1st Edition

Democratising Leadership in the Early Years A Systemic Approach

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    Bringing together valuable insights from research and practice undertaken at the world-famous Pen Green Centre, Democratising Leadership in the Early Years illustrates how settings and practitioners can develop and maintain forms of leadership which foster collaborative practices across and within settings and services.

    Effective leadership is key to establishing socially inclusive and democratic practices and as such, it has become a key concern for policy-makers, researchers and practitioners in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care. Drawing on authors’ first-hand experiences, on systems theory, psychological theory and neuroscience, chapters in this book illustrate the role of highly effective leadership in ensuring that services are accessible, inclusive and innovative. Practical advice will support professionals in overcoming destructive systemic and psychological dynamics to flatten hierarchies, improve relationships, learning and educational outcomes, and to encourage staff, parents, and children to contribute creatively to collaborative enterprises.

    Accessible and insightful, Democratising Leadership in the Early Years will improve understanding of approaches to leadership and support early years practitioners, students and managers as they develop their leadership skills and build capacity within settings and the wider community.

    Notes on the Authors

    Rationale for this book

    Introduction, Karen John

    Chapter 1: Applying systems theory to early years leadership, Patrick Whitaker

    Chapter 2: Holding the baby: Leadership that inspires and contains ambition and anxiety, Karen John

    Chapter 3: Leadership as Activism, Margy Whalley

    Chapter 4: Who is taking responsibility? Becoming an authoritative leader, Elizabeth Klavins

    Chapter 5: We all have potential to lead because we all have responsibilities, Christine Parker

    Chapter 6: Working together or pulling apart? How early years leaders and practitioners can encourage collaborative practice to flourish, Julie Vaggers


    Margy Whalley, CBE was Founder and former Director of Pen Green Centre for Children & Families, Nursery School and Teaching School, UK, and now works as a Research Associate and Education Consultant.

    Karen John is a Development Pschologist and works as a consultant and mentor of early years leaders.

    Patrick Whitaker was an Educational Leadership Consultant and Co-developer of the National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership Pilot.

    Elizabeth Klavins was Headteacher of an integrated, multi-functional Children’s Centre for 25 years. She now works as an Education Adviser in schools.

    Christine Parker is a former primary school Headteacher and currently works at the Pen Green Research Base, UK leading on the Initial Teacher Training programme.

    Julie Vaggers is a former nursery school Headteacher and now works as an Educational Consultant.