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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Audrey Sewell, says a properly run education system is largely dependent on effective leadership at the school level, which delivers positive results from teachers and students.
“It provides direction, exercises influence, and it shows up in the school’s physical environment, in the behavior of students, the performance of teachers, and the students’ performance at examinations,” Mrs. Sewell said, while delivering the keynote address at a conference of over 200 Principals, at deCarteret College, in Manchester, on August 25.
“As leaders, we must have a vision of what we are about, and what we want to achieve; we have to set directions. Principals, your roles are changing, greater responsibility is being entrusted to you, and you have to set the trend, you have to set the pace in your institutions. You determine, as leaders, what type of institution you are going to be leading and directing,” the Permanent Secretary told the school leaders.
She pointed out that institutions that are producing great academic results, have reached where they are through carefully worked out plans. She encouraged the Principals to learn from each other, set high standards and targets, and hold themselves accountable for the outcomes.
“Schools that are doing well did not get there overnight; it took vision and hard work and commitment. As principals, you have to be able to share your vision with your staff, and be able to mobilise them to work with you. Allocate resources according to need, mobilise parents, the community to work with you, because you can’t do it alone,” Mrs. Sewell emphasised.
The Permanent Secretary argued that the institutions benefit when school leaders pride themselves in being the head, when they set targets for themselves, students, and staff, and seek to have the community’s support for the development of the schools.
“If your students and staff see that you are motivated and giving of your best, it will impact learning positively. We have to do self evaluation and introspection. We want transformational leaders who can mobilise people to work and learn how to achieve success,” she said.
The conference was held under the theme – ‘Effective Leadership: Successful Schools’.

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