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Restructuring educational leadership in changing contexts: a local/global account of restructuring in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2004-09-01, 00:00 authored by Jillian BlackmoreJillian Blackmore
The 1990s saw considerable structural reform in school education in many Anglophone nation states, marked by trends towards school-based, site-based, self-managing and self-governing schools. This article illustrates through a case study of educational restructuring in Victoria, Australia, how leadership, as a discursive practice, is redefined in the context of spatial and cultural restructuring. Restructuring produced a spatial redistribution of educational provision and individual opportunities as a result of structural adjustment reforms. These same policy moves towards post-welfarism also produced cultural shifts in attitudes to education with the rise of the new instrumentalism and entrepeneurialism. For school principals at the forefront of self managing schools, this meant shifts in resource distribution through new policy mechanisms of managerial and market accountability, and also new priorities impacting on leadership practices with a move from dialogic to decisional modes of management. The question is how recent policy moves towards learning networks and reinventing systematic support with a focus on locational disadvantage are addressing what were increased educational disparities between schools and students. Does this provide scope for more equity-driven leadership practices?