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Title: Perceptions of secondary school middle leaders on their development and contribution to whole school improvement
Author: Howkins, Janice
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 838X
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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The focus on school improvement has been driven at a national level through Government initiatives and the increasingly high profile of the Ofsted Inspection frameworks and procedures. The latter, in particular, has made schools very accountable for pupil outcomes. This in turn has impacted on leaders in schools, who, as part of the Ofsted Inspection framework, are given a separate judgment for their performance (Ofsted 2015). Since 2012 middle leaders have featured in the Ofsted framework descriptors used to judge leadership and management in a school. This study explores the perceptions and development of middle leaders, in one North West London secondary school, regarding their development and contribution to whole school improvement. The research suggests that while the vast majority of middle leaders did not have a full understanding of distributed leadership as a construct, they did however, consider themselves to be drivers in the school, described by three as ‘the cogs in the engine’. Positive partnerships with senior leaders and school improvement groups, in this institution, were cited by some as key features of middle leaders’ contribution to whole school improvement. The analysis of findings highlighted the positive impact of leaders working together and identifies a construct of distributed and inclusive leadership. I carried out the study within my own school as headteacher researcher. A key finding has been the significant benefit for a headteacher to do research as an insider. The experience of headteacher researcher has further ignited my longstanding passion of deepening and extending understanding and knowledge about our roles as leaders in schools.
Supervisor: Zwozdiak-Myers, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Leadership ; Middle leadership ; Improve schools