Principal Leadership and Parental Involvement in Indonesian Schools

Principal Leadership and Parental Involvement in Indonesian Schools

School principals need to engage with lot of people, parents, community, local governance system, teachers, children to resolve the issue in short term and for long term, along with building and maintain trust over the school of the people involved. When parents are more involved in the school, they pay more attention to the students’ learning in their homes, their homework, attendance, etc. of the children and take the daily studies more seriously. It is common that education policies in should emphasizes the role of parents and the community on how they educate their children in school. Particularly since they are having sense of curiosity to leave education solely to the school.

The principals’ meaningful partnership with parent and communities around the school could contribute to school success. Furthermore, the success of leadership in school is based upon the acceptance of school members, parents, and the community. It is essential that school principal deals first with their communities that includes parents, teachers, and other school community in a process that represents the school standpoint on school success. Gaining trust from school members and the community around the school was something that school leaders need to do. Openness towards school members that include parent is one aspect which contributes directly to the success as a school principal. Principals espouse the development and sustainability of relationships both within the school and the community beyond the school as vital for embracing school success. Several studies (Gurr and Raihani, 2006; Dimmock, 2005; Day, 2009) show that there is a need to develop structures that enable leaders to promote engagement positively involving parents and communities.

Most of principals in Indonesia was not in a conscious decision on their part which led to them currently in a leadership position. Principals were often placed in their role by the government authorities due to their status as a public servant. Consequently, it was left to the them alone to adapt and tailor their practices to the particular school environment and build relation with the parent. As mentioned in the literatures that any training, preparation and experiences prior to leading a school could contribute significantly to principals’ ability to lead. Principals in Indonesia were mostly based any parental involvement effort on their knowledge, perspectives, personal beliefs that have accumulated during their lifetime. Tyler (2014) argues that the decision and policies of principals reflect their character and personal beliefs which create honesty, credibility, and equality among members of the school and community. The difference between the school being effective and ineffective can be caused by appropriate or inappropriate policies made by them. Day (2000) states that the experiences and personal values of school leaders have an influence on how they lead the school.

Principals’ ability to adapt particularly in challenging situations could contribute to their success in leading a school. It was evident that the principal espouses the development and sustainability of relationships with the school and the community beyond the school was vital for school success. The school success is not solely the responsibility of the school principal. The parent and community around the school as aforementioned plays a very important role; a successful school should in fact should be community-driven, particularly, as students are highly likely to live in their family and community once they leave the school. Therefore, the parent can be regarded as an essential partner to the school.


Day, C. (2000). Effective leadership and reflective practice. Reflective Practice. 1:pp. 113-127. 10.1080/713693134.

Day, C (2009). Building and sustaining successful principalship in England: The importance of trust. Journal of Educational Administration 47(6): pp.719-730. 

Dimmock, C. (2005). School community perspectives and their leadership implications. Nottingham: National College for School Leadership.

Gurr, D. and Raihani (2006) Value-driven school leadership: an Indonesian perspective. Leading & Managing 12(1): pp. 121-134.

Tyler, C. (2014). Today’s challenges and dilemmas for ethical school leaders. E-Leader Bangkok. Retrieved April 2017


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