NEPC CONFERENCE The Primary Colours of Education #3 – School Leadership Matters

In 2018, NEPC held a conference SCHOOL LEADERSHIP MATTERS which took place in Baška, on the
island of Krk, Croatia, on 16th & 17th April.
Conference in numbers:

2 days
3 keynote speakers
65 participants
40 speakers

The conference reflected NEPC’s working approach based on EXPLORING education with the aim of
creating adequate recommendations and proposing evidence-based solutions, PARTICIPATING in
international debates about education and advocating for participative policymaking and proposing
effective and sustainable CHANGE in education systems.

PCE#3 Conference Program

Background

A wide body of research indicates that school leaders have significant impact on creating inclusive
school cultures, catalysing teachers’ motivation and commitment resulting in better students’
achievement (Robinson, Lloyd, & Rowe, 2008; Ryan, 2006; Shields, 2010). School leadership is second
only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn
at school (Leithwood et al., 2006; Louis et al., 2010). NEPC has been exploring school leadership
within its two recent studies on school governance1 (Gabršček, 2016; Lenskaya, 2017). The studies
on the one hand showed the great power and important role school directors/principles/heads have
in school governance while on the other hand confirmed a lack of professional support available to
them. The studies also show that across the NEPC region2 there is a tendency towards a more
participatory model of school governance, present in policy, yet not fully implemented in practice.
Research confirms that leadership plays a crucial role in the life of every school across the globe.
Whatever the leadership style is, whatever the educational system is like and regardless of
geography, it is school leader(s) who set the tone of schools and provide vision.

NEPC understood school leadership as the process of engaging and guiding the capacities and
strengths of students, teachers and parents toward achieving a common educational goal, enabled
by progressive school heads and/ or autonomous educational systems. In the context of inclusion this
requires:

1. a clear vision for the school based on social justice principles;
2. commitment to shared leadership and participatory school governance;
3. dedication to building and maintaining inclusive school culture;
4. conscious effort to build meaningful partnerships with parents and communities.

1The studies were conducted in the following countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Moldova, Montenegro and Russia
2NEPC region http://www.edupolicy.net/members/

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