1st Edition

Educational Leadership and Policy in a Time of Precarity

Edited By Amanda Heffernan, Jane Wilkinson Copyright 2024

    This book brings critical perspectives towards questions of how precarity and precariousness affect the work of leaders and educators in schools and universities around the world. It theorises the effects of precarity, and the experiences of educators working in precarious environments.

    The work of school improvement takes time. Developing a highly-skilled and confident teaching workforce requires a long-term investment and commitment. Schools in vulnerable communities face higher rates of turnover and difficulty in staffing than advantaged schools do. Tackling the big issues in education – inequity, opportunity gaps, democracy and cohesion – also takes time. Education systems and sectors around the globe are functioning in increasingly casualised workforce environments, which has implications for leadership in schools and in higher education institutions. Precarity also holds serious implications for policymakers and for the leaders and educators who have to enact those policies. This book brings together experts in the field to offer critical perspectives on questions of how we might theorise the effects of precarity, and the experiences of those people working in precarious environments.

    Educational Leadership and Policy in a Time of Precarity will be a key resource for academics, researchers, and advanced students of education leadership and policy, educational administration, research methods, and sociology. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Educational Administration and History.

    Introduction—Educational leadership and policy: precarity and precariousness
    Amanda Heffernan and Jane Wilkinson

    1. Theorising and preparing students for precarity: How can leaders and educators better prepare students to enter an increasingly insecure workforce?
      Lucas Walsh and Joanne Gleeson
    2. Creative industries curriculum design for living and leading amid uncertainty
      Gail Crimmins, Briony Lipton, Joanna McIntyre, Margarietha de Villiers Scheepers and Peter English

    3. Ethical responsibilities of tenured academics supervising non-tenured researchers in times of neoliberalism and precarity
      Kathleen Smithers, Jess Harris, Mhorag Goff, Nerida Spina and Simon Bailey
    4. Teachers, fixed-term contracts and school leadership: toeing the line and jumping through hoops
      Meghan Stacey, Scott Fitzgerald, Rachel Wilson, Susan McGrath-Champ and Mihajla Gavin
    5. Embracing vulnerability: how has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the pressures school leaders in Northern England face and how they deal with them?
      Michael Jopling and Oliver Harness
    6. Repositioned professionals and heterodox: a response to the precarity of reform in further education
      Lewis Entwistle
    7. Necessary risk: addressing precarity by re-envisioning teaching and learning
      Jeanne M. Powers and Lok-Sze Wong


    Amanda Heffernan is Senior Lecturer in Educational Leadership at the Manchester Institute of Education, the University of Manchester, UK.

    Jane Wilkinson is Professor of Educational Leadership in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Australia.