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Special Interest Group

Educational Leadership

A meeting place for the critical exploration of educational leadership – research, policy and practice - in the pursuit of social justice.

This SIG is concerned with the governance and leadership of educational institutions in all sectors (compulsory and post-compulsory; state, voluntary and private) and all contexts. 

We are interested in both the policy and institutional practices, including the moral, social, cultural and political positioning adopted, together with the processes involved in developing these practices, ultimately for the benefit of learners. These interests extend beyond the UK with many of us are engaged in the research and scholarship of educational leadership and management in overseas contexts. 

Some of our members undertake empirical research; others develop theory and theoretical perspectives; and some are involved in practitioner research. We welcome the active involvement of all members who may be established or emerging researchers with an interest in the field of educational leadership.

Research interests 

  • School, FE and HE educational leadership  
  • Policy scholarship of educational leadership 
  • Governance and educational leadership 
  • Educational leadership, power, inequality, change and activism 
  • Educational leadership and social justice 

SIG aims:  

The aim of the SIG is to provide a place for critical discussion were researchers in the field of educational leadership can explore theoretical and methodological approaches to research in the field .   

The aims of the group are to: 

  • Explore and share current research in the field of educational leadership. 
  • Generate new ideas about research methodologies and approaches in the field. 
  • Promote amongst researchers and practitioners a critical understanding of research within the field. 
  • Help develop a context of critical enquiry to the field as a means for social justice. 
  • Help foster a community of critical educational leadership scholars.
  • Provide a platform to promote the research and academic interests of SIG members.

Activities /Events: 

The SIG seeks to develop a community through its 

  • An annual forum meeting 
  • two SIG events to share current research in the field.  
  • Quarterly newsletters that share the work of SIG members and opportunities to engage in the field. 

SIG Convenors

Profile picture of Azumah Dennis
Azumah Dennis, Dr

Lecturer at The Open University

Carol Azumah Dennis has worked in higher education since 2010, first at the University of Hull where she was employed initially as a lecturer in education and programme director for post-16 teacher education, and later as programme director for...

Profile picture of Karen Broadhurst Healey
Karen Broadhurst Healey, Ms

Student (PhD Education at University of Manchester) at University of Manchester

Karen is a doctoral researcher at the University of Manchester. Her research focus is the governance and leadership of multi academy trusts. Prior to this she worked in and with schools for thirty years in a variety of leadership positions.

Content associated with this SIG

BERA Educational Research Book of the Year

Closes 15 Jul 2024

This award celebrates the publication of educational research and is awarded to a scholarly book on education deemed to be high quality, engaging and innovative.


The ECR journey: From inspiration to impact

The first ever