Subject Leadership Review of Literature

The National College of School Leadership define them separately stating that ‘Leadership is about having vision and articulating, ordering priorities, getting others to go with you, constantly reviewing what o are doing and holding on to things you value. Management is about the functions, procedures and systems by which you realism the vision. ‘ In their discussion paper ‘Transforming School: a discussion papaya(March 2007), Estes states that ‘The most significant features of good leadership are a strong sense of direction, a clear focus on teaching and learning and a relentless emphasis on raising standards’.

Interestingly, they don’t define management at all. Morehouse P (2004) identifies four common themes in leadership. These are; that ‘leadership is a process, it involves influence, it occurs in a group context and t involves the achievement of goals’. There is an overlap between Northerners common themes and the ideas of many others including Grist’s (1997) ideas of four ‘problems’ (process, position, philosophy and purity) and Blanchard and Hershey ‘Situational Leadership’. In recent years, Leadership has begun to be aligned with business and management theories and models.

This has led some to question the differences between leadership and management. In his book The new meaning of educational change’, Fallen (1991 ) states that leadership is related to ‘mission, direction and inspiration’ whereas management is related to designing and implementing plans, working effectively with people and getting things done’. In his book ‘Managing on the Edge, Upscale R (1990) states that ‘Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing’. Despite the appeal of a distinction between leadership and management, there is doubt as to whether the two can be distinguished in practice.

Gosling and Murphy (2004) cite the need for a leader to have consistency, predictability and a sense of continuity things normally associated with management – suggesting an overlap between the two. An individual must have the ability to progress from a ‘management’ ole to a ‘leadership’ role whilst being the same person, which leads to Integer (1975) suggesting the idea that ‘it may be more useful to conceive of leadership as one of the roles a manager undertakes, than as something separate and apart. ‘ Relationship Between Leadership and School Improvement Bushes H and Harris A (2000) state that ‘research findings… Eave revealed the powerful impact of leadership on processes related to school effectiveness and improvement’. The ATA states in its National Standards for Subject Leaders (1998) that the core purpose of the subject leader is ‘to provide professional adders and management for a subject to secure high quality teaching, effective use of resources and improved standards of learning and achievement for all pupils. ‘ Pupil achievement is always a key consideration for any teacher and Field et al (2000) acknowledge this stating that ‘effective leadership will have a crucial effect on pupil achievement. The subject leader has a central role in promoting high standards within schools, and the importance of this leadership role is recognized by the significance placed on it during inspections. Key Questions 5; ‘How effective are leadership and strategic management? , 6; ‘How well do leaders and managers evaluate and improve quality and standards? ‘ and 7; ‘How efficient are leaders and managers in using resources? , concentrate wholly on leadership and management in a school and the direct effect their actions have on pupil achievement and progress.

It is crucial therefore, as a subject leader to remember that ‘subject leaders can make a difference to subject area performance in much the same way as head-teachers contribute to overall school performance’ Bushes H and Harris A (2000). Characteristics of Effective Leadership Looking back throughout history, the characteristics of an effective leader are defined through the actions and thoughts of so many. Going back to ancient Greece, Xenophobe, a philosopher and soldier, gave a list of qualities required to be a General – a Leader.

These included: temperance, justice, sagacity, amiability, presence of mind, tactfulness, humanity, sympathy, helpfulness, courage, magnanimity, generosity and helpfulness. Indeed, General Bernard Montgomery – a successful British General during the Second World War often quoted the qualities that the Greek philosopher Aristotle regarded as being important for leaders. These included justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude. In the course of his research, psychologist Daniel Coleman developed these ideas further still and discovered that effective leaders are alike in one crucial way; ‘they all have a high degree of emotional intelligence. He believes that the essential ingredient for leadership is Emotional Intelligence, and this includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. In the Bible, Jesus says ‘Let the Greatest among you become as the youngest and the leader as one who serves. On a similar line, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is quoted to have said ‘l must follow the people. Am I not their Leader? ‘ A common thread appears in the ideas of so many leaders through out history; that leadership is not about controlling people, but about inspiring them sufficiently to make them want to follow you.

General William Slim, a British Military Commander who served in both the First and Second Would Wars said ‘The real test of leadership is not if your men will follow you in success, but if they will stick by you in hardship and defeat. ‘ Leadership Styles and their Impact In order for those men to ‘stick by you in hardship and defeat’, an effective leader must surely need to have a successful leadership style, appropriate for what is happening and for the tasks or processes that are taking place.

To qualify this, many ‘leadership styles’ have been developed. Hay McCabe (2000), a management consultancy, reveals six leadership styles: visionary, coaching, affiliation, democratic, pacesetting and commanding. Coleman et al (2002) investigated these leadership styles, and concluded that the first four were associated with a positive effect on performance than the others. They also concluded that adders had to be good at all four styles, drawing on them as needed according to personalities and situations.

They also discovered that pace-setting and commanding leaders might have a short-term positive impact under certain conditions, but sooner or later fail because they De-motivate people. It is therefore, important as a subject leader to be aware of the way we lead, adapting the style depending upon the particular incident or situation. Field et al (2000) state that ‘a wide repertoire of styles permits the leader to make quick decisions when necessary, to consult as appropriate and generally to act according to he situation and conditions at the time’.