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Assessing readiness for headship within accredited school leader development programmes - a cross-country comparative analysis

Sands, David; (2018) Assessing readiness for headship within accredited school leader development programmes - a cross-country comparative analysis. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Using evaluative case study as the form of enquiry, this thesis considers whether and how it is possible and appropriate to assess readiness for headship within SLDPs. A three-stage enquiry process was devised which was then tested on the assessment systems of Hong Kong and England, through a cross-country comparison. There was a pragmatic approach to the research, the central notion being that the meaning of a concept lies in its practical implications in the world as it is experienced. Within this broad paradigm the research focus called for qualitative data collection methods, although a multi-strategy research design was employed. Multiple data collection and analysis techniques were utilised. Key findings from the research show a sharp contrast between the two assessment systems. In Hong Kong, the research casts doubt on whether the assessment system, as currently designed, is the best way for candidates to demonstrate their capacity in the key qualities of principalship, and therefore their readiness for the role. In England, the findings indicate that the assessment system incorporates some but not all of the features identified by research as good practice, and that it is, with some qualifications, an effective tool in assessing candidate readiness for headship. More generally the research demonstrates that assessing readiness for headship is best attempted using a competency-based assessment system, fully aligned to a set of national standards where both are underpinned by established research findings rather than political policy imperatives. It has also shown that a competency structure offers the best opportunities for leadership learning to be conceptualised, comprehended and assessed. Finally, the three-stage enquiry process tested in this research offers a diagnostic tool capable of producing a detailed audit on the overall efficacy of other current and projected SLDP assessment systems.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: Assessing readiness for headship within accredited school leader development programmes - a cross-country comparative analysis
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: 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/10051981
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