IOE - Faculty of Education and Society



Recent publications from the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership.


September 2021 saw the long-awaited publication of the second edition of the highly successful CEL edited collection, used on many of our programmes. It contains chapters authored by many of our Centre colleagues, including: Rupert Higham, Kathryn Riley, Mark Quinn, Carol Taylor, Karen Spence-Thomas, Susan Cousin, Christine Gilbert, David Godfrey, Trevor Male, Karen Edge, Peter Earley, Rob Higham, Qing Gu, Sara Bubb, Domini Bingham, Ruth McGinity, Ron Glatter, Kevan Collins, Louise Stoll, Melanie Ehren, Max Coates, David Woods, Rachel Macfarlane, Ian Craig, Steve Munby and Peter Matthews. The book’s Preface is written by our Visiting Professor Viviane Robinson and is dedicated to Dr Peter Matthews, another of our Visiting Professors, who sadly passed away in 2020. 

This report presents the results of an EEF-funded, independent evaluation designed to investigate the extent to which, and in what ways, Research Schools in Opportunity Areas had supported schools to enact evidence-based practices in their classrooms. The evidence centred upon the lived experiences of ten opportunity area research schools during the first three years of their designation (2018 to 2020).

This book provides new knowledge, insights and experience about school-university partnerships. Drawing upon evidence from international research of the world’s most improved systems, and learning from a UK research council funded ‘knowledge exchange’ project, it reveals that when the profound differences between the practice worlds of schools and the theoretical worlds of university academics are embraced and cherished, rather than eschewed, school-university partnerships become exciting avenues of learning which connect, challenge and transform the thinking and practice of all those involved.

The Research Schools Network (RSN) initiative represents the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) endeavour to broaden and deepen evidence-informed practices and cultures in schools and through this, scale up their best available evidence for impact on practice. Launched in September 2016, a national network of Research Schools have been funded to share what they know about putting research into practice, and lead and support schools in their regions (and beyond) to make better use of evidence to improve teaching practices.

This edition of Professional Development Today has nine pieces on school peer review including original articles, a book review and a blog. These are developed from chapters in the recently published book: School Peer Review for Educational Improvement and Accountability: Theory, Practice and Policy edited by David Godfrey. The special issue covers the rising phenomena that is school-led improvement through peer review. Articles include understanding peer review and its growth and emergence, and how to conduct peer review effectively.
Anne Cameron and Maggie Farrar talk about how the Schools Partnership Programme adapted by using virtual reviews during the pandemic and Mark Hadfield and Mel Ainscow describe how peer enquiry has become a new layer of school improvement and accountability in Wales. Kerry Ikin describes an empowerment evaluation approach in the context of schools in Australia and Yonka Parvanova and Rossitsa Simeonova outline how peer review worked in a funded project of polycentric inspections in Bulgaria. Susan Cousin also provides two pieces, one about area-based education partnerships and another reviewing the above mentioned Springer edited book. Graham Handscomb, the editor of PDT describes peer review as an important new form of positive accountability where “the most important quality of peer review is that it is built upon collaborative foundations and forges an inclusive ethos.”

Recent sociological scholarship on market design is ill-equipped to understand the normative and political aspects of experts’ practices in connection to political conflicts over the commodification of social rights. Gabriel Chouhy, PhD, developed an original approach to the politicized use of market devices to address collective concerns in a noneconomic policy field: education.

A report and summary of Professor Louise Stoll's evaluation of the University of British Columbia's Transformative Educational Leadership Programme.

  • Stoll, L., Taylor, C., Spence-Thomas, K. and Brown, C. (2021) Catalyst - An evidence-informed collaborative professional learning resource

The resource by was designed for schools in all contexts and across all student age groups. It is for use by middle leaders and other teacher leaders, as well as senior leaders who support them. 
Middle leaders have a formal role, with responsibilities for a subject, cross-curricular aspect of teaching and learning, social development of students, or for a stage or phase of schooling. 

This review forms the initial foundation for a piece of work commissioned by the Mercers’ Company designed to help school leaders in secondary schools in England make creativity central to their students’ lives. Across the world the importance of creativity is increasingly acknowledged in education systems. But though leadership in schools is well-researched in general terms, leadership for creativity is not. In this review, we chart the establishment of a robust definition of creative leadership in schools, summarise the case for its importance today, and illustrate what it looks like in secondary schools. The full report can be read here.

  • Edge, K. (2021). A tale of two leaders: Reflecting on senior co-leadership in higher education in Future Alternatives for Educational Leadership: Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Democracy (1st ed.). London, UK: Routledge. 

This book offers provocations for what’s now and what’s next in educational leadership, simultaneously bringing the field both back to its basics - of equity, democracy, humanity, and education for all - and forward to productive, innovative, and necessary possibilities. Written during the pandemic reality of 2020, this collection shares the global voices and expertise including Dr Karen Edge of prominent and emerging leaders, scholars, and practitioners in education from the UK, the United States, South America, Canada, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Karen’s chapter focuses on her experience as one of the most senior executive university leadership job shares globally and implications for future leadership roles and configurations. 



  • Edge, K., Drinkwater, M. and Rizvi, F. (2019). Transnational Perspectives on Democracy, Citizenship, Human Rights and Peace Education. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic. 
  • Edge, K. (2019). The Democratization of Educational Knowledge: Perspectives on the recent English policy and practice trajectory. In Transnational Perspectives on Democracy, Citizenship, Human Rights and Peace Education. Drinkwater, M., Co-author with Rizvi, F. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic. 
  • Edge, K. (2019). Gender, generation and leadership: Lessons for recruiting and retaining the next generations of women leaders. Centre for Strategic Education Occasional Paper Series No. 159: Melbourne, Australia. 
  • Godfrey, D. and Brown, C. (2019). An Ecosystem for Research-Engaged Schools: Reforming Education Through Research. London: Routledge. 
  • Higham, R., Vidal-Hall, C. and Sakata, N. (2019). Methodological innovations in qualitative educational research. London Review of Education, 17 (3), 249-251.
  • Mayer, S., Wilkinson, H. R., Smid, C., Morris, S., Farran, E. K., Dumontheil, I., Holmes, W., Porayska-Pomsta, K., Tolmie, A., Thomas, M. and Mareschal, D. (2019). Domain-specific inhibitory control training to improve children’s learning of counterintuitive concepts in Mathematics and Science. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 1-19.
  • Riley, K. (2019). Agency and belonging: What transformative actions can schools take to help create a sense of place and belonging? Journal of Educational & Child Psychology; Vol. 36 No. 4, 91-103.