Middle leaders as catalysts for change in schools: an active, collaborative process

Chris Brown and Louise Stoll refocus on the crucial role of middle leaders

IOE LONDON BLOG

Chris Brown and Louise Stoll

Over recent years, there’s been greater awareness in England of the important role middle leaders – people such as department heads, key stage leaders or pastoral leaders – can play in school improvement. Middle leaders are the key link between teachers and a school’s senior leaders. As such, they are well positioned to offer support and challenge to teachers and lead their learning both within their own school and across partner schools.

How successful they are at this, in an evidence-hungry policy environment, will depend at least partly on their capacity to engage with and share knowledge about high quality research and practice and track its impact on learning and teaching. In short, middle leaders have the potential to be catalysts for evidence-informed change.

We had the opportunity to explore this issue in a year-long R&D project, funded through the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC’s)

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