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School leaders leading: Professional responsibility not accountability as the key focus


Cranston, N, School leaders leading: Professional responsibility not accountability as the key focus, Educational Management, Administration & Leadership, 41, (2) pp. 129-142. ISSN 1741-1432 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright The Author 2012

DOI: doi:10.1177/1741143212468348


The last decade or so has seen an emerging literature supporting the position that school leaders and school leadership are important. This article argues, however, that recent developments in the area of school leadership have led to an orthodoxy that needs to be challenged and tested. It is an orthodoxy that has been driven essentially by those outside the school leadership profession and is one constrained by external accountability demands. The arguments here are that school leaders should be the ones driving a critical examination of their profession whereby the shackles of accountability on them are replaced by a new liberating professionalism for school leaders framed around notions of professional responsibility. To this end, three propositions are considered to stimulate debate among the school leadership profession. The first is that we need to frame school leadership by critically examining the question: school leadership for what and about what? Secondly, we need to shift the debate about school leadership from one dominated by accountability to one grounded in notions of professional responsibility. And finally, that the profession needs to be leading the debates and setting the agendas about school leadership, not simply responding and reacting to externally determined agendas.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accountability and school leadership, conceptualizing school leadership, educational leadership, professional responsibility, school leadership professionalism, school leadership
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Educational administration, management and leadership
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Management, resources and leadership
UTAS Author:Cranston, N (Professor Neil Cranston)
ID Code:73005
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2011-09-06
Last Modified:2014-04-17

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