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Title: Good educational leadership : principles of democratic practice : with reference to maintained schools in England
Author: Orchard, Janet Linda
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2012
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Accepting that "good" leadership is critical for a school to flourish, in a democratic society such leadership should be informed by democratic values. I develop this argument with particular reference to maintained schools in England. These are designated places that prepare the next generation for future lives as citizens, but their leadership practices promote an autocratic model of leadership centred on the agency of an individual, the headteacher. I consider the influence of past practice on this hierarchical tradition of school leadership and criticise its continuing presence in current policy and practice. I offer an alternative conception of good school leadership, based on democratic principles of political liberty and equality. I show, with reference to empirical research by other scholars, how this might be applied to future policy and practice. My argument applies theory to a significant problem in educational practice, working across the foundational disciplines in the study of education. While my critique of current arrangements is interdisciplinary, it leans most towards a philosophical approach. I draw on earlier work within that discipline which establishes what a characteristically democratic approach to school leadership must logically entail. I argue that existing school leadership practices may be democratic when undertaken in the right spirit by people morally committed to those values and skilled at translating them into daily life. I conclude that schools should determine freely for themselves how they wish to be led, within limits identified by a new national framework for school leadership; this should replace the current system, focussed on "standards". Schools should ensure that strategic decisions concerning their future direction are shaped by directly interested parties. This alternative conception of good school leadership will require existing professional development programmes to be revised, because learning for and from leadership start at school, both "taught" and "caught" from experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available