Exploring the Role of School Leaders in Enhancing Staff Wellbeing for School Improvement: A Case Study in a Private School in Dubai

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Staff wellbeing has been identified as a crucial factor in improving school performance and student outcomes. However, school leaders often face challenges in promoting staff wellbeing, especially in the fast-paced and demanding environment of private schools in Dubai. There is a need for research that investigates the strategies and approaches used by school leaders to enhance staff wellbeing and how these efforts translate into school improvement. Therefore, this study aims to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the staff wellbeing initiatives implemented by school leaders in a private school in Dubai and their contribution to school improvement. The research consults the Full Range of Leadership Theory (FLRT) to identify which specific leadership approaches are associated with higher levels of employee wellbeing and positive organizational outcomes. The study utilized a qualitative approach to address the research question, two open-ended questionnaires were administered to the school leaders and a sample of twenty teachers to enhance external validity. The research findings emphasize how crucial leadership is for teachers’ wellbeing and the success of staff being programs in schools. Teachers stress the value of leaders who appreciate their ideas and encourage collaboration through shared goals and open communication. A sense of ownership in decision-making has an impact on teacher engagement while being left out leads to emotions. Teachers generally have a view of development, but some are dissatisfied when their wellbeing is low. The speed at which changes happen in schools significantly affects teacher wellbeing highlighting the importance of a controlled and gradual approach. The research highlights the need for leadership that considers both staff needs and broader challenges. It also advocates for collaboration, meaningful professional development, and responsive feedback to improve teacher wellbeing and overall school improvement. The study's limitations include contextual specificity and time constraints. In conclusion, the study emphasizes the need for ongoing support and professional development for school leaders to enhance their leadership skills and abilities to effectively promote staff wellbeing. Investing in leadership training programs and creating platforms for sharing best practices can empower school leaders to create positive work environments that foster staff wellbeing, job satisfaction, and, consequently, school improvement. Future studies could expand the scope of research by replicating the study in additional private schools within the UAE. This would allow for an exploration of how the findings may differ or be consistent across diverse contexts.
staff wellbeing, leadership style, school improvement, resistance, enhance performance