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Policy, Performativity and Partnership: an Ethical Leadership Perspective

Elliott, Geoffrey (2012) Policy, Performativity and Partnership: an Ethical Leadership Perspective. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 17 (4). pp. 423-433. ISSN 1359-6748

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Abstract

This article identifies the need to think differently about educational partnerships in a changing and turbulent post compulsory policy environment in England. The policy and institutional contexts in which universities and colleges currently operate seem to be fuelling performativity at the expense of educational values. There appears to be a sharp interruption in the steady increase in educational partnerships as a vehicle for increasing and widening participation in higher education. We are witnessing a marked change in university / college relationships that appears to be a consequence of government calling a halt to increased participation in higher education, creating an increasingly competitive market for a more limited pool of student places. The implication that educational policy at the national level determines a particular pattern or mode of leadership decision making throughout an institution should however be resisted. Policy developments that challenge the moral precepts of education should not be allowed to determine how a leader acts, rather they should prompt actions that are truly educational, rooted in morality, and atached to identifiable educational values. Educational leaders have agency to resist restricted discourses in favour of ethical and principled change strategies that are a precondition for sustainable transformative partnerships in post compulsory education. University leaders in particular are called upon to use their considerable influence to resist narrow policy or managerial instrumentalism or performativity and embrace alternatives that are both educationally worthwhile and can enhance institutional resilience.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: partnerships, leadership, higher education, further education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
Depositing User: Geoffrey Elliott
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2013 15:32
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2013 05:00
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2188

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