Investigating sustainable leadership practices by departmental heads in schools around Bergville Circuit.

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School leadership is well positioned to influence a wide range of stakeholders and promote sustainability practices within and outside the school setting where they lead. This quantitative study investigates sustainable leadership practices that the departmental heads use in their schools with various stakeholders in public schools of Bergville Circuit. A stratified purposive sampling was used to select 59 departmental heads in public school of Bergville Circuit as participants. A self-completed questionnaire was designed with 45 items and dispatched to the selected departmental heads from rural public schools in the Bergville Circuit in KZN. Results indicate that although there are sustainable leadership practices currently used by Departmental Heads in the Bergville Circuit, these practices are not formally documented or communicated. The perception among Departmental Heads is that sustainable leadership practices that relate to continual development of staff and proper teamwork between the principal and other school leadership are of paramount importance for school functionality and sustainability. Key performance drivers (KPDs) that could enhance school leadership sustainability are the valuing of staff, continuous development of staff, stakeholder consultation, teamwork, environmental responsibility, and innovation. Drawing from these results, a framework of sustainable leadership practice is proposed to be used by departmental heads in schools. This study recommends that the sustainable leadership practices and KPDs be integrated into the leadership activities and workshops so that sustainability is regularly addressed and monitored. Socially, departmental heads should be more involved in managing relationships that schools, as social organizations have with their surrounding communities and the environment in such a way that mutual benefit is realised among the key stakeholders.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.