The Impact of the Leadership Programme for Serving Heads

Creissen, Terry (2008). The Impact of the Leadership Programme for Serving Heads. EdD thesis The Open University.



This dissertation explores the impact of the Leadership Programme for Serving Heads (LPSH). It focuses on the process of the course and how this has influenced school leaders in the way that they run their schools.

Firstly, the dissertation looks at the literature involved in leadership, training and measuring the impact of training on practice. Following this, there is an analysis of the methodology used and the research tools associated with a qualitative approach to study in this field. The data is then analysed against the theoretical perspectives of leadership. Finally, the findings from the case studies based in five English schools are analysed to try to identify any indications that changes and improvements in leadership have been as a result of attendance on the LPSH by the Headteachers of the case study schools.

This dissertation looks at the assumptions set out within the programme by tracking through the key elements of leadership and training. Through this research, I have tried to discover the true impact of the LPSH in shaping and challenging experienced Heads in the leadership of their schools. I have looked at how some of the LPSH participants have adapted or maintained their leadership strategies and styles within their own institution. This has been achieved through two sets of interviews with the Headteachers and a range of teaching staff within their schools, matching their perceptions of the impact of the programme on them as leaders against the perceptions of their co-workers. From this, I have been able to draw some conclusions related to the views of the interviewees within these case study schools.

The research demonstrates that the Headteachers involved did believe that the LPSH had a positive impact on their leadership, either through reflecting on their current approach and deciding that what they were doing was in line with best practice or by challenging their view and changing the way that they operated as a school leader. Similar perceptions were noted from their co-workers.

The Headteacher participants of five case study schools gave feedback on how they thought that the LPSH had changed, and in many cases, improved their effectiveness as leaders in their schools. Similar feedback was demonstrated by teaching staff working within the case study schools, adding weight to the reliability of the findings.

As with all small scale qualitative research, there are many limitations to the findings from the study. However, it is hoped that this research has identified some areas in leadership training and its impact in changing and improving leadership practice in schools that can then be taken further and investigated so that improvements in the quality of leadership training can be made for the benefit of school leaders.

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