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Title: An examination of the extent to which educational leadership and management principles are practiced in a sample of London schools, with reference to the effectiveness of the Ofsted model
Author: Davidson, Keith
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2002
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The Education Reform Act (ERA) 1988, introduced major reforms to the education service. Since then education has remained an important national issue, in a climate that focuses on an ongoing drive to raise educational standards. Thus, this study has directed its attention to an examination of the contributions inspection has made to school improvement and the development and effectiveness of leadership/management practices in a sample of London schools. The research employed a methodology involving elements of documentary analysis, a questionnaire survey and three case study schools. This was against the background of a wide-ranging literature review, covering: theories in leadership developments in educational management and school improvement and the OFSTED inspection system. The findings from the study indicate that schools were better at developing school policies, but less successful in implementing them. Headteachers were less proactive in building and expanding leadership amongst colleagues. Headteachers perceived themselves to be mainly leaders and less as managers, and will vary their leadership style to reflect the prevailing situation. The study also demonstrates that the OFSTED inspection system functions well in describing headteachers' behaviour, but appears inadequate in shaping headteachers' approach and leadership style. In addition, the findings show that the schools judged to have had effective overall leadership was the outcome of good leadership development strategies by headteachers. Allied to this is the observation that the low performing schools that were now improving were doing so as a result of the impact of positive and purposeful leadership. The study also confirms that while inspection appears to be a catalyst for educational change and reform, school improvement was ultimately the product of direct leadership initiatives. Finally, the study proposes that while headteachers should consider themselves firstly and essentially leaders, nevertheless, they should recognise the importance of ensuring and developing effective management practices in their schools. Furthermore, the thesis suggests that headteachers should be trained by OFSTED to conduct and develop systematic school reviews and self-evaluation programmes. Schools would also be required to submit annual self-evaluation returns to OFSTED to be part of the data base on which the chief inspector's annual report is derived. This would allow OFSTED more quality time to assist weak schools in building sustainable strategies for school improvement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available