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Leading primary schools through and beyond special measures

Walker, Trevor Charles; (2006) Leading primary schools through and beyond special measures. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The status of special measures has been an outcome of school inspection for more than a decade. This study contributes to understanding the leading of primary schools through and beyond that outcome. Through self-perception, headteachers examine the relationship and interplay between their leadership and their schools' cultures. The study focuses on the agency of leadership through a process of change, so generating propositional ideas that extend the current theoretical framework. Two cultural typologies are identified that are specifically associated with this status. One is encountered at the outset of the journey of special measures and represents the root of the predicament. The other represents the cultural territory of schools that have moved beyond special measures. The study finds special measures to be an episodic journey of change. So doing it identifies three distinctive phases (the last divided into sub-phases representing an increasing complexity). In each the theme of culture and leadership is explored through the application of a conceptual model. These are configured to demonstrate the necessary dynamic for the formulation and transformation of schools' cultures. The differing and adaptive manifestations of phase-specific leadership are respectively described as: leading through cultural dissonance, leading counter-culturally, and leading through cultural congruence. The literature review identifies three conceptual orientations of leadership, each accordingly being related to special measures. These are technical-rational, transformational and critical forms of leadership. Each is seen as making a contribution at some point and to some degree through the course of the journey. The study, moreover, presents a conceptualisation of headship based on school context and circumstance - style, approach and theoretical positioning. This formulation emphasises the appropriateness of the leadership practice offered at given moments. However, the overall success of moving beyond special measures lies in each school's capacity for journeying through the phases to a position of cultural congruence.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Leading primary schools through and beyond special measures
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/ProcessSearch.do?query=535761
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis: (EdD) University of London Institute of Education, 2006.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10020516
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