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What makes a good senior secondary school?

School of Education, The Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

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Halia C. Silins and Rosalind Murray-Harvey

Received August 1998 Revised December 1998 Abstract Identifies characteristics of good senior secondary schools when defined as those Accepted February 1999 providing post-school options for students. The most successful schools were found to be the larger independent girls' schools with predominantly transformational leadership practices that promoted positive teacher perceptions of school organisation and of students' learning, attitudes, and school involvement. Path analysis was used to test a model of school effectiveness involving seven variables: sector, type size, and teacher views of leadership effects, school and student effects. The impact on school performance of school leadership and teachers' strong sense of involvement in curriculum planning, teacher development and school culture was indirect and mediated through teachers' assessment of students' participation in learning and students' attitudes to school. Raises issues about the purposes of schooling and the appropriateness of selected outcome measures as a basis for judging what makes a good school. Keywords Schools, Leadership, Teachers, Effectiveness

Background Against the backdrop of senior secondary school reform in South Australia and the need to expand understanding of effective senior secondary schooling, this study investigated the nature and strength of the relationships between selected effective school indicators and a school outcome measure chosen to reflect one of the purposes of senior secondary schooling in South Australia. In the process, a combination of external and internal school factors was identified as representing one perspective on what makes a good senior secondary school. Senior secondary education is emerging as a concept that identifies the later years of secondary schooling as a distinctive entity. In 1996, the South Australian Department for Education and Children's Services (DECS), now the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE), and the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA) outlined changes to the design of curricula, the purposes and goals of schooling, assessment and teaching practices, and desired outcomes of senior secondary education. The DECS' document (n.d., p. 8) Towards a Framework for the Senior Years of Schooling acknowledged the significant economic and social changes that provide the context for all schools and confront students completing secondary education. The purposes of schooling, according to this document, are to support all students gaining skills, understandings and credentials to participate effectively in the workplace and the society of the future. The new framework aims to ``provide a senior secondary education that is more
The authors wish to acknowledge their appreciation of the following: Professor John Keeves for his invaluable comments and advice on methodological issues; Lynne Giles and Judith Saebel for their deft SPSS transformations.
Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 37 No. 4, 1999, pp. 329-344. # MCB University Press, 0957-8234

Journal of Educational Administration 37,4 330

inclusive of the needs of students, their requirements for future employment, [and/or] further education and training ...''. The framework emphasised three outcomes of the senior years of schooling that all students were entitled to achieve on leaving school. Each student should have:
. .

experienced success in the curriculum she or he has studied; actively participated in the effective functioning of ethical and democratic relationships within the school community; and gained a nationally portable credential that provided possible entry into a number of post-school options.

These changes came hard on the heels of a major curriculum reform introduced in 1992 in the form of the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). The SACE was developed to meet community expectations that school-leavers should attain a broader education with skills and knowledge to be successful participants in Australian society. Minimum levels of literacy and numeracy were to be achieved together with an understanding of Australian society. Students studying for the SACE undertake a balanced course of subjects, usually over two years, Stage 1 (Year 11) and Stage 2 (Year 12). To further support these purposes, schools were introducing the competency based VET (Vocational Education and Training) curriculum into SACE Stage 1 and 2 studies to meet the needs of the increasingly diverse senior secondary student population for a relevant curriculum. The SACE is a credential that provides a pathway into a number of postschool options which, in this study, includes Training and Further Education (TAFE) and university. Successful completion of the SACE has signified students' preparedness to enter post-school studies and work. The SACE curriculum was specifically developed to provide more flexible and coherent pathways to further education, training, work, and community life (Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia, 1996). The new framework document acknowledged that the curriculum is only one ingredient in providing the community with quality schooling. Schools are complex organisations that achieve desired outcomes through the interaction of the curriculum, the learning culture, leadership practices, teaching practices and organisational processes associated with effective schools. The quality of the interaction between these factors determine, in part, the quality of the desired outcomes. Clearly, the schools that reach their objectives deserve to be identified as effective schools. However, not all effective schools would be judged as good schools. Reaching consensus on what makes a school good is inherently problematic because of its subjective nature which is in large part dependent on the criteria used to make the judgement. Like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder.

