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ERIC Number: EJ1160711
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-9072
Social Justice Leadership in Scottish Education
Torrance, Deirdre; Forde, Christine
Scottish Educational Review, v49 n1 p51-66 2017
Leadership has been identified in contemporary policy as a critical factor in taking forward school improvement and enhancing outcomes for pupils (Pontz, Nusche and Moorman, 2008) in many educational systems including Scottish education. A second policy driver in Scottish education currently is focused on "closing the gap" (Scottish Government, 2016) between the attainment of pupils from advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds and this is measured largely in terms of assessment outcomes and post school destinations. However, there is a danger that such drivers become reductive and as a result the focus narrows to attainment statistics, causing social factors which militate against pupil achievement to be overlooked. In a context where school populations are becoming more diverse there is a question then about how headteachers maintain a more critical focus on the attainment and achievement of these diverse groups of learners. This article explores the concept of "social justice leadership" which has emerged in the literature in recent years to characterise the work of school leaders looking to enhance the learning outcomes for all learners in a school. The article draws from the case studies conducted in Scotland as part of the International School Leadership Development Network (ISLDN) research project on social justice leadership to explore this concept in a Scottish setting. As part of this study a framework was generated to track three levels of educational decision-making was generated encompassing the macro, meso and micro levels. This article uses the ISLDN framework to explore some of the enabling factors for headteachers in their practice as social justice leaders and some of the hindering factors that they grapple with.
Scottish Educational Review. School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ, Scotland, UK. e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A