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Title: Headteachers' leadership role and inclusion of students with Special Educational Needs in primary mainstream schools in Epirus, Greece
Author: Rapti, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 6647
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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This study examines the intersection of the fields of school leadership and inclusive education investigating headteachers' perspectives about the promotion of inclusion of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in primary mainstream schools in a region of Greece, called Epirus. Although there is a shift towards inclusion at a philosophical and policy level, scholars suggest that more often than not this is not fully reflected in school practice. Given that inclusion is conceptualised as an education reform and that leadership plays a crucial role in supporting educational change, there is increasing literature about inclusive leadership, to which this study makes a significant contribution providing new insights in terms of theory and empirical data. Adopting a mixed methods design, both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from headteachers of public primary mainstream schools in Epirus that educate students with SEN. Specifically, eight semi-structured interviews informed the construction of a questionnaire which was completed by 83 headteachers and was followed by further in-depth interviews with 17 headteachers. The analysis of data suggested that although there was a lack of consensus on the definition of inclusion and reservations about its feasibility, headteachers were generally positive in principle towards it. Moreover, despite the fact that they indicated feeling inadequately prepared to promote inclusion, they identified a variety of leadership practices that they use towards this end. However, while they put emphasis on developing partnerships with stakeholders, they did not seem to favour their involvement in decision-making and there was limited evidence of distributing leadership responsibilities, which is associated with inclusive leadership. In addition, the study revealed the challenges and the opportunities that arise for headteachers in terms of promoting inclusion as well as their ideas about the way forward. On the basis of the findings suggestions are made for policy, practice and research.
Supervisor: Pearson, Susan ; Roberts, Sian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available