Education minister Jack McConnell told the Association of Headteachers in Scotland conference at West Kilbride that they were the best placed to decide priorities and responsibilities for their individual schools.
'In my time as education minister, I have visited many schools across Scotland. In every single one of them the impact of the headteacher has been evident. Your commitment to the children in your school, to their achievement and to their well-being, is one that goes far beyond the working day.
'It is because of your critical role as leaders of schools that I am determined to see devolved school management in every school in Scotland. DSM is about the devolution of decision-making and responsibility in equal measure.
'DSM gives you the tools necessary to work in the way that best suits your staff and your pupils. It gives you the tools because you are the people best placed to use them, to carve your priorities into school development plans and to contribute to our shared responsibility for raising educational attainment for all our young people.'
Mr McConnell also encouraged headteachers to seek Charter Mark status for their schools.
'There is much excellent work going on in schools. I believe the best way to spread excellence is to recognise it and encourage it,' he said. 'I know from the experience of schools in my constituency that when a school is recognised as being committed to forming strong effective partnerships with pupils, parents and the community, then the pride within that school soars. Not only that, when other schools see that achievement their instinct is to try and match it, to bring that recognition to their schools.
'There are more than 100 schools in Scotland which have already achieved Charter Mark or Investors in People recognition. I want to see the number of schools which have such a standard at least double over the next two years.
'By working together we can all play our part in raising attainment and celebrating success in Scotland's schools.'