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Leadership and the reform of education

Leadership and the reform of education

Helen M. Gunter
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    Leadership and the reform of education
    Book Description:

    Western politicians consider that leadership is essential for the delivery of educational reform. This important and timely book examines how leaders, leading and leadership became the dominant theme in education. It presents an analysis of the relationship between the state, public policy and the types of knowledge that New Labour used to make policy and break professional cultures. It is essential reading for all those interested in public policy, education policy, and debates about governance and will be of interest to policymakers, researchers and educational professionals.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-768-7
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. ONE New Labour and leadership
    (pp. 1-16)

    The front page of the right-of-centre newspaperThe Mail on Sundayon 10 November 1991 had the following headline, ‘Back to the blackboard’, with a story about how Kenneth Clarke, the then Education Secretary, planned ‘a radical overhaul of state primary schools’ (Lightfoot, 1991, p 1). The approach to be adopted was to return to whole-class teaching and subject-based learning. When New Labour took office in 1997, they said inExcellence in Schools(DfEE, 1997, p 10) that ‘in the 1996 national tests only 6 in 10 of 11 year olds reached the standard in maths and English expected for...

  2. TWO The leadership of schools
    (pp. 17-36)

    Consider the following statements from New Labour education policy texts:

    The quality of the head often makes the difference between the success or failure of a school. (DfEE, 1997, p 46)

    The £19 billion is a substantial commitment on our part to do what we can … investment for reform, for change and for pursuit of higher standards and excellence … to bring this about there is no group of people more important than headteachers. (Blair, 1998)

    You can recognize a good school by the quality of its head and I believe good headteachers and good leadership are essential in...

  3. THREE New Labour and intellectual work
    (pp. 37-52)

    The leadership of schoolsgameneeded players who would generate and communicate beliefs,ideas and evidence. Specifically,New Labour needed to draw upon and construct intellectual work, and to do that it needed intellectual workers who would produce,package,transmit and legitimise knowledge and its mode of production. Such workers joined thegamethrough invitations, by bidding for contracts, and remained in thegameas trusted deliverers and contacts. So, in this chapter, I intend mapping New Labour’s intellectual work and workers, particularly through the National College, with an emphasis on the control of knowledge production.

    Following Lawn and Lingard (2002, p 292), my...

  4. FOUR Institutionalised governance
    (pp. 53-74)

    The explanation for the leadership of schoolsgamebegins in the conceptualisation of the state and its relationship with civil society as a form of institutionalised governance. The UK state has intervened in and adapted to the interplay between hierarchy, markets and networks in public and education policy in England. So, for the New Labour leadership of schoolsgameto play and develop within policymaking, the state had to exercise forms of control through the operation of public institutions. This control was through the institution itself as the custodian and symbol of electoral legitimacy as the mandate to govern, and...

  5. FIVE Regimes of practice
    (pp. 75-94)

    Institutionalised governance has provided an explanation for how public institutions have astructuredandstructuringpolicy relationship with elite private interests, and how they stimulate as well as seek to control those interests. I intend in this chapter to use regimes of practice as an explanatory tool for knowledge production within institutionalised governance. Drawing on regime theory (Harding, 2000) and Bourdieu’s (2000) theory of practice,I intend to build regimes of practice as a means of explaining how people position themselves and are positioned in relation to policymaking. I will show how the policymaking landscape had two main regimes under New...

  6. SIX Professional practice
    (pp. 95-116)

    That those identified as ultimately responsible for school outcomes, variously called ‘headteachers’, ‘principals’ and ‘chief executives’, are and should be better leaders continues to travel around the world as a legitimategameto play (about Australia, see Addison, 2009; Eacott, 2011). It is an example of what Rizvi and Lingard (2010, p 17) identify as ‘global flows’ of abstracted generic effective behaviours and improvement strategies that ‘are “vernacularized” in the context of specific nations as they meet local cultures and politics’. There is some emerging independent evidence of the realities of working lives in England and internationally, and in this...

  7. SEVEN Regime practices
    (pp. 117-132)

    The deployment of regimes of practice has so far enabled the presentation and analysis of positioning by knowledge producers and their relationship with each other and with education policy. Knowledge production as a social practice can be for and/or about thegamein play: political and economic elites determined the purposes of schools and the professional practice of the workforce through a codifieddoxaand attracted players through theillusioof how thegamespoke to them. The mapping of the NLPR and PRR has revealed the need to understand how power works within and between regimes, and specifically that...

  8. EIGHT New games?
    (pp. 133-152)

    The New Labour period in office continues to be the focus of scholarly analysis and debate (Walford, 2005; Chapman and Gunter, 2009), and what the specific focus on the politics of knowledge production has achieved is to interrelate policy texts and research evidence with the power relations that produced and used it. So the original questions that I began the book with can now be answered: first, what type of knowledge was used and why? Adoxaof beliefs about schools and the profession, together with effectiveness and improvement data to support the delivery of radical reforms, was used to...

  9. APPENDIX Knowledge Production in Educational Leadership Project
    (pp. 153-154)