Critical Reflection on the Maltese Legal Framework and the Policy Documents in Relation to the Role of the Educational Leader

Doreen Said Pace


In Malta, the core role of the educational leader is to be a curricular leader whilst attending to student matters, teaching personnel, home-school-community links, administration and finance. Research recommends that such expectation can be best fulfilled through the adoption of a distributed leadership style. However, when analyzing the Maltese legal contextual background laid out in the Laws of Malta - Education Act, the subsequent Government documents and the job description for the post of Head of School (HOS) to identify whether the theoretical stance and what is requested in practice align, the findings indicate that the suggested styles in the legal framework do not align clearly well with the policy documents and the practice thus possibly creating certain conflicts and confusion. The point being made is that notwithstanding being knowledgeable about what should be the core business of the school leader if the laws state otherwise, then the educational practitioners will end in a dilemma between the theory and the practice. Consequently, here, it will be emphasized that the legal documentation’s expectations of the system guiding the work of the educational leaders should not only be adjourned but more importantly, should promote more the distributed leadership role more clearly and allow the school leaders to fulfill what they are expected to do by reducing, or better still, removing unnecessary administrative work that alienates them from their core business.

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