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The mediation of acculturation: orchestrating school leadership development in England

Wallace, Mike, Tomlinson, Michael and O'Reilly, Dermott 2011. The mediation of acculturation: orchestrating school leadership development in England. Educational Management Administration and Leadership 39 (3) , pp. 261-282. 10.1177/1741143210393996

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Abstract

Among western governments large-scale leadership development initiatives represent an increasingly deployed means of promoting the acculturation of school leaders to support educational reforms and ongoing improvement. England’s sophisticated initiative centres on the National College for Leadership in Schools and Children’s Services, a politically driven intervention to acculturate headteachers and other senior school staff into transformational and distributed leadership. It is linked in significant measure to government-driven reform, alongside continuous improvement efforts. Qualitative research whose focus included tracking the evolution of this initiative showed how moderate mediation, within broad structural and ideological limits, is integral to its implementation. The fostered leadership culture appeared to interact with recipients’ existing organizational and wider professional cultures valuing a substantial degree of local autonomy, stimulating reinterpretation and adaptation. Yet mediation appeared ultimately to have supported the government’s agenda through local adaptation of reforms and some independent innovation consistent with the reform thrust. Contemporary government policy is to promote innovation, but the continued retention of nationally set expectations, strong accountability measures, and heavy sanctions seem likely to limit its potential for promoting locally inspired educational improvement.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acculturation ; Leadership development ; Mediation ; Orchestration
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1741-1432
Funders: ESRC
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 13:56
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/21874

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