Developing educational leaders: A partnership between two universities to bring about system-wide change
This study investigated a system-wide change strategy in a South African school district, which sought to build the leadership capacity of principals and district officials to improve instruction. The three-year venture was called the Leadership for Learning Programme (LLP). A distinctive feature of the LLP was that it was based on a partnership between two universities, a local one with understanding of the local context of schools, and an international institution, which brought international expertise, experience and repute/branding. Both universities had a shared vision to contribute to the ailing South African school landscape by using leadership development to leverage change. The LLP was implemented in a single school district, where the overall learner performance was unsatisfactory. A qualitative approach was used to research this change intervention. One of the main findings was that collaboration between principals collectively and district officials, as well as among principals, was lacking. It is recommended that collaborative structures such as professional learning communities, networks and teams are established to reduce isolation and fragmented work practices in the school district. This may speed up system-wide change towards improved learner performance.
Keywords: educational leadership; intervention; leadership development; partnership; principal; school district; systemic change; systems theory; system-wide change