Pedagogical leadership in action: two case studies in English schools

Trevor Male, Ioanna Palaiologou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the construct of pedagogical leadership in action in two case-study schools in
England. Both schools investigated had headteachers who were recognized as excellent practitioners
who had led their schools from a failing position to being judged as ‘outstanding’ and had successfully
sustained and extended this status. Their behaviours thus corresponded to the ideals of pedagogical
leadership which had been developed in the previous research by the authors. This approach is an
extension of ideas pertaining to learner-centred leadership where the key focus is on the personalization
of education for the benefit of the learner. Pedagogical leaders take this further, however, and ensure
they are equally responsible to the local community and the larger education system when determining
appropriate action to support learning in their schools. The research reported here is based on
interviews conducted with members of the school community (including students) to establish to how
these pedagogical leaders determine effective action. The examination of data identifies six categories
of leadership activity which contribute to the continued growth of these schools: establishing a success
culture, managing external expectations, selection and induction of staff, managing a robust supportive
environment, sustaining effective internal relationships and headteacher leadership behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-748
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2017


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