Factors that influence school outcomes Even the most cursory review of the research on effective schools could not fail to identify a range of factors that appear to differentiate between schools on measures of academic achievement. Over time, school characteristics such as sector (private or public), type (single sex or coeducational), size and school factors such as leadership, culture and student participation have been studied in the search for reliable school predictors of student achievement (Caldwell, 1993; Lee et al., 1993; Sammons et al., 1995). A number of common characteristics have been identified in research on effective schools. Wildy (1991, p. 168) listed: strong instructional leadership; emphasis on building a supportive climate; an academic focus and high expectations; a shared sense of mission and clear goals; performance monitoring; quality teaching and staff development; parental involvement and district support . A review of the UK effectiveness research (Reynolds et al., 1996) resulted in the identification of nine key factors associated with effective schools. They were: (1) professional leadership; (2) shared vision and goals; (3) a learning environment; (4) high quality teaching and learning; (5) high expectations; (6) positive reinforcement; (7) monitoring pupil progress; (8) pupil rights and responsibilities; and (9) purposeful teaching. Furthermore, Mortimore's (1996) meta-analysis identified the same nine factors and added two more key characteristics of effective schools: home-school partnership and a learning organisation (school-based staff development). With regard to leadership, Bass and his associates (Bass, 1985; Bass and Avolio, 1990; Bass and Waldman, 1987) put forward a two-factor theory using constructs of transformational and transactional leadership. Bass advocated transformational leadership for successful organisational change and improved performance. Transactional leadership was described as engaging followers in an exchange relationship that focused on their basic needs and applied rewards and sanctions to achieve productivity and efficient management (Bass, 1985). Skills of planning, coordinating, scheduling and regularising were associated with transactional leadership and the concept of leader as manager (Crawford, 1988). Beare et al. (1989) noted that although much of the principal's role involved transactional leadership, if excellence was the goal, then transformational leadership practices should prevail. Transactional leadership

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may enable an organisation to operate effectively and efficiently, but, alone, it could not develop in followers the level of trust, loyalty and enthusiasm generated by transformational leadership. The concept of leadership has been thoroughly examined in the school context by Leithwood and his associates together with its effects on an array of student outcomes (Leithwood et al., 1996). These investigations have led to the development of a model of transformational leadership for improved school performance (Leithwood, 1994; Leithwood and Duke, in press; Leithwood and Jantzi, 1990; Leithwood et al., in press; Silins, 1994a, 1994b). Drawing on these studies, transformational practices in this model include: building school vision and goals; providing intellectual stimulation; offering individualised support; promoting participation and collaboration and symbolising professional practices and values. Current publications on school effectiveness research are replete with critiques of the methodological approaches used to judge and measure relative effectiveness of schools. One of the issues that has continued to appear and reappear in the reviews of the literature has been the size and significance of effects (Creemers and Reezigt, 1996; Sammons, 1996). In a recent review of school effectiveness research, Sammons (1996) concentrated on school effects pointing out that classroom level effects as indicators of teacher effectiveness were beyond the scope of her review. Increasing numbers of studies have been examining both school and class effects simultaneously, some of which have suggested that class effects could be larger than school effects (Goldstein, 1997; Hill and Rowe, 1996; Hill et al., 1995; Rowe et al., 1995). It should be noted, however, that the Hill and Rowe studies have used teacher judgements as the outcome measures and these have been subject to large within-school variability. Others have claimed greater variation between schools than classrooms (Bosker, reported in Luyten, 1995). The present study concentrated on school effects in line with Sammons' (1996, pp. 115-16) argument that:
effects on students of being a member of a particular school over a period of several years remain of considerable practical and theoretical relevance. This is because a student's educational experience commonly involves being taught by several different teachers in different years at the primary level, and a number of subject specialists at the secondary level in each year. Students and their parents may have (usually constrained) opportunities to choose schools, but not individual classes or teachers. Moreover, students spend several years in specific institutions and therefore the question of whether over several years the school attended has an impact on educational outcomes is important.

