Improve School Performance With Distributive Leadership

10th September 2021

Effective leadership is an essential part of the school. The process of running an educational institute is not just about delegating the task or taking charge of all operational activities, it is to know how staff can be best guided to use their expertise rather than always being dependent on a single person.

In Distributive Leadership, the leadership accountability and responsibility are shared by the staff members of the school with relevant skills and expertise. Though not a new concept, this leadership model is certainly a transformational leadership focuses on developing learning-centered leaders with an emphasis to raise institutional standards, quality of teaching, learning, and pupil outcome. Great leaders are the ones who recognize the need of time and use the resources effectively towards a positive outlook.

In context to school management, distributive leadership denotes distributing the primary responsibilities to skilled teachers/educators who can offer their expertise to develop an excellent teaching-learning process in the school on a day-to-day basis.

To make distributed leadership workable strategy, the institutional leader must consider these factors to form better synergy:

Transforming the Mind-set

Both principal and vice-principal of the school need to be comfortable in sharing the authoritative position with others. Though in general the responsibility of overall school performance is on the school leader, however, it is in the hands of those in the power position to have a clear mindset on the leader of the leader to create instructional excellence rather than trying to lead everything by themselves.

Defining the Goals of the Institution

The overall school's mission and vision need to be in sync with distributive leadership. So, envisioning institutional long-term goals to work towards better structure will help the school to be in alignment with the distributive leadership model and therefore, use the associated benefits in much more collaborative ways.  This will ensure cohesiveness towards achieving the goal collectively.

Operating as Team

The idea of shared power and authority leadership with this method focuses on empowerment, participation, and cooperation. The delegation of such authority is highly dependent on how the entire school system can work together as a team. It is imperative for the school leader to understand as well as clarify the role in context to how the teacher leader is going to support other teachers in creating a planned operation. The leadership role and the entire process to manage the education system in distributed leadership aim to improve instruction rather than just diving the works and responsibilities.

Communication and Consistency

The key to operate a successful distributional leadership is to ensure clear communication and consistent practice. Maintaining timely communication and having transparency is elemental. Without communication and consistency, distributive leadership model will not work well. The decision-making process with distributed leadership must reflect uniformity and to address instructional effectiveness teachers must be provided with adequate time and resources to navigate their way.

How schools can benefit from distributive leadership!

The ongoing shifts and dynamic changes in the educational industry evidently make school operation complex, it is impossible for a single person to manage and know it all, distributed leadership fosters a scope to work as a community aiming to achieve collective goals.

  • The decision-making process becomes more responsive and effective.
  • The collaborative engagement ensures more sense of commitment towards the success of the organization.
  • It encourages inclusivity, therefore enables openness and trust within the organization.
  • Better teamwork with a sense of motivation, improved knowledge-sharing, cooperation within and between groups/departments.
  • Creates better utilization of human resources and nurtures future leaders from an early stage.

Distributive leadership is certainly a great way to ensure improved performance of teachers in the schools. Their sense of direction and purpose through distributed leadership can bring more opportunities for the teachers and educators to grow beyond the four walls of the classroom. Effective leadership is fundamental in improving students’ achievement, especially for those schools facing underperformance. Distributive leadership is definitely a transformational leadership that creates a wide range of scope to use skillful teachers and enables a collective aspiration towards the success of the school.

Educational Administration and Management is one way to become resourceful in navigating the modern structure of the education system. Both leaders and teacher can influence their way through effective leadership for improved organizational management.

Written By: Sheetal Sharma

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