The text is focused on three processes that immediately affect the internal and the externally orientated life of the school. These are the direction, management and administration of the school. The author traces changes in attitude to these processes in the context of the changing expectations of schools and senior staff in schools, with the study based on Czech and foreign theoretical literature, research and educational policy.
The author characterises the core of the concepts of direction, management and administration of schools. He goes on to show how the accent on the processes of leadership, management and administration of the school has been changing in line with demands that schools become not only relatively autonomous but also institutions developing from the inside outwards, and becoming firmly incorporated into and a well functioning element in a rich tissue of productive relationships with surrounding subjects. On the one hand recent times have seem explicit emphasis on the importance of activities falling under the direction of the school, but this has in no way diminished the importance of the activities of the management of the school. To these has been added what in Czech conditions is a relatively new emphasis on the activities of the administration of the school (especially the explicit inclusion of these activities in the recent new educational law). The author then shows how closely mutually connected the processes of directing, managing and administering a school are and how they can potentially - in successful cases - form a meaningful and integrated system.
The author finally relates the changes monitored in attention to the processes of direction, management and administration of schools to the context of important documents of Czech educational policy since 1989 and shows the extent to which these changes are reflected in the documents, and how far these documents encourage the changes. The article ends with a short reflection on what these changes mean for senior staff at schools, their training and support.