School Autonomy and Leadership in Lithuania: Can School Leaders Help Schools to Take a Step forward ?

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In the literature, the school leader (head of school) is considered a key figure in strengthening school autonomy and stimulating the further development of the school organization. To improve the functioning of school leaders a centralized assessment of all candidates who want to become school leaders was introduced in Lithuania in 2011. The findings of a qualitative study into the first experiences with the assessment provide a deeper understanding of current school leadership problems in Lithuania. A comparison of these findings with the literature on school leadership and the assumptions underlying the recently changed school-leader appointment procedure reveal the lack of a clear vision on school leadership. Some general management competences - such as managing and motivating people, making decisions and strategic thinking - are underdeveloped.

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