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Headteacher performance management in England: Balancing internal and external accountability through performance leadership

Bubb, S; Earley, P; Eddy-Spicer, D; Crawford, M; James, C; (2019) Headteacher performance management in England: Balancing internal and external accountability through performance leadership. Educational Management Administration and Leadership , 47 (2) pp. 170-188. 10.1177/1741143217739361. Green open access

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Abstract

This article reports on research into headteacher performance management in England. The English school system couples organisational autonomy with close scrutiny of educational outcomes. The management of the performance of headteachers is a central aspect of such a system. The research involved a systematic literature review and the collection of data via national surveys, expert interviews and case studies. The findings point to three overarching conditions essential for what we identify as ‘performance leadership’: relational trust between the headteacher and the governing body; situational awareness by the governing body of the school’s circumstances and the headteacher’s lived experience of the role; and a systems perspective shared by the headteacher and governing body of performance management as one aspect of a comprehensive, interactive system of internal accountability, not merely an annual rite of passage. The study found that capacity in any two conditions offers a foundation for developing capability in the third. It also revealed the dominant role played by middle-tier structures in defining what constitutes ‘effective’ performance for any school or group of schools. The article offers insight into the changing landscape of performance expectations, for school leaders as well as for those who oversee their work.

Type: Article
Title: Headteacher performance management in England: Balancing internal and external accountability through performance leadership
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1741143217739361
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143217739361
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Accountability, appraisal, external advisers, governing body, headteacher, performance management, school principal
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040384
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