Educational Leadership brings together innovative perspectives on the crucial role of theory and theorising in educational leadership at a time when the multiple pressures of marketisation, competition and system fragmentation dominate the educational landscape. This original and highly thought-provoking edited collection is a much-needed counterbalance to the anti-theoretical trends that have underpinned recent education reforms.

Contributors employ a range of theories in original and innovate ways in order to reveal the lived experiences of what it means to be an educational leader at a time of rapid modernisation, where the conceptual terrain of ‘modern’ has been appropriated by corporate and private interests, where notions of ‘public’ are not only hidden, but also derided, and where school leaders must meet the conflicting demands of competing accountabilities. Drawing on research projects conducted in the UK, Educational Leadership presents convincing evidence that the need to consider theory crosses national borders, and the authors discuss changes to professional identities and practices that researchers around the world will recognise.

This detailed and insightful work will appeal to academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of education and sociology, as well as those with an interest in organisational and political theory. The topical subject matter also makes the book of relevance to practitioners and policy-makers in education and the public services more generally.

chapter 1|11 pages


Theory and theorising in educational leadership
BySteven J. Courtney, Ruth McGinity, Helen M. Gunter

chapter 2|15 pages

Theory sex to leadership heteroglossia

Using gender theories to surface discourses of headteacher compliance and transgression
ByKay Fuller

chapter 3|15 pages

Re-figuring the world of educational leadership

Struggles with performance, disenfranchisement and critical consciousness
ByLinda Hammersley-Fletcher

chapter 5|15 pages

Negotiating meaning in multiple communities of practice

Reconciliation and dis-identification in the identity work of headteachers leaving Anglican primary schools
ByDaphne Whiteoak, Pat Thomson

chapter 6|14 pages

Leadership and the power of others

Re-thinking educational leadership with Magical Marxism and Spinoza
ByJames R. Duggan

chapter 7|12 pages

Re-thinking governmentality

Lessons from the academisation project in England
ByStephen M. Rayner

chapter 8|14 pages

Creating expert publics

A governmentality approach to school governance under neoliberalism
ByAndrew Wilkins

chapter 9|13 pages

Hannah Arendt, judgement and school leadership

ByDonald Gillies

chapter 11|13 pages

Behind and beyond “moral purpose” in contemporary school leadership reform

The challenges for critical research?
ByStephen Rogers

chapter 12|15 pages


Educational leaders and leadership re-theorised for the present and beyond
BySteven J. Courtney, Ruth McGinity, Helen M. Gunter