Resilience and school leadership

New publication from the RED team!

Uleanya, C. (2023). Success through leadership resilience: Qualitative exploration of a selected rural high school. Research in Educational Administration and Leadership. (open access)

How do the staff at rural high schools in South Africa deal with the challenges of high drop-out rates? In this study, drawing on collaboration with one of RED’s project schools, the focus lies on individual factors, in particular, resilience. The abstract elaborates:

Failure and drop-out rate in rural high schools (RHSs) in South Africa remains a prevailing crisis. This has been attributed to issues such as poor/limited infrastructures, poverty, unemployment, among others. Thus, this case study explores the issue of a purposively selected South African Rural High School (RHS) with 15 years’ success rate at terminal examination known as Matric. Qualitative method was adopted, hence, interviews were conducted with eight purposively selected staff members of the school: one principal, one deputy principal, three departmental heads, two teachers and one senior admin clerk. The collected data was coded, categorised, thereafter thematically analysed.

The findings of the study showed that resources in the selected rural high school are limited, and dropout impacts the school negatively. Nonetheless, with resilience and collaborative efforts of the school leaders: principal, deputy principal, teachers and other staff members, as well as limited reliance on government learners can be supported to succeed, thus increasing pass rate. The study therefore, recommends among others the need for school leaders to believe in their abilities, be resilient in their pursuit of ensuring learners’ success and if need be, rely minimally on support from the government.

(Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash)