Department of Education

Educational Leadership, Management and Governance

Our members research practice and policy in leadership, management and governance in educational contexts. We consider that high quality organisation and proper governance are central to high quality provision for learners in educational institutions.

The overall intention of our research is to develop new, substantive, theoretically grounded insights and understandings of national and international significance that will lead to enhanced leadership, management and governance practice and policy. We seek funding for research, undertake research projects, attend academic conferences to present papers, and publish books, reports and journal articles. We work collaboratively, supporting and endeavouring to enhance each other’s research.

Our research both informs and is informed by our teaching, which is mainly through our postgraduate programmes, and our supervision and examination of students undertaking MPhil and PhD programmes. Members of the Cluster act as internal postgraduate examiners and external examiners for a range of postgraduate programmes and awards at other Universities.

We consistently work in partnership with a wide range of partner organisations – local, national and international – such as:

  • the All Party Parliamentary Group on Educational Leadership and Governance
  • the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society
  • the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management
  • the Leading Parent Partnership Award
  • the DfE/National College for Teaching and Leadership
  • the National Governors Association
  • the Sutton Trust
  • a wide range of schools and local authorities.

We have a growing number of Cluster Associates, who are colleagues from other organisations with a commitment to our research interests and their role in improving practice and policy in educational leadership, management and governance. The monthly meetings of the Cluster’s vibrant seminar programme are routinely attended by visitors from a range of organisations.

Research topics

  • The leadership and management of schools in countries with developing economies
  • Capability theory in the context of educational leadership and management
  • The development of educational leaders
  • Parental engagement in schools
  • Home-school communications
  • The leadership and management of faith-based schools
  • Organisational psychodynamics in educational settings
  • Affective perspectives on educational institutions
  • Governing in state-maintained schools and colleges and international schools
  • Governance in the school and further education sectors in the UK and the governance of international schools.

Current research projects

An analysis of the role of Chairs of Further Education College Governing Boards in England
School Governing in England Survey
The Effectively Managing Head teacher Performance Research Project
Understanding Educational Leadership Practice from a Constructive-Developmental Theory Perspective
The development of leaders in schools and academies with a religious character
Evaluation of the impact of parental engagement activities
Home-school communications via texting


  • Michael Fertig - Lecturer in Educational Leadership and Management
  • Dr Janet Goodall - Lecturer in Educational Leadership and Management
  • Professor Chris James (Cluster Leader) - Professor of Educational Leadership and Management
  • Professor Alma Harris - Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership
  • Dr Michelle Jones - Lecturer in Educational Leadership and Management
  • Dr Nashwa Ismail - Research Associate
  • Professor Michael Connolly - Visiting Professor in Educational Leadership and Management (University of South Wales)

Research students