Headship in its first year: issues emerging from initial field research
At International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI 03).
05 - 08 Jan 2003.
Full text not available from this repository.
All major writers in the field of commercial leadership - from those espousing behaviourist and contingency theories, to the latest transformational approaches - have highlighted the importance of the early years in-post. Indeed, most research from the commercial sector suggests that this initial stage of leadership is critical to subsequent and long-term success in the same organisation. It is more than a question of credibility, though it is that at a minimum. It impacts on the confidence, actualisation and motivation of self and others. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some incumbents never fully recover from bad starts, and others recover only just in time and with disproportionate effort as they pass through zones of uncertainty.
Notwithstanding that fact, there is a paucity of similar research in education, though we know so much more is at stake: the need for same-staff retention is greater; there is more front-end interaction with stakeholders; and the implications for failure extend beyond the organisational to the social and economic.
This paper is based on preliminary findings from a research project that followed a number of secondary school headteachers in their first year of headship & makes comparisons with more experienced managers. It acknowledges the uniqueness of each setting for each individual headteacher and school, and seeks to avoid ‘hyper rationality’.
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