The Shape and Shaping of School Leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Lester FlocktonEmail author
Part of the Studies in Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 16)


A major turning point in the direction of New Zealand’s school system came with the introduction of the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms in the late 1980s. Throughout the following 20 years of directing and redirecting the focus of schools, the nature and expectations of school leadership at each level have been substantially redefined. Courses of action intended to improve performance and system efficiencies are dependent on proven leadership at each level for their success. In modern systems, rather than being ‘one-off’ events, the reforms have tended to become a modus operandi that not only requires leadership that keeps pace with the direction of reforms and gives them effect in practice but also requires investment in ongoing inquiry into how leadership capability is developed and demonstrated in accordance with the system goals. The system, therefore, has a vested interest in shaping the meaning and nature of school leadership. This chapter describes the reforms that have set the context for redefining school leadership in New Zealand, followed by accounts of policy and other initiatives intended to align leadership theory and practice with system imperatives. The responses to these developments and changes are analyzed and discussed.


National Standard Student Achievement National Curriculum School Leader Education Review 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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