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Title: Leadership in ‘schools within schools’: how do leaders translate shared vision into practice?
Authors: Mundy, Stuart Anthony
Supervisors: Pedder, David
Woodhouse, Joan
Award date: 7-Mar-2017
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This research is an embedded case study in a secondary school in the UK, reconfigured as four small, distinct, ‘schools within schools’ (SWS). Research in the USA emphasises the success of this model but accepts that there are challenges, particularly in relation to change management, creating a culture of collegiality and improving the pedagogy of teachers. This study makes an original contribution to knowledge in that it explores leadership and vision building in a SWS configuration. The study is grounded in the views of participants, leaders and teachers, through an inductive, exploratory approach. Semi-structured interviews, participant observation and shadowing were employed as the main methods of data collection. Data were coded and processes of constant comparison were used to develop key themes. Findings from the study show that the development of constructive interpersonal relationships are critical and often challenging within this model, that there are challenges in how teachers collaborate together around a common pedagogy for teaching, and building active participation of staff in creating a shared vision is an underused and perhaps poorly understood strategy. The findings point very strongly indeed to the challenges involved in developing a shared vision which devolves considerable autonomy to each of the constituent schools while at the same time seeking to retain a strong corporate character and purpose: competitiveness and lack of sharing best practice between SWS; the difficulties of building personal relationships; and the need to balance the distinctive nature of SWS with the need for a strong, central, organisational vision. The primary importance of this study has been to contribute to the development of contextualised policy and practice at the site of the research. But it may also have significance to leaders, educationalists and academics with an interest in school improvement, change management, small schools and personalisation.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: EdD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, School of Education

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