Different approaches to sharing school leadership

by Marian Court


In this research report Marian Court (Massey University) examines international examples of co-principal partnerships and teacher leadership collectives (initiatives in which two or more people share or replace the position of principal), drawing on concepts of distributed leadership to help explain their different aims and practices.

The report findings indicate that shared school leadership can be highly effective in developing strong commitments to improving student learning. Further advantages for co-principals and teacher leadership teams include: reduced isolation and stress, and enhanced professional development, stimulation and enjoyment.

Reflective questions

These reflective questions might guide you in your reading of this article:

  • What are the key drivers that would steer school leaders in this kind of direction?
  • What kinds of protocols might these leaders write for themselves?
  • Would it be feasible to introduce a distributed leadership model in your school?
  • How would you go about doing this?


Court, M. (2003). Different approaches to sharing school leadership. National College for School Leadership.

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