School of Education

Professor Tony Busy wins an outstanding paper award

Congratulations to Professor Tony Bush and his co-writers who have won an 'Outstanding Paper' award in the 2023 Emerald Literati Awards

Instructional Leadership in Sub-Saharan Africa: Policy and Practice was published in the International Journal of Educational Management.



The purpose of the paper is to report the findings of a synthesis of literature reviews and stakeholder interviews conducted in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The synthesis provides an overview of instructional leadership policy and practice in these six countries.


This paper reports the findings of a systematic literature review, and participant interviews, in six sub-Sahara African countries. The research links to the British Council's initiative to develop instructional leadership in developing contexts, including the six countries featured in this submission.


The findings show diverse policy and practice of instructional leadership in these African contexts. Three have no explicit policies on this important leadership construct, while the others have relevant policy statements but limited evidence of instructional leadership practice.

Research limitations/implications

The research provides an overview of instructional leadership policy and practice in these six countries, but more school-based research is required to develop grounded evidence on whether and how this is practiced. The pandemic inhibited such school-based research in 2020. The study provides emerging evidence of the impact of instructional leadership on school and student outcomes, confirming what is known from international research.

Practical implications

Developing awareness of how instructional leadership can improve student learning, linked to appropriate training, could lead to more effective schools.

Social implications

The Sustainable Development Goals stress the importance of high quality education for economic and social development. Leadership is an important aspect of quality, and the research reported in this paper shows the potential for instructional leadership to enhance student learning.


This is the first cross-national study of instructional leadership in sub-Saharan Africa.


Posted on Friday 1st September 2023

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