Research and analysis

10 strong claims about successful school leadership

This report looks at the impact of leadership on pupil outcomes, particularly the leadership of the headteacher.


10 strong claims about successful school leadership

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This report summarises the findings of a national research project on the impact of leadership on pupil outcomes.

It makes 10 strong claims about successful leadership:

  1. headteachers are the main source of leadership in their schools
  2. there are 8 important areas of successful leadership
  3. headteachers’ values are important components in their success
  4. successful headteachers use the same basic leadership practices, but there is no single model for achieving success
  5. differences in context affect the nature, direction and pace of leadership actions
  6. headteachers contribute to student learning and achievement through a combination of strategies and actions
  7. there are 3 broad phases of leadership success
  8. headteachers grow and secure success by layering leadership strategies and actions
  9. successful headteachers distribute leadership progressively
  10. the successful distribution of leadership depends on the establishment of trust

The research shows that there is no single best-fit leadership approach. Successful leadership is context sensitive.

This report confirms, qualifies and builds on the original claims made in the report Seven strong claims about successful school leadership.

Published 1 May 2010