Executive Leadership

System leadership and collaboration – a new skillset for leaders?

In this article Toby Greany describes the development of school-to-school support,networks and partnerships, focussing in particular on recent developments in England.He explores the leadership practices associated with these and argues that schoolleaders must become adept at working in an environment that incentivises collaborative competition.
Colleagues working together on board

Introduction

This article explores the development of school to school support and partnerships in England.  These partnerships have become a defining feature of what the Government calls the ‘self-improving, school-led’ system (DfE, 2010; Sandals and Bryant, 2014).  Most schools engage in partnerships that are informal and emergent, based on shared interests, concerns, or simply personal relationships.  Even partnerships that do have a more formal basis face sometimes fraught political and inter-personal adaptive challenges (Kamp, 2013).  The focus here, however, is on more formal arrangements that are structured through a policy-driven process.  These generally fall into one of the following non-mutually exclusive categories:  

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