School Leadership

School Leadership

School Leadership

School Leadership


Schools become increasingly complex organisations and, as their role in socialising young people is recognised, the task of leading the school community is receiving greater attention than ever before.

School Leadership summarises current thinking about leadership in schools and suggests ways forward. School leadership is set in its social context. Is leadership associated with function within a bureaucratically ordered hierarchy, is it widely shared across communities or is it both? The school is considered both as an institution of the state and as an agency of democratic values. Ideas as to who the leaders are and what leadership involves are recast. The authors' recent experience with Headship preparation and development is discussed and analysed. Set in the Scottish experience this book provides examples of general issues facing many schools and school leaders across the world.

School Leadership is required reading for head teachers, education administrators and for those aspiring to leadership roles in schools.

This is a thoroughly revised and updated edition of a book that has been a key resource for School Leadership programmes since publication of the first edition in 2003.


It is a poor education that does not draw human beings into participation
in many things they do rather badly, a thin and partial conception of leader
ship in which the same folks are not sometimes leaders and sometimes led
(Advisory Council on Education in Scotland, 1947, para 168).

This volume explores current issues in school leadership in the context of state schooling in general, and Scottish schooling in particular. It reviews the major themes and issues that define and affect leadership within and beyond the school. Much has changed since the second edition was published in 2008, and this revised and expanded new edition takes full account of the rapid changes in schools and the ever-increasing expectations of what they can deliver. Scotland, in common with many other developed societies, wants more of its children to attain high levels of skill and capacity, to learn and be able to apply knowledge. This demands a teaching profession that is not just familiar with teaching but also above all understands learning – one that can apply an understanding of the complex relationship between cognition, emotion and motivation in the dynamic relational environment of the classroom.

Scotland also recognises that not all the barriers to children’s learning and well-being are located in the school. For example, the continuing inequalities in children’s achievements in school, and their consequent life chances, often result from social factors, such as relative poverty and affluence. Schools have been given a central social role in Scotland, most notably through the policy ‘Getting it right for every child’ (SEED, 2006b). the policy declares that all children are entitled to be safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included (SHANARRI) and that these are the indicators of healthy development (Scottish Government, n.d.b). Teachers now need to apply in their daily work a sophisticated understanding of this social context of schooling, of relationships within schools and social relationships beyond schools. Meanwhile we have seen the introduction of the most comprehensive curriculum reform . . .

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