The study reported in this paper extends earlier research that examined the relationship between indicators of quality schooling and school performance outcomes using path analysis (Silins and Murray-Harvey, 1995). Judgements of what constituted quality schooling were based on criteria drawn from a comprehensive survey of the Australian school community conducted by McGaw et al. (1992). The smaller number of schools employed in the earlier study prevented an examination of more complex models specifying the

inter-relationships between a range of indicators such as students' academic self concept, students' attitudes to school life, students' approaches to learning and teachers' perceptions of school leadership with outcome measures of senior secondary school performance. Analysis of the data, though limited by the small sample, nevertheless indicated that the examination and testing of such models of school effectiveness would throw light on research questions identified by Reynolds and Packer (1992, p. 175) as important to address in the 1990s ``the study of how school process factors have their effects, which process factors may lead to the determination of other process factors and the study of the interaction between factors''. Method Sample Sammons (1996) pointed out that a major limitation of many studies of school effectiveness has been the narrow nature of the sample of schools used for the analyses (mostly inner city schools). This study employed an appropriately diverse sample of 41 senior secondary schools which was approximately a quarter of the total secondary schools in South Australia. Data were collected from approximately 500 teachers and 1,300 students from Years 11 and 12. The sample included 22 government, 13 independent schools and six Catholic schools; three all-boys, six all-girls and 32 coeducational; 38 metropolitan and three country schools. In each school, approximately 30 students completed one of three questionnaires; the School and You Questionnaire (Ainley, 1990) providing information on students' attitudes to school, the Learning Process Questionnaire (Biggs, 1987) assessing students' deep, surface and achieving approaches to learning, the Self Description Questionnaire-III (Marsh and O'Neill, 1984) measuring students' academic and non-academic self-concept. Additional information related to gender and social economic status (SES) was collected from the students responding to these questionnaires, including mother's and father's occupation and residential postcode. Student and SES variables will be examined in subsequent analyses. Twenty teachers from each school completed the two-part, Leadership in Schools Questionnaire (Silins, 1994a; Silins and Murray-Harvey, 1995) providing information on eight aspects of leadership and four school effects related to student performance, school curriculum, teacher effects and school culture (see Appendix). Transformational leadership was defined as visionary, focussing on goal achievement, providing intellectual stimulation and individual consideration, promoting collaboration and building a school ethos. Transactional leadership was operationalised as bureaucratic with a focus on management rather than leadership and characterised by maintaining the status quo and reactive rather than proactive and change oriented.

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Criterion measure A range of school performance measures was collected, including tertiary offers success rate, participation rate, school retention rate, SACE retention rate, participation and completion rates, and averaged aggregated SACE scores. For this study, tertiary offers were used to calculate a Tertiary Offers Index: the number of tertiary offers to university or TAFE divided by the school's corresponding grade cohort. This school performance measure relates to DETE's desired outcomes for senior secondary schools; the index represents school success in the curriculum and it accounts for two of the post-school options available to students completing their SACE, university and TAFE. The school as the unit of analysis The focus of interest in this study was necessarily the school since the study examined school level factors associated with an indicator of school performance. Although student and teacher data were obtained from each school, only the teacher data were used for the analysis reported here. The leadership and school effects variables were drawn from the teacher data which were then aggregated to the school level. Path model Seven latent variables were included in the model developed to test for the influence of the explanatory background variables on school performance measured by university and TAFE entry success and based on data from 38 senior secondary schools for which complete data were available. Three schools were dropped from the analysis because of insufficient teacher responses. In addition, schools from the Catholic sector and single sex all-boys schools were not included in the analysis due to methodological considerations addressed later in the paper. The variables selected for study were based on school effectiveness literature, the South Australian Department of Education, Training and Employment's purposes of senior secondary education and preliminary correlation analysis. A combination of contextual external and internal predictors of the organisation and functioning of schools was hypothesised (from the larger data base). External predictors were sector, type and size of school. The internal organisation predictors were leadership effects, school effects (related to curriculum, teacher development and culture) and student effects (students' attitudes, learning and involvement). Table I presents a description of the variables in the model. It should be noted that sector, type and size, the external predictors, are school characteristics, and leadership effects, school effects and student effects, the internal organisation predictors, involve teacher level data aggregated to the school level to provide measures of the teachers' views of the school climate. The criterion is an index of school level outcomes based on the population of students who obtained tertiary entry offers. Thus the model is specified at the school level and does not encounter problems of aggregation bias.

