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Smith L, Riley DE. School leadership in times of crisis. 2012.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/10544
School leadership in times of crisis
The leadership attributes and skills required of school leaders in times of crisis are fundamentally different from those generally required as part of the 'normal' school environment. Strong school leadership generally is about positioning the school for the future, and about supporting and empowering staff and students in the pursuit of teaching and learning excellence. Leadership in times of crisis is about dealing with events, emotions and consequences in the immediate present in ways that minimise personal and organisational harm to the school and school community. This paper interrogates the crisis management literature in an attempt to understand the nature of the leadership necessary for schools to successfully deal with - and learn from - the crises they inevitably will encounter. Nine key attributes for effective crisis leadership are identified. The challenge that emerges from the paper is how to develop the necessary crisis leadership attributes and skills in both our present and future school leaders when crises are, by their very nature, mostly unpredictable and inherently unique events.