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Title: Leading schools in challenging circumstances : transactional and transformational leadership in four secondary schools
Author: Smith, Philip
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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The leadership of schools can make the difference between giving and denying individuals a chance of success in the modem global workplace. This thesis examines leadership within schools, focusing on securing success within a political environment. It explores the leadership of a sample of secondary schools in a Local Authority situated in an area of high social deprivation and identifies the impact the Headteachers of these schools have on staff, students and community. A qualitative approach is used to identify the thought processes of the school leaders and the styles they utilise, as well as matching their actions to existing theories of successful leadership. The research found that school leaders use transactional leadership in order to undertake task-based requirements, particularly those generated by national policies and governmental agencies. The development and success of the schools, however, can be accredited to instances of transformational leadership, the dominant leadership theory for the improvement of schools, especially in deprived areas. This study argues that transformational leadership accelerates the progress of a school through the way that Headteachers inspire and develop individuals at all levels. In an area of high deprivation, successful transformational leaders form strong connections with individuals and become driven to raise aspirations and improve self-image. It was discovered that there is a strong two-way relationship where the Headteacher and the community influence and affect each other; this is essential for the development of the school, the community and the Headteachers, who developed a sense of privilege at being able to serve a deprived community, and were grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact on other people's lives. The final conclusions are that analysis using the constructivist paradigm can explain this level of transformational leadership as the greater positive feedback such Headteachers receive encourages Headteachers to become even more transformational.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available