Department of Education

Professor Alma Harris (FRSA)

Photograph of Alma Harris (29170_008)

Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy

1 WN 3.17b
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 3980

Twitter account: @almaharris1 


Professor Alma Harris (FRSA) is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy in the Department of Education at the University of Bath. Professor Harris has held senior leadership posts at the University of Warwick (Professor and Director, Institute of Education), University College London (Professor and Director, London Leadership Centre) and the University of Malaya, Malaysia (Professor and Director, Institute of Educational Leadership). She has also held senior academic posts at the University of Nottingham and the Open University.

Professor Harris is internationally known for her research and writing on educational leadership and policy. In 2009–2012, she was a Senior Policy adviser to the Minister of Education at the Welsh Government where she co-led the national Professional Learning Communities (PLC) programme involving over 2000 schools in Wales. Professor Harris also led on the development and implementation of a Masters qualification (Masters of Educational Practice, MEP) for all newly qualified teachers in Wales.

Professor Harris has been a World Bank consultant since 2010, contributing to development and research programmes aimed at supporting and improving schools in the most challenging contexts. She is a Visiting Professor at the Moscow Higher School of Economics and a Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton. Professor Harris is Past President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement (ICSEI), which is an organization dedicated to enhancing quality and equity in education. Professor Harris received the honorary, lifetime award in 2016. She is an international adviser to the First Minister and Deputy Minister of Scotland.

Research interests

  • Education Policy and Practice
  • Organizational Leadership and Development 
  • Internationalization and globalization
  • School and System Improvement

Current projects

  • 7 System Leadership Project (2012- 2017) funded by the University of Malaya (PI)
  • Instructional Leadership (2015-17) funded by Hong Kong Institute of Education (Co I)
  • Turnaround Schools (2016-17) funded by the Head Foundation, Singapore (Co I)
  • School Effectiveness and Improvement with Universities of Southampton, Glasgow and Swansea (CoI)


Read publications by Alma Harris