In this chapter, we interrogate conceptualisations of leadership in policy documents and initiatives that propose standards for the practice of leadership in education. We note that literature and policies dealing with school reform have tended to favour leadership-centred explanations of social action, advancing a leader(s)- centric vision of school reform and improvement without consideration of the multiple and diverse political, social, economic, cultural and ideological factors that converge in processes of organisational transformation (Alvesson, 2014). This is clearly evidenced in the recent emphasis that influential educational leadership literature has placed on the role of the school leader in improving student achievement (Leithwood et al., 2008; Leithwood et al., 2012), the effects of distributing leadership in improvement processes (Timperley, 2009) and the central role of teacher leadership in improving schools (Reeves, 2008). As Glatter (2006, p. 73) indicated, the discursive construction of leadership as the focal instrument of reform presents a ‘danger of continuing to be trapped within the ideology of the “can-do” culture…whereby agency is always considered capable of overcoming structure’. By placing unqualified emphasis on the role of leadership in school change, defined in terms of student achievement, contemporary reform initiatives relinquish crucial questions about the social processes that intersect in the transformation of schools. Glatter’s cautions about the literature’s optimism regarding the leaders’ capacity to overcome the systemic and structural constraints in their organisations, suggest that for such statements to be true, they must be accompanied by empirical evidence. As we will show below, the research community has been sceptical about the possibility of finding a direct connection between leadership and student achievement given the multiple factors that may influence the learning process, so assuming that we understand what we mean by leadership, and assuming the we can isolate the effects of this phenomenon, our evidence for this connection is, at best, indirect.