Effective School Leadership in Challenging Times : A Practice-First, Theory-Informed Approach book cover
1st Edition

Effective School Leadership in Challenging Times
A Practice-First, Theory-Informed Approach

ISBN 9780367186043
Published December 30, 2020 by Routledge
210 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Education leadership has been subject to a period of turmoil with rapid social change, political demands for excellence, economic pressures for austerity and the influence of technology impacting on leadership roles in multiple ways. This book draws on real examples of practice to identify the key challenges facing educational leadership and how these might be overcome drawing on recent research and interventions that have impacted positively on learner outcomes and teacher retention.

Covering all aspects of leadership including school improvement, vision and values, working with partners and leading change, the book launches the concept of atomic leadership, advocating small steps to change for maximum momentum and large-scale impact. It reveals how leaders can cooperate to trial new ways of learning and disseminate their successes and failures with a new honesty and openness about what works in our schools.

With reflective tasks in every chapter, this text will inspire debate and inform discussion at staff meetings and is essential reading for all school leaders as well as those undertaking master-level courses in educational leadership and or pursuing the National Professional Qualifications in leadership.

Table of Contents


Section 1 Leadership as Influence

Chapter 1 What is Educational Leadership?

Chapter 2 What Leaders Think

Chapter 3 The Place of Vision, Mission and Culture in a Changing World

Section 2 Leadership with Purpose

Chapter 4 Leading a Self-improving Educational System

Chapter 5 Emerging School Associations: The English Story

Chapter 6 Achieving Teaching and Curriculum Excellence

Section 3 Leadership in Context

Chapter 7 Influencing Student Learning

Chapter 8 Knowledge Mobilization and Followership

Chapter 9 Working with Diversity

Chapter 10 Leading Continuing Professional Development

Section 4 Leadership with Responsibility

Chapter 11 Global Challenges, School Attendance, Teacher and Leader Supply

Chapter 12 Leveraging Technology

Chapter 13 Managing Resources and Risk

Chapter 14 The Final Word

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Liz Browne has worked in a range of contexts within the field of education, including schools, a further education college, and a university. She is the governor of an OfSTED-rated ‘Outstanding’ school. As a semi-retired academic she spends her free time delivering training to teachers and academics from across the world.


"The translation of leadership theory into practice is problematic for any student studying in this area. This is particularly true for leaders in schools existing in an ever-changing environment having to adhere to political demands and operate within stringent regulatory requirements. This book which is based on research offers ways of navigating the theory practice divide. It will be welcomed by academics and school leaders alike." - Professor Dawn Forman – Professor of Academic Leadership at the University of Derby

"This essential text combines insightful theoretical analysis situated firmly in the diverse, dynamic and evolving practices of educational leadership. The coherently sequenced chapters highlight the key temporal, relational and spatial dimensions which impact directly on different models and approaches to educational leadership in local, national and global contexts. It locates the field within an invaluable historical backdrop whilst raising key contemporary issues and concerns. It promotes a much-needed critical perspective on policy, whilst also directly addressing the realities of educational leaders’ lived experiences. The book encourages professionals to explore new ways of knowing, understanding and doing educational leadership." - Dr Cathy Gower, Head of the Department of Education. Brunel University London

"When evaluating training for an education authority in Beijing, I observed many leadership trainings delivered by universities from all over the world and noted they fail to have impact because they start with preconceptions about the issues. This work offers a far better starting point." - Chris Defty, formerly British Council, Beijing Institute of Education, Chaoyang Branch, co-owner Beijing Leading Times Sci-tech Co. Ltd.