The South African education scene is characterised by principals who come from the apartheid era where they manage the school alone in an authoritarian manner. Old approaches to school management have changed because the society has also changed. There is a shift from top-down style of leadership to shared or distributed leadership which requires the empowerment of those in managerial positions in schools. The principal is expected to manage the school together with significant stakeholders. In this study attention was focused on the extent to which principals perform the duties of instructional leadership and how they empower the School Management Team (SMT) to execute instructional leadership. Additionally, the study aimed at finding out impediments that principals experience in the course of empowering the School Management team. The study used a quantitative method involving the use of a questionnaire. The study population consisted of 90 principals and deputy principals and 165 heads of department in Tshwane-West District. Data analysis consisted of descriptive and inferential statistics. The greatest challenge is the administrative workload experienced by principals. The study also found that rural principals perform the duties of instructional leadership more than the urban principals. Principals perform their duties well and this is good for the academic performance of learners.
Key words: School management, instructional management, empowerment, culture of teaching and learning, teaching and learning.
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