R. Želvys, R. Dukynaitė, J. Vaitekaitis, A. Jakaitienė
Management: Journal of Contemporary Management Issues. Croatia: 2019, vol. 24, no. Special Issue p. 17-36
Abstract. This paper examines the links between student learning and school leadership focusing on Lithuania in comparative perspective. Different aspects of school leadership areas are being outlined, but after a more thorough analysis of the educational effectiveness perspective, it seems that the direct link between principal and student achievement is not that clear. In order to explain this, we further analysed the role which school autonomy plays in effective leadership and found that different countries chose different levels of power distribution. After revealing diversity in meta-analyses and reviews about the existing effect sizes of school decentralization we looked into different tasks on which school heads spend their time, and noticed that instructional leadership is most effective in adding value to student achievement. What exactly counts as instructional leadership is debated and may change depending on context. The presumption that leadership and school effectiveness are related, could be valid only if school accountability and autonomy particularities are taken into account, therefore the reforms in selection, recruitment and training of school heads could be expected to drive effectiveness of education systems only as far as the right balance of the three (accountability, autonomy, leadership) are found.