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An investigation into leadership in a junior secondary school in Lusikisiki district, Eastern Cape, with special focus on evidence for the existence of transformational leadership.

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The dilemma in South African schools can be attributed to the lack of legitimacy created apartheid system and its policies during the previous dispensation. The apartheid school system was characterized by inequality: racially, regionally and in terms of gender (Department of Education 2000f:l). It was also administered by means of a top-down management system where principals and educators were at the receiving end. This means that the principals were accustomed to receiving instructions from departmental officials. This led to poor management and leadership and to a collapse of the culture of teaching and learning in the majority of schools. The South African Schools Act of 1996 places all South African Schools firmly on the road to a school based system of education management and leadership. Department of Education Task Team Report" Changing Management to Manage Change in Education" (1996), as well as the South African School Act of 1996, proposed that a new approach to leadership and management which is a process of decentralizing decision making about allocation of resources to school level, and a significant process of democratization in ways in which schools are governed and managed. The Department of Education (1996) also emphases that the implementation of these new policy trends require school principals who are able to work in democratic and participative ways to build relations and ensure efficient and effective delivery in schools. In this connection transformational style of leadership is essential as this style of leadership is regarded as being more suitable and appropriate for school effectiveness and improvement (see Coleman 1994). What is attempted is of the principal's leadership and its impact on this school; whether the principal's leadership style corresponds with the processes of transformational leadership advocated in the new education policy trends; and a special focus will be on whether there is any evidence of the existence of transformational leadership in this school. The main findings of this research exhibited that the principal's leadership at this school was transactional rather than being transformational. Although the principal at some stage would feel confident that she is carrying out his duties effectively toward promoting effective teaching and learning at this school, it was evident from the findings that she was not at all prepared to face the challenges of the new paradigm shift.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2004.


School management and organization--South Africa., Educational leadership--South Africa., Educational change--South Africa., High schools--Eastern Cape., Theses--Education.