Leadership: What's in It for Schools?

Leadership: What's in It for Schools?

Leadership: What's in It for Schools?

Leadership: What's in It for Schools?


The What's in it for Schools series has been written by experts in the field for an audience of busy practitioners. The books present research and thinking about topical education issues and present it in an accessible and relevant way. What makes a good leader? Does good leadership matter in helping schools be more successful? This concise and accessible book examines leadership in a practical way by helping principals, heads, teachers and parents establish their roles and responsibilities and get to grips with the unique leadership requirements of schools. The author explores issues such as leadership, what it is and how it works, character and culture as keys to improvement, how to build commitment, motivation and improved performance, and using local standards and assessments to improve schools and leadership as a form of social capital.


There is a concerted move to raise standards in the public education system. The aim is laudable. Few people would disagree with it. However, there is no clear agreement about what we mean by 'standards'. Do we mean attainment or achievement more broadly defined, for example, and how we are to raise whatever it is we agree needs raising?

At the same time, there appears to be an increasing trend towards approaching changes in education through a controlling, rational and technical framework. This framework tends to concentrate on educational content and delivery and ignores the human resource perspective and the complexity of how human beings live, work and interact with one another. It overemphasizes linearity and pays insufficient attention to how people respond to change and either support or subvert it.

Recent government initiatives, including the National Curriculum, OfSTED school and LEA inspections, assessment procedures, league tables, target-setting, literacy and numeracy hours, and performance management have endorsed this framework. On occasions this has been less to do with the content of 'reforms' than the process of implementation - that is, doing it 'to' rather than 'with' the teaching profession. Teachers are frequently treated as the problem rather than part of the solution, with the consequence that many feel disillusioned, demoralised and disempowered. Critics of this top-down approach are often seen as lacking rigour, complacent about standards, and uninterested in raising achievement.

We wanted to edit this series because we believe that you can be passionate about public education, about raising achievement, about

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