Leadership of Voluntary Aided Schools: An Analysis from the Perspective of Headteachers

PhD Thesis

Shaw, Alan 2015. Leadership of Voluntary Aided Schools: An Analysis from the Perspective of Headteachers. PhD Thesis https://doi.org/10.48773/934y7
AuthorsShaw, Alan
TypePhD Thesis

Voluntary aided schools exhibit a unique combination of characteristics including; responsibility for admissions, employment of staff (including the right to prioritise on the basis of faith), control of the RE curriculum, ownership of the premises, and funding from and being part of Local Authorities. This thesis investigates how headteachers of voluntary aided schools perceive their leadership role across the range of small/large, urban/rural and different faith schools of this type and whether they demonstrate similar leadership styles. The paradigmatic approach for this research is that of realism which acknowledges the benefit of both quantitative and qualitative data to generate a broad empirical picture of educational practices, patterns and institutional outcomes. This approach is particularly appropriate for this research as there is a real world of school regulations and requirements imposed externally by central and local government that affect how voluntary aided schools are organised. However, within schools it may be that individual perceptions and priorities distort the image of the external reality and affect how headteachers lead and manage their schools. Mixed methods were utilised comprising an on-line Likert-style questionnaire containing rating scales which provided the opportunity to determine quantitative frequencies and correlations. This was combined with open ended questions which provided the freedom to fuse measurement with opinions, quantity and quality. In addition, a purposive sample of 12 semi-structured interviews provided rich qualitative data conveying the views and perceptions of headteachers of voluntary aided schools in 12 different Local Authorities. This thesis has made a significant original contribution to the body of knowledge in this field by presenting an overview of the perceptions held by headteachers of 450 such schools throughout England (over 10% of the total number) from different phases of education, sizes of school, types of location and denominations. It has addressed the current gap in existing research, supported the findings of several previous smaller-scale studies, identified the distinctive ethos in voluntary aided schools, highlighted the pivotal role of personal faith for these headteachers, produced a new model of ‘ethotic leadership’ and presented suggestions for future research and training.

KeywordsFaith Schools; Voluntary Aided Schools; Ethos; Catholic; Anglican; Jewish
PublisherUniversity of Derby
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.48773/934y7
Web address (URL)hdl:10545/583617
File Access Level
File Access Level
Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Dec 2015, 15:03
Publication dates26 Nov 2015
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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