Best School Management Books for Principals to Read


As a school principal, staying in tune with the latest educational trends and strategies is imperative to managing your team of educators effectively. But where do you begin when it comes to finding reading material on the subject? School management and leadership are multi-faceted subjects, and sometimes poring over education blogs or articles is simply not enough. To help you get a comprehensive understanding of these themes, here’s a list of the best school management books that every principal must have in their library.

1. “The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact” by Michael Fullan

This book provides principals with an excellent resource on ways to maximize their influence as leaders within the school community. Fullan offers practical insights into creating a positive culture, building strong relationships with teachers and students, and improving overall school performance.

2. “Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction” by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo

Paul Bambrick-Santoyo’s data-driven approach helps principals understand how they can use data from their schools effectively. This book is filled with hands-on techniques for implementing data analysis techniques within your institution, thus improving instructional practices.

3. “School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results” by Robert J. Marzano, Timothy Waters, and Brian A. McNulty

In this well-researched book, authors Marzano, Waters, and McNulty share a compelling case for strong educational leadership based on decades of research data. They outline 21 leadership responsibilities that positively impact academic achievement support decision-making processes for school administrators.

4. “Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning” by Mike Schmoker

Schmoker offers guidance for principals looking to reduce administrative distractions while taking actionable steps towards growing student success rates. He stresses the importance of focusing on three core elements – a well-managed classroom, purposeful reading and writing, and authentic literacy.

5. “Building Ranks: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective School Leaders” by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)

This indispensable resource from NASSP helps principals understand the two crucial dimensions of school leadership: building culture and leading student-learning. It provides a variety of research-based tools, case studies, and strategies aimed at promoting both aspects.

6. “The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential” by John C. Maxwell

Leadership expert John C. Maxwell presents a practical guide for all leaders on how to become more effective in their roles. In this book, he outlines five stages of leadership development that will help principals harness their potential and empower their staff.


As a school principal, staying current with effective school management strategies is crucial to your continued success in the field. By diving into these top-rated books on school management and leadership, you’ll gain new insights to help your institution flourish. So grab a cup of coffee, curl up with these book recommendations, and prepare to transform your school for the better.

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