Variables description and coding Sector (inward mode) Government Independent Catholic (dummy variable) Type of school (inward mode) All girls All boys (dummy variable) Coeducational Size of school (unity mode) Number of students enrolled Leadership (outward mode) teacher level of agreement on eight aspects of leadership provided in the school 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = agree, 4 = strongly agree 1. Visionary 2. Goal achievement 3. Intellectual stimulation 4. Individual consideration and support 5. Collaborative problem solving 6. Ethos 7a. Technical/bureaucratic orientation 8a. Management-by-exception School effects (outward mode) Teacher level of agreement on three outcomes related to leadership and school organisation 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = agree, 4 = strongly agree 1. Improved curriculum outcomes 2. Improved teacher outcomes 3. Enhanced school culture Student effects (unity mode) Learning/involvement: teachers' assessment of students' atitude, learning and involvement in the school School performance (unity mode) Tertiary offers index: South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre offers to applicants of a place at University or TAFE. Index = ratio of tertiary offers divided by each school's year 12 enrolment

Mean 0.53 0.32 0.16 0.13 0.08 0.79 698

SD 0.50 0.47 0.37 0.34 0.27 0.41 288

PLS estimation loading 87 97 * 92 * 96 1.0

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2.79 2.89 2.72 2.86 2.67 2.92 2.45 2.26

0.31 0.25 0.26 0.29 0.29 0.27 0.15 0.14

93 86 90 92 82 94 81 56

2.84 2.82 2.95 2.88

0.21 0.20 0.23 0.32

89 92 93 1.0

Notes: * denotes PLS path estimation reported as factor loadings a negative sign = positive response

Table I. Description of variables in the model

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Path analysis The path model was tested using a latent variable partial least squares path analysis (PLSPATH) procedure (Sellin and Keeves, 1996). The initial design of the model was fully recursive wherein each variable was positioned as it was predicted to influence the succeeding variables in the model. Along with the contextual factors (sector, type and size), leadership factors and the internal school organisation factors depicted as school effects were hypothesised to influence student factors. Leadership, school effects (curriculum, teacher, culture provided by teacher responses) and student effects (attitudes, learning and school involvement provided by teacher responses) were depicted as mediating variables by their placement between the antecedent external variables and the criterion variable, school performance. Of the three variables included in both the sector and type constructs, the path analysis procedure required elimination of the variable that contributed least to explaining each of the constructs. For this reason, in this model Catholic schools were dropped from sector and all-boys schools from type. Analysis proceeded in two stages. First, the outer model was refined by successively deleting the manifest (direct measure) variables that did not contribute to explaining the corresponding latent variable. All measures that had a loading (in the same sense as a principal components analysis) of at least twice their standard error were retained. Once the outer model was stable, the inner model was refined. Again, all paths were deleted where the path coefficient (equivalent to a regression coefficient) was less than twice its standard error. The final model presented in Table II shows the variables that exerted an effect on both the outcome variable and the other latent variables in the model. Direct, indirect and total effects are reported along with the jackknife standard errors and correlations. Results All the factors included in this model contributed either directly or indirectly to school performance. Two variables emerged as strong predictors of school performance. Sector exerted a strong direct and indirect effect and emerged as a dominant factor in terms of its total effect on performance, mainly due to the influence of the independent schools. Student effects exerted the strongest direct effect on school performance. The combined effect of variables in this model explained 71 per cent of the variance of school performance. The large amount of variance explained and the stability of the outcome measure reflected by the high Q2 (0.57) indicates a well defined model. The variables exerting the strongest direct effects were split between external and internal predictors of school performance. In order of their effect (indicated by the strength of the standardised path coefficient) they were: . teachers' assessment of students' attitude, learning and involvement in the school indicated a strong positive relationship (student effects);


