Breathing life back into leadership: adjusting to the realities of the leading in education

Robin PreceyCanterbury Christ Church University, England







This article argues that the current approach to education that is spreading across the world is managerial in it's approach and as a result leadership within schools is being stiled. It asserts that many leaders of schools feel suffocated and unsure about whether to just do as they are told or to display real leadership and do what they feel is morally right. The Standards Agenda of many governments is based on a simplistic notion of organisations and the real world is much complex. Complexity is explored and the implications for effective leaders in an increasingly complex world are explained. These arguments are built on to helpfully layout some important qualities that school leaders in the rest of the twentieth century require. These can be learnt and so there are implications for leadership development that require further exploration.


Keywords: managerialism, leadership, Standards Agenda, GERM, PISA, transactional, transformational, complexity, complicatedness, values, trust, integrity, ambiguity, adaptability, lexibility, resilience 



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