UK Review of Education - England

Educational Leadership and Administration in the United Kingdom

A Comparative Review

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BELMAS is undertaking a programme of invitational conferences with the aim of examining critically the policy frameworks and interpretations of educational administration and leadership across the four jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. This project is timely for a number of reasons. First, the last 20 years has been a period of rapid change in educational policy and organisation and yet it is many years since a review of the field of this kind has been undertaken in the UK. Secondly, recent constitutional developments throw into the relief the important fact that education is a devolved matter in the United Kingdom. There are many ways in which education systems in each of the four administrations differ and, in some cases, they may be further diverging. Third, the Society sees this activity as an important sign of its commitment as a UK-wide organisation.  

The review will be comparative, considering the similarities and differences between the policy approaches and their trajectories, the underlying factors which determine these and what is known about their consequences. As far as possible this comparison will be placed within the wider context of developments internationally. The review will explore both how developments can be theorised (especially in comparative perspective) and the implications for policy and practice of its findings; more specific foci may be developed for each conference. The aim will be to bring together policy makers, educational leaders and managers, and researchers.

The Review will comprise five 24-hour conferences, one in each of the four jurisdictions, each concentrating on the national education system in which it is located, and the fifth to consider the UK as a whole. The conferences will take place over a period of approximately a year from March 2018. Each jurisdiction-specific event will include inter alia: contribution(s) about the situation in the host jurisdiction; a theoretical contribution relating to comparative educational administration; perspectives from key actors in the local jurisdiction; and a commentary from outside the UK.

The first conference was held in Scotland in March 2018. Outcomes will include an on-going web presence, a final report (in 2019), and other appropriate publications and events. Further information can be found in the links at the top of this page.

For more information please contact:

Professor Philip Woods, University of Hertfordshire (; or Professor Tim Simkins, Sheffield Hallam University (

Upcoming Dates for this event

  • Tue 25 Sep 2018
  • Tue 25 Sep 2018
  • Birmingham, ,

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