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Title: The qualities and practices of effective system leaders : primary headteachers
Author: Wilkinson, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 7475
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The role of the primary school headteacher has evolved and current changes to the leadership landscape are influential in shaping this further, altering expectations of what it means to be an effective headteacher. This now includes being an effective system leader. This thesis explores the leadership qualities and practices needed by a primary headteacher to be an effective system leader. The study is carried out in seven large rural local authorities in England. It is a qualitative research study based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 headteachers who are system leaders in the primary phase. Their specific roles are either as a national leader of education (NLE) and director of a teaching school alliance (TSA) or an executive headteacher. Effective school leadership is defined with reference to research related to the concept of learning-centred leadership. The leadership qualities and practices identified here are considered alongside emerging research into system leadership and form the background to this research. The responses from the telephone semi-structured interviews with the headteachers are submitted to thematic analysis which leads to the development of two models. One represents the connections between five leadership qualities following theme mapping and the other provides a framework for 12 leadership practices derived from network analysis. Although these are considered separately, the analysis of the findings draws links between the two models when appropriate. The findings reveal leadership practices that the primary headteachers employ specifically as part of their role as a system leader such as building 'home' school capacity, coaching and mentoring staff into leadership roles and establishing systems and structures in other schools. Recommendations relate to government policy on aspects of system leadership and the professional development of headteachers as system leaders in the primary phase that will support their development practically, intellectually and personally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available