Raising Standards Together

Wrong learning pack? Change pack

MEP learning pack

Masters in Education Practice: Leadership


Leadership for all – everyone a leader



In this topic we have explored key issues relating to distributed leadership in a range of contexts and considered how it can help to leverage leadership in challenging circumstances and develop and spread leadership in a range of education contexts.  We have also looked at some of the key strategic, relational and policy challenges to developing effective distribution.

This topic has also explored the role of collaborative approaches to professional learning that might offer a powerful means of teacher and leader development. This has been explored in relation to joint practice development and professional learning communities in particular. The notion of student leadership has also been explored to examine an additional dimension to collaborative and authentic leadership potential in our schools. Finally, emergent practices in collaborative leadership have been identified, such as networks and system leadership are at the centre of a number of policy innovations across the world and have seemingly begun to take traction in various contexts and at various levels of the system.


  • Barber, M., Whelan, F. and Clarke, M. (2010) Capturing the Leadership Premium.  New York: McKinsey & Co.
  • Bolam, R., McMahon, A., Stoll, L., Thomas, S. and Wallace, M. (2005) Creating and sustaining effective professional learning communities, DfES Research Report RR637, Nottingham, DfES Publications.
  • Cook-Sather, A. (2006) Sound, Presence, and Power: "Student Voice" in Educational Research and Reform. Curriculum Inquiry, 36(4), 359–390.
  • Cunningham, I., Eraut, M., Gillinson, S., Horne, M., Robinson, C. and Thorp, J.  Transformative Approaches to Student Voice: Theoretical Underpinnings, Recalcitrant Realities in H. Torrance (ed) Qualitative Research Methods in Education – Volume 2: Language, Philosophy And Politics – Additional Theoretical Tributaries And Methodological Developments In Qualitative Research In Education. London: Sage.
  • Day, C., Sammons, P., Hopkins, D., Harris, A., Leithwood, K., Gu, Q., Brown, E., Ahtaridou, E. and Kington, A. (2009) The Impact of School Leadership on Pupil Outcomes: Research Report, RR108. London: DCSF. (978-1-84775-445-5)
  • Edwards, J. and Hattam, R. (2000). Using students as researchers in educational research: Beyond silenced voices, unpublished discussion paper for the Students Completing Schooling Project, US.
  • Estyn (2011) The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales 2011–2012. Cardiff: Estyn.
  • Fielding, M. (2009). Interrogating student voice: pre-occupations, purposes and Possibilities. In Daniels, H., Lauder, H. and Porter, J. (eds) Educational Theories, Cultures and Learning: A Critical Perspective. London: Routledge. 101–116.
  • Fielding, M., Bragg, S., Craig, J., Cunningham, I., Eraut, M., Gillinson, S., Horne, M., Robinson, C. and Thorp, J. (2005) Factors Influencing the Transfer of Good Practice. London: DFES.
  • Frost, R., Handscomb, G. and Prince, R. (2009) Active Enquiring Minds: Supporting young researchers. Essex: Forum for Learning and Research Enquire (FLARE).  Essex: Essex County Council.
  • Gronn, P. (2002) Distributed Leadership. In Leithwood, K., Hallinger, P., Seashore Louis, K., Furman-Brown, G., Gronn, P., Mulford, W. and Riley, K. (eds) Second International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • Handscomb, G. (2011) Fostering Resilience through School Leadership in (2011) Beyond Survival: Teachers and resilience.
  • Hargreaves, D. (1998) Creative Professionalism: The role of teachers in the knowledge society. London: Demos.
  • Hargreaves, D. (2012) A self-improving school system: towards maturity. Nottingham: National College.
  • Harris, A. (2010) Leading System Transformation. School Leadership and Management, 30(3), 197–209.
  • Harris, A. (2008) Distributed School Leadership: Developing Tomorrow's Leaders (Leading School Transformation). London: Routledge.
  • Harris, A. and Spillane, J. (2008). Distributed leadership through the looking glass. Management in Education, 22(1), 31–34.
  • Hay Group (2007) The Leadership Crisis. London: Hay Group.
  • Hill, R. (2013) The Future Delivery of Education Services in Wales. Cardiff: Welsh Government.
  • Hodgkin, R. (1998) Partnership with pupils, Children UK, Summer.
  • Hord, S. (2009) Guiding Professional Learning Communities: Inspiration, Challenge, Surprise, and Meaning.  London: Corwin.
  • Husbands, C. (2011) Towards a framework for professional learning. Professional Development Today, 14(2), 6–11.
  • Jackson, D. (2005) Why Pupil Voice? Facilitating Pupil Involvement in Learning Networks, NCSL.
  • Lieberman, A. (2000) Networks as learning communities. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(3), 221.
  • Lodge, C. (2005) From Hearing Voices to Engaging in Dialogue: Problematising Student Participation in School Improvement. Journal of Educational Change, 6(2), 125–146.
  • National College for Teaching and Learning (2012) Joint practice development: What does the evidence suggest are effective approaches? Nottingham: NCTL.
  • Rudduck, J. (2004) Consulting pupils about teaching and learning, in Learning Texts, Nottingham: National College for School Leadership. 80–92.
  • Sebba, J., Kent, P. and Tregenza, J. (2012) Helping Schools to Use Evidence on Joint Practice Development to Improve their Practice. Nottingham: NCTL.
  • Sharp, C., Lord, P., Handscomb, G., Macleod, S., Southcott, C., George, N. and Jeffes, J. (2012) Highly effective leadership in children’s centres. Nottingham: NCTL.
  • Spillane, J. P. (2006) Distributed leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Stoll, L. and Seashore Louis, K. (2007) Professional Learning Communities: Divergence, Depth and Dilemmas.  Berkshire: Open University Press.
  • Stoll, L., Bolam, R., McMahon, A., Thomas, S., Wallace, M., Greenwood, A. and Hawkey, K. (2006b). Professional Learning Communities: Source Materials For School Leaders And Other Leaders Of Professional Learning. London: Innovation Unit, DfES, NCSL and GTC.
  • Stoll, L., Bolam, R., McMahon, A., Wallace, M. and Thomas, S. (2006a) Professional Learning Communities: A Review Of The Literature, Journal of Educational Change, 7, 221–258.
  • Stoll, L., Fink, D. and Earl, L. (2003). It’s About Learning (And It’s About Time). London: RoutledgeFalmer.
Help us make the Digital Competence Framework better »

Use the form below to send us comments about this site or find out more about this beta version »

Need say more? Use the main Contact form »
Thankyou, your feedback has been submitted.
This is a Beta website.
Find out more »