Schools and Establishment leadership have become a priority in education policy agendas internationally. This area plays a key role in improving organisational outcomes by influencing the motivations and capacities of staff teams, as well as the climate and environment. Effective organisational leadership is essential to improve the efficiency and equity in Education at all levels.
As countries are seeking to adapt their education systems to the needs of contemporary society, expectations for educational establishments and organisational leaders are changing. Many countries have moved towards decentralisation, making establishments more autonomous in their decision making and holding them more accountable for results. At the same time, the requirement to improve overall student performance while serving more diverse student populations is adding pressure to use more evidence-based practices.
Because of these trends, the function of organisational leadership is now increasingly defined by a demanding set of roles which include financial and human resource management and leadership for learning. There are concerns across countries that the role of leaders as conceived for needs of the past is no longer appropriate. In many countries, they have heavy workloads; many are reaching retirement and it is getting harder to replace them. Potential candidates often hesitate to apply, because of overburdened roles, insufficient preparation and training, limited career prospects and inadequate support and rewards. These developments have made organisational leadership a priority in education systems across the world.