Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Small Primary School Leadership Structures: Challenges and Evolution
Authors: Catterson, Francesca Morag
Supervisors: Taysum, Alison
Award date: 3-Jan-2017
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This study addresses the professional challenge facing headteachers in small primary schools, in particular those who lack experience and knowledge of small schools and their leadership structures. The aim is to investigate these structures in the UK, and examine how headteachers use a micro-political lens to scope the landscape of the inherited school and then apply this knowledge to inform change strategies to improve school effectiveness. There is a dearth of literature in this field and this research makes a contribution to fill this gap. The research questions ask; what type of leadership structures are effective in small primary schools, how micro-political understanding and application are used by headteachers, how processes and practices of participation enable effective schools and what new theories of leadership structures emerge. Positivist and interpretivist approaches are taken, using a case study strategy with mixed methods. The sample is twenty-one schools, defined as having four or less classes. Data was collected through surveys and semi-structured interviews; using descriptive statistical analysis of the quantitative data and thematic analysis of the qualitative data, taking an inductive approach. University of Leicester’s ethical code of conduct was used; informing, reliability, validity and trustworthiness of the data. Findings reveal that leadership structures have no impact on school effectiveness. High levels of participation and trust, in a ‘power with’ framework, underpin effective schools, where people are empowered, motivated and engaged in a shared vision for improving school effectiveness. Low levels of participation and trust, in a ‘power over’ framework, may produce effective schools, but stakeholders are disenfranchised, unmotivated and unable to engage with, and own, a whole school vision for improving school effectiveness. A new contribution to knowledge is made with a new theory of participation and trust.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: EdD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, School of Education

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
2017cattersonfmedd.pdf1.19 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.