Sustaining educational futures for multi-campus TAFE environments: Change requirements for leadership roles and practices

Year: 2008

Author: Stringer, Bernard, Hudson, Peter

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Leadership in an educational setting can impact on the functioning of an organisation. Over the past 20 years, the nature of leading and managing TAFE institutes has changed significantly. However, if leaders have impediments that hamper their ability to perform their roles then the level of performance exhibited across an organisation could be low resulting in sub-standard practices. To achieve TAFE goals necessitates a strong understandings of leadership in TAFE settings and re-thinking leadership approaches used to facilitate teaching and learning. In the TAFE setting, initiatives such as flat management structures have resulted in changes for leaders who now struggle to fulfil their roles. The aim of this current paper is to focus on analysing leaders' challenges within TAFE institutes in relation to multi-campus settings. Many leaders in TAFE institutes may be inadequately prepared for effectively leading multi-campus environments. Johansson (2004) argues that a new approach to educational leadership views the leader as a key resource for building and maintaining teams of educational professionals as well as for achieving change and reform in an effective and efficient way. Transformational leadership can lead to employee motivation and commitment required for positive organisational change. Although there is a range of leadership theories, however, transformational leadership and especially distributed leadership provide a context for today's changing needs and may be applicable to TAFE's current situation. Sustaining educational futures for TAFE institutions will require research that investigates leadership roles and practices, particularly the potential of distributed leadership, to understand how to effectively manage TAFE's current multi-campus environments.