If leadership is fundamentally about influence, then within any school there are many sources of influence, both formal and informal.
Distributed leadership means mobilising leadership expertise at all levels in the school in order to generate more opportunities for change and to build the capacity for improvement. The emphasis is upon interdependent interaction and practice, rather than individual and independent actions associated with those with formal leadership roles or responsibilities.
The evidential base about its impact and effect has been summarised in numerous books and articles (Leithwood et al., 2009; Harris, 2013). The evidence increasingly points towards a positive relationship between distributed leadership, organisational improvement and student achievement (Hallinger & Heck, 2009; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). Many of these studies have identified the importance of distributed leadership as a potential contributor to positive change and school improvement.
With this in mind, here at BSKL, we view the development of the leadership skills of all our staff and students as a priority and we were pleased that this was recognised in the report compiled by the COBIS Accreditation team after visiting BSKL. They noted that leadership and management at all levels is “an outstanding feature of the school” and “one which is fundamentally a system of distributed leadership”. Furthermore they described witnessing all leaders being given “substantial independent responsibilities” and given the “scope to innovate” whilst also being held “accountable through the evaluation of outcomes”.
Below are the perspectives of a range of BSKL leaders on their experiences as leaders and how their roles at BSKL have allowed them to develop their leadership skills: