V. Kovac, I. Buchberger, B. Rafajac

University of Rijeka, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (CROATIA)
The main aim of the paper is to present undergoing research project supported by Croatian Science Foundation, titled “Investigating School Leadership From a Distributed Perspective in Croatian Schools” (IScLEAD), with the special emphasize to elaborate the concept of distributive school leadership. Distributive school leadership is seen as one of the most important success factors of school and student achievement. In the broader context, it is seen as a success i.e. sustainability factor of education reforms.

The main aim of this research is to identify the characteristics of the school leadership practice in Croatian schools with the special emphasize on seeking indicators of both individual and distributive leadership and finding those features that are associated with the better school and student achievement.

The main aim will be elaborated through the following specific tasks:
1) examining the characteristics of school leadership with special emphasis on the role of participation and interaction of individual stakeholders in the activities of leadership (school principals, school boards, school councils, professional services, teachers, parents, students, community representatives and local government) and their association with indicators of school success;
2) examining various features of education system governance from the perspectives of different stakeholders (communication and collaboration between state level, local governments and school level authorities; overall satisfaction with the education system governance) and their effects on the school leadership practice.

Results of the previous studies and preliminary review related to Croatian education system point to the importance of strengthening the characteristics of the distributed school leadership with special emphasis on strengthening the capacity of teachers as active participants in making key decisions related to the matters of education. What remained less investigated deals with the role of the local education authorities in the school governance.