Leadership is about excellent coaching not telling people what to do: issues in preparing future school leaders

Elton-Chalcraft, Sally ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3064-7249 , Kendrick, Ann ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8354-1635 , Thompson, Linda and Chapman, Alison (2016) Leadership is about excellent coaching not telling people what to do: issues in preparing future school leaders. In: British Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference 2016, 13-15 September 2016, Leeds, UK. (Unpublished) Full text not available from this repository.

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The presentation discusses a commissioned evaluation of three National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) funded courses in 2015 which sought to help delegates unlock their leadership and management potential. The Future BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Middle Leaders, Women into Secondary Headship and thirdly the Aspirant Primary Headteachers courses were led by Blackburn, Blackpool, Cumbria and Lancashire consortium course leaders. The principal researcher in collaboration with course leaders, formulated the focus and scope of the small scale evaluation, investigating the extent to which the 27 participants felt their course successfully prepared them to take on a leadership role. Participants’ perceived barriers to leadership were explored, their previous experience audited and throughout the course, their levels of confidence, ability and desire to become a leader were gauged. Coleman (2012) draws attention to the key relationship between leadership and diversity issues. Although women have increased their numbers in leadership positions Crawford (2014) claims they are still under-represented in leadership positions in most schools. Despite the notion that leadership studies are becoming more communally focused and consequently less masculine (Carli and Eagly, 2011), the literature makes a strong case for specialized leadership preparation courses for women and BME groups (Bush, Glover, Sood et.al. 2005).

After gaining ethical approvals the principal investigator worked within an interpretivist paradigm (Robson 2002) collecting data through baseline questionnaires, midpoint focus groups and end point questionnaires with each set of participants. Each course provided a series of face to face sessions, coaching, work shadowing and a written mini case story. Data were analyzed using a grounded theory constant comparison method to identify emerging themes (Savin-Baden and Howell Major 2014). Despite the small sample size, the findings were considered useful for future course design. Some findings, common among all three leadership courses, have implications for leadership recruitment and can be mapped on to functional and relational concepts of leadership:
• Not all participants completed with a high level of desire to become a leader mainly attributed to the perceived unrealistic demands of leadership, rather than a lack of confidence in their own abilities.
• Some of the women participants believed they had to work harder than men to juggle family life and leadership roles, some of the BME participants felt marginalized.
• Faith/ ethnicity barriers: several participants cited their lack of faith or their faith being different to that of the school as being a barrier to promotion in faith schools.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Education (IOE) > Initial Teacher Education (ITE)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 14:54
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 16:32
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2900
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