Direct effects Total effects p JknStd error t

Indirect effects I

Correlation r

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Type of school R2 = 0.17 ( d = 0.91) Q2 = 0.05 Sector 0.41 0.17 Size of school R = 0.29 (d = 0.84) Q = 0.21 Sector 0.35 0.10 Type 0.29 0.12 School effects R2 = 0.76 (d = 0.49) Q2 = 0.71 Sector 0.25 0.10 Leadership 0.80 0.10 Student effects R2 = 0.56 (d = 0.66) Q2 = 0.46 Sector 0.68 0.08 Type Size 0.30 0.14 Leadership School effects 0.30 0.11 School performance R2 = 0.71 (d = 0.54) Q2 = 0.57 Sector 0.42 0.17 Type 0.32 0.15 Size 0.25 0.13 Leadership School effects 0.39 0.15 Student effects 0.47 0.16
2 2

0.41 0.47 0.29 0.25 0.80 0.61 0.09 0.30 0.24 0.30 0.63 0.20 0.40 0.20 0.25 0.47

0.12 0.07 0.09 0.24 0.20 0.12 0.14 0.20 0.14

0.41 0.47 0.44 0.37 0.84 0.65 0.36 0.09 0.13 0.47 0.60 0.48 0.03 0.19 0.02 0.65

Notes: JknStd refers to the Jackknife Standard error of the direct effects path coefficient; d is the residual standard error

Table II. Latent variables direct, total and indirect effects and correlations for model

school sector represented by independent schools contrasted with government schools; teachers' level of agreement on improved curriculum, teacher and culture outcomes indicated a negative relationship (school effects); type of school represented by coeducational schools contrasted with all-girls schools; and, size of school indicated a relationship between larger school size and higher success rate for tertiary offers (allowance having been made for school size in the construction of the criterion measure).

Although a negative correlation (r = 0.03) between size and school performance was reported in Table II, size has a moderate positive effect (p = 0.25) after controlling for the effect of sector. The positive relationship between school size and school performance indicated that the larger schools had a

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proportionately larger number of students receiving tertiary offers and the opportunity for further study. School effects exerted a positive indirect effect (i = 0.14) on school performance through student effects and a stronger negative direct effect (p = 0.39). The model indicated that teachers' agreement with improved curriculum, teacher and school culture outcomes was negatively associated with school performance when measured by tertiary offers success rate. All the signs in the analysis indicated that the direct effect of leadership was unsatisfactory and a more adequate model was achieved when the direct path was dropped. Leadership exerted no direct effect on school performance and a small negative indirect effect (i = 0.20). The strength of the leadership variable in the model was related to its highly predictive value on school effects (p = 0.80). Discussion The final path model (Figure 1) provides a snapshot of characteristics that contributed to successful senior secondary schooling in South Australia. The

School Size





89 92 Catholic 1.0 3


Culture 5

35 1 29 25

School Effects

87 97


39 25 42 R2 = 71 7 32


School Performance


Tertiary Offers Index


2 30 68 30 6

92 Boys Girls

96 Co-ed


Student Effects
1.0 Manage by Except'n

93 86 90 92 82 948156 Indiv. Consideration Goal Achievement Intellectual Stim.



Learning/ Involvement



Figure 1. Final path model of the external and internal predictors of school performance

larger independent girls' schools were more successful at achieving post-school options for their students than government coeducational schools. From the teachers' point of view, transformational leadership practices (rather than transactional) promoted improved curriculum, teacher development and school culture outcomes. Evidence for the key role of transformational leadership practices in the internal processes of the school has been provided by other studies (Beare et al., 1989; Leithwood et al., 1996; Silins, 1994a). The influence of leadership on the school performance criterion was indirect and through its impact on teachers' perceptions of school organisation and students' attitudes, learning and involvement. Earlier studies on leadership, reviewed by Hallinger and Heck (1996), have also offered evidence for the indirect impact of leadership on school performance and student achievement. The indirect effects of leadership in the model confirm that leadership practices are distal to the activities of students. This study has provided further evidence that the impact of leadership on student measures of school performance operate through the more proximal teacher effects (Leithwood, 1994; Silins, 1992). Clearly, teachers' perceptions of their school, work and students play a critical role in promoting school outcomes. Best practice leadership impacts on school performance through its influence on teacher perceptions of school organisation and, ultimately, through its influence on teachers' perceptions of students' attitudes, learning and involvement. Therefore, neither leadership nor teachers' strong sense of participation and involvement in curriculum planning, teacher development and school culture promotes post-school options directly. Both leadership and teachers' impact on school performance at the school level was through teachers' assessment of students' attitudes, learning and school involvement. The influence of school size in this study contrasts with the generally held view that smaller rather than larger schools provide an environment that is more likely to promote student achievement. This effect may have depended on the criterion chosen for this study. Larger schools are more likely to provide subject choice and have access to supporting resources that would maximise their students' opportunity for gaining tertiary entry. It should be noted, however, that South Australian schools are more moderate in size compared to schools in the eastern states of Australia. It is possible that if larger schools than those in this study had been included, the effects of diminishing returns may have come into play. The present study has examined a number of characteristics addressed in previous school effectiveness research against a school performance measure using senior secondary school data. Reasonably strong and stable relationships were found between internal school process factors such as leadership, school effects and student effects. However, the nature of some of these relationships as revealed in the South Australian data are challenging.

