The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption to education and highlighted the importance of effective leadership during times of crisis. This paper considers the impact of the pandemic on school leaders in Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand. A secondary analysis of data from five interpretivist, qualitative studies was conducted. The aim of the study was to investigate the similarities and differences between the leaders’ experiences across school settings, states/provinces, and countries. Our findings place renewed importance on understanding the role of schools within the community and the vital role school leaders play in helping schools respond to volatile and dynamic circumstances. The findings show how leaders’ roles and responsibilities adapted to respond quickly and effectively to the urgency of the crisis, regardless of the context. Furthermore, common practices such as attending to wellbeing and providing clear and timely communication were revealed. The analysis also revealed some interesting nuances in the leaders’ responses because of the duration of the crisis, the particular needs of the community, and government requirements. Papers like this provide insights into what leaders do and how schools and systems might prepare and support leaders to lead during times of crisis.
- Crisis leadership