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Judy ChandlerJudy Chandler

I am the Programme Lead for the MA Education and MA Childhood and Youth at the Open University. My specialism and research interests lie in Educational Leadership in Higher Education and in Schools, particularly exploring where research meets practice. I am an Academy Trust Director and an incoming Chair of a Local Governing Body, which enables me to contribute school governance that is informed by educational leadership research. I am passionate about capturing a wide range of voices in practice and research, exploring intersectionality and also drawing on my own personal and professional perspective being from a BME background. I apply these values and a critical perspective to my governance roles as well as practice in my HE leadership role and have incorporated reflections of practice into my research. As an early career researcher, I am particularly keen to build on research that explores the concept of ‘third space professionals’, which looks at the nexus between academic and administrative roles to consider what this might mean for future educational leadership. In addition to my active roles in school governance, I am a member of senate at my institution and am an external member of the Cranfield University Research Ethics Committee.

Why vote for me?

I am interested in joining BELMAS Council because I have a genuine interest in and commitment to educational leadership development in relation to research and practice. As an educational leader in HE I regularly reflect on the sector at multiple levels and the tensions that exist at various intersections between policy, practice and research. Particularly, the historical structures that have led to ways of working that are evolving with varying degrees of ease and difficulty. For instance, the binary professional identities within Higher Education leadership which separate academic from non-academic. Divides such as this bare relevance to literature that explores professional trajectories which appear to privilege some and marginalise others. I bring a passion for social justice and a keen interest in how work that might come from BELMAS members may help to advance practice and research through insightful discussions and other forms of member engagement.

I also bring a critical voice to the role, which I have experience of using in my school governance roles and university governance role. The lack of diverse representation in senior leadership across all levels of the sector is an area that would benefit from further exploration and I would be interested in supporting members who express a desire to investigate this. While my own cultural background is not a key motivation for pursuing opportunities such as this, being from a BME background I do consider my intersectional perspective to bring a degree of richness to the council.

Coupled with my dedicated work ethic and passion for leadership development, I would highly value the opportunity to encourage and support collaboration between members and others within the field who are passionate about bringing together practitioners from a range of educational settings and researchers while driving forward educational leadership discourse. As a new Doctoral RIG co-covenor, I look forward to meeting with minds who are interested and involved in emergent educational leadership research that might be based on practice or advance existing theoretical perspectives. I also look forward to facilitating development of early career researchers and practitioners keen to develop their practice.

I admire the journey that BELMAS has been on to date and the vision to lead in the field of educational leadership. I am well-acquainted with hard work and would be willing to invest time and effort to support the development of the society as it evolves over time. I appreciate the pressures the sector faces with technology and societal issues that change at a rate often unmatched by advances in education practice, and as such look forward to supporting BELMAS and its members in shining a light on policy, practice, and research that has the potential to transform and influence the sector.