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ERIC Number: EJ980945
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0004-9441
System Leadership for Educational Renewal in England: The Case of Federations and Executive Heads
Higham, Rob; Hopkins, David
Australian Journal of Education, v51 n3 p299-314 Nov 2007
Executive heads are those head teachers in England who lead two or more schools that have entered into a federation. One of the more common forms of federations involves a lead school working to improve a partner school (or schools). The executive heads of these federations, and their wider leadership teams, constitute one of an emerging set of practices in England that we refer to as system leadership, or as working for the success and welfare of students in other schools as well as one's own. There is to date only a small and emerging research literature and thus no well-developed analysis on how these roles are being organised. In contributing to this literature, this paper elaborates the concepts of support federations and system leadership in three main ways. First, it explores the historical and policy contexts out of which these roles have developed. Second, it analyses not only how such roles are being undertaken but also what forms of expertise and capacity are mobilised in the pursuit of another school's improvement. Third, it considers how these leadership roles might provide alternative solutions to problems that have traditionally been the responsibility and preserve of the central apparatus of the state. We conclude by arguing that professionally-led system leadership offers a means for self-managed schools, emerging from an era of competition, to work together for greater social equity by, among other things, taking joint responsibility for all the students in their locality. This is seen to have relevance not only for England but for Australia as well. (Contains 1 table and 6 notes.)
Australian Council for Educational Research. 19 Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell, VIC 3124, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9277-5447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom (England)