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International Electronic Journal for Leadership in Learning, v11 Article 14 2007

We examine the contemporary relationship between headship and leadership in England. This speaks to the current globalizing agenda promoting generic leadership within a modernizing agenda of restructuring and reculturing in public education. Thinking based on several research studies is used to stimulate perspectives on a range of complex tensions between: first, labeling and the realities of work; second, training/credentialing as a leader; third, public accountability and the professional ethic of distributed leadership; and, fourth, centralized reforms and the realities of context. We construct an argument that the labeling of Headteachers as managing directors, chief executives, and more recently as school leaders, combined with training and a requirement to implement reforms, is central to a form of modernization that is reworking professionality as generic and business orientated. This current phase of reform is revealed as a centralized remodeling drive toward de-regulating qualified teacher status as a credential for school leaders. An educative ethic is identified as a counter-weight value-system providing evidence of lost stories and testimony to the relationship between professionality, leadership as a pedagogic process, and learning.

Descriptors: Accountability, Evidence, Ethics, Foreign Countries, Educational Change, Instructional Leadership, Public Education, Principals, Participative Decision Making, Professional Identity, Context Effect

University of Calgary Press. 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada. Tel: 403-220-7578; Fax: 403-282-0085; e-mail: ucpmail[at]; Web site:

Autor: Gunter, Helen M.; Rayner, Steve


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