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Teachers' positive perceptions of curriculum, teacher and school culture had the expected positive influence on their perceptions of students' attitudes, learning and involvement but an unexpected negative influence on the outcome measure. The negative association of teachers' perceptions of school processes with student outcomes have emerged in other studies (Silins, 1992, 1994a). An interpretation of the negative influence of teachers' positive perceptions of school processes on student outcomes is that teachers' available work time is stretched between the traditional focus of their work students and their achievement and the professional demands of curriculum reform and greater participation in the management and organisation of the school. Transformational leadership practices would stimulate greater involvement in the decision making processes of the school. A further pressure on secondary teachers is the rapidly changing culture in schools from relative professional autonomy to working more collaboratively and openly. The more that is required of teachers in terms of the increasingly demanding role of participatory management and collaborative professionalism, the less they can give to their central role of promoting learning in students. Conclusion The aim of the present study was to expand knowledge and understanding of the processes operating on senior secondary schooling and their relationship to one measure of school performance within South Australia. A model was developed to test the interrelationship of factors measured and their strength and influence on the chosen outcome. To the extent that the Department for Education, Training and Employment's desired outcomes of senior schooling were taken account of in the model, this examination of the nature and strength of all the relationships became an examination of what makes a good school. At the time of this study, good schools in South Australia were the larger allgirls, independent schools where teachers' work was concentrated on supporting students to achieve their desired goal identified in this study as success in obtaining entry to university or TAFE. Leadership in these schools was transformational rather than transactional. Clearly, this style of leadership was regarded by teachers as their preferred process for meeting their professional needs for establishing a positive school ethos, and for focussing the efforts of the school on student learning and involvement. The focus of this study was on school processes which included leadership practices and teachers' perceptions. Student data related to their attitudes to school, quality of learning, and academic self-concept will provide another important perspective on the work of schools that has yet to be examined. Catholic schools and all-boys schools were not included in this study and this needs to be addressed in the development of further models. Schools will work to produce and perpetuate the characteristics that result in school outcomes that are recognised and valued by the community. School characteristics and practices that result in a school being perceived as a good school will be promoted and reinforced, attracting resources and effort. Are the predictors of

tertiary entry success (closely related to achievement outcomes) the kinds of factors that should be emphasised in schools? Research into what makes a good school must raise issues about the appropriateness of outcome measures and the purposes of schooling. Most effectiveness research has been conducted using narrow measures of student academic outcomes (Sammons, 1996; Mortimore, 1996). A limitation of this study has been the restricted outcome measure which takes account of achievement only in terms of success in gaining entry to TAFE or university. Further research will examine a range of broader outcome measures related to other school outcomes such as school completion and retention. The adoption of a broad range of outcome measures is advocated both to encompass the allround development of students and as a better basis for judging what makes a good school. In conclusion, therefore, while the particular styles of leadership in a school may not have directly touched the lives of students, it certainly had an impact on the teachers, who did indeed directly influence student performance. Even with the increasing range of responsibilities carried by teachers in schools today, the schools in which the students were most successful were organised and managed in ways that supported rather than distracted teachers from what they saw as their main role helping their students succeed at school. In this study, a good school is clearly one where the leadership supports the teaching and where the teaching supports the students in their own way all working towards a common goal; successful achievement outcomes.
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Sammons, P. (1996), ``Complexities in the judgement of school effectiveness'', Educational Research and Evaluation, Vol. 2, pp. 113-49. Sammons, P., Hillman, J. and Mortimore, P. (1995), Key Characteristics of Effective Schools: A Review of School Effectiveness Research, OFSTED, London. Sellin, N. and Keeves J.P. (1996), ``Path analysis with latent variables'', in Husen, T. and Postlethwaite, N. (Eds), The international encyclopedia of education, 2nd ed., Pergamon Press, Oxford. Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (1996), Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement. A Draft Document for Consultation and Response, SSABSA, Adelaide. Silins, H.C. (1992), ``Effective leadership for school reform'', The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 317-34. Silins, H.C. (1994a), ``Leadership characteristics that make a difference to schools'', paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Silins, H.C. (1994b), ``The relationship between transformational and transactional leadership and school improvement outcomes'', School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 272-98. Silins, H.C. (1995), ``Leadership characteristics that make a difference to schools'', Resources in Education, ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, ED 383 086. Silins, H.C. and Murray-Harvey, R. (1995), ``Quality schooling: the contribution of alternative indicators to redefining school performance'', paper presented at the 25th Anniversary AARE Conference, Hobart, Tasmania. Wildy, H. (1991), ``School-based management and its linkage with school effectiveness'', in McKay, I. and Caldwell, B. (Eds), Researching Educational Administration. Theory and Practices, Australian Council for Educational Administration, Hawthorn, Victoria. Further reading Ainley, J., Reed, R. and Miller, H. (1986), ``School organisation and the quality of schooling: A study of Victorian Government Secondary Schools'', ACER Research Monograph No. 29, Australian Council for Educational Research, Hawthorn, Victoria. Marsh, H.W. (1990), Self Description Questionnaire III (SDQIII) Manual, University of Western Sydney, Macarthur, NSW. Millikan, R. (1987), ``School culture: a conceptual framework'', Educational Administration Review, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 38-56. Appendix Leadership in Schools Questionnaire (Silins, 1995) has 106 items consisting of 62 items (Part A) related to eight aspects of leadership associated with principal practices described as visionary, goal achievement, intellectual stimulation, individual consideration, collaborative problem solving, ethos, technical/bureaucratic, management-by-exception, and 44 items (Part B) tapping teachers' perceptions related to school outcomes associated with student performance, school curriculum, teacher development and school culture. A Likert-scale with four response categories was employed with response options ranging from strongly disagree (value 1) to strongly agree (value 4).

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Construct Part A leadership


Creates a shared vision, perpetuates a common understanding of what the school is attempting to achieve for students, teachers and parents, e.g. takes the long view of how things might be in this school Goal achievement Transmits a sense of purpose and organisational mission, builds a commitment to change and improved performance, e.g. encourages us to evaluate our progress toward achievement of school goals Intellectual stimulation Encourages questionning of own and others' assumptions, beliefs and values and promotes understanding, e.g. provides information that helps me think of ways to implement initiatives Individual consideration and Responds to individual differences in followers' needs and support provides resources for growth and development; recognises effort and achievement, e.g. offers personal encouragement for my good performance Collaborative problem solving Encourages collaboration and participative decision making, develops goals by consensus, promotes collegiality and negotiation, e.g. involves staff in program planning and decision-making School ethos Concern with building a system of shared values, expectations and behaviours, e.g. builds a positive school climate; stresses collegiality Technical/bureaucratic Task focussed and policy driven, approaches change orientation independently of followers' concerns and needs and strives to attain administrative efficiency, e.g. is more aptly described as a manager than a leader Management-by-exception Avoids giving directions if the old ways are working; concentrates on maintaining the status quo rather than seizing opportunities for change, e.g. does not try to change anything as long as things are going all right Part B student effects Learning/involvement Curriculum outcomes Teacher outcomes Improved student outcomes related to leadership and school organisation, e.g. students develop a commitment to learning in this school Improved curriculum outcomes related to leadership and school organisation, e.g. we regularly monitor the effects of curriculum choices on students' learning Improved teacher outcomes related to leadership and school organisation, e.g. I monitor and self-evaluate my teaching regularly Enhanced school culture related to leadership and school organisation, e.g. I have a sense of pride in what we are doing here


Table AI. Leadership in schools questionnaire constructs

Culture outcomes