakistan.



Salfi, N.A. (2011), "Successful leadership practices of head teachers for school improvement: Some evidence from Pakistan", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 49 No. 4, pp. 414-432.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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