Collective leadership of local school systems
power, autonomy and ethics
Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 37, (3), . (doi:10.1177/1741143209102782).
Microsoft Word Collective_leadership_Final_revised_draft_21_9_07.doc
- Author's Original
The rhetoric of ‘partnership’ is ubiquitous in UK policy at national, regional, local and organizational levels. Self-styled partnership activity is espoused by most schools in England and Wales. This article considers the implications of the growth of partnership for conceptualizing leadership. It draws on evidence of interviews with young people, parents, teachers/trainers and support services staff in relation to the upper high school phase (14–19-year-olds) in two local education authorities in England and one in Wales. It uses the data as a vehicle to consider how leadership of a school might be conceived, given that what is increasingly demanded by policy is corporate leadership
of a local system, rather than leadership of an individual organization. The adoption of collective aims to raise achievement for all within a local area, rather than just those in
one’s own school, poses radical challenges to the autonomy and culture of schools and their leaders. The article suggests that there are implications for research and theory, and particularly distributed leadership theory, if the situation within which leadership is constructed is taken to be the multiple players and organizations involved in a partnership, rather than only those of one school.
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