The Perceived Impact of Gender on Educational Leaders in England: The Last Decade

Dr Marianne Coleman
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This paper draws on two rounds of surveys of secondary school leaders in
England, the first in 1996 and the last in 2004. The paper presents a
comparison of their perceptions in relation to the impact of gender on accessing
leadership and on carrying out the leadership role. There has been an increase
in the proportion of women leaders and a comparison of the two sets of findings
shows that there it is now less common to stereotype women within the school as
a work place. However, governors, parents and others are still likely to favour
men as leaders and the increasingly managerialist culture of schools in the UK
may have increased the tensions for women leaders. Although slightly more women
leaders are combining career and family than previously it is clear that many of
the difficulties remain.

Keywords: -
Presentation Type: Plenary Presentation in English
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Dr Marianne Coleman

Assistant Dean of Research, Institute of Education, University of London

Dr Marianne Coleman is a Reader in educational leadership and management and
Assistant Dean of Research at the Institute of Education, University of London
with a responsibility for the support of research and publications amongst
colleagues. Previously a senior lecturer at the University of Leicester, her
educational experience also includes working within an LEA and in comprehensive
schools. Present teaching responsibilities include supervision of PhD and Ed D
students and face to face teaching on an MA programme. In addition, she has
recently developed and established an on-line distance-learning course for an MA
in Applied Educational Leadership and Management, funded by the External
Programme of the University of London. She is an experienced researcher and
evaluator with major research interests in leadership in schools, particularly
focussing on gender issues in relation to leadership. Her most recent work in
this area has been funded by the National College for School Leadership. The
funding was for two separate projects, a survey of head teachers and a gender
audit of the programme ‘Leading from the Middle’. She has taken part in a
number of research projects focussing on educational leadership and management
in the UK, including: the management of autonomous schools; mentoring for new
head teachers and the evaluation of an Education Action Zone. In addition, she
has participated in comparative research projects with international partners on
educational management in China, South Africa and Singapore. A research interest
in practitioner research has arisen from her teaching and supervision at Masters
and doctoral level and has led to further publications on the impact of
practitioner research and an edited book on research methods for educational
leadership and management.

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