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Title: Leadership within the context of school equality policy
Author: Willoughby, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 7243
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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My thesis examines leadership within the context of school equality policy. I define leadership as the interaction of leaders, followers and situation. There were two research aims. To clarify, illustrate and evaluate the distinction between leadership and management; both theoretically and practically in relation to school policy. A second aim was to collect and examine the views of teaching staff from Head teachers to Teaching Assistants in three primary schools. These aims produced three research questions: • Where does power and control lay in primary schools? Is power and control similar to leadership and management? • What leadership characteristics come out of a primary school equality policy context? • How and why are schools using leadership within the context of primary school equality policy? Questions were addressed through a qualitative research design using a focused, in-depth case study approach. I collected and analysed semi-structured interviews from teaching staff and documentary evidence from Ofsted reports. Research conclusions were: that leadership/power and control/management are similar when discussing school organisations. This view is supported by academic specialists (Crawford 2014). Analysis suggested that leadership and management can be seen as a continuum from wicked to tame complicated problems (Grint 2010; Western 2008) when developing school policy. Finally, this continuum seems to work at the micro school, meso schools and macro government levels. I found 8 major characteristics of school leadership including team, experience and respect which involved formal and informal leadership; however, interviewees saw formal leadership as central. Finally, the how and why of equality policy involved solo and distributed leadership; for the schools, shared leadership of Equality policy was seen as an important element in ensuring access and opportunity according to their ethos and vision and meeting internal and external accountability requirements. This research raised an issue concerning the paucity of Teaching Assistant voice in Ofsted reports and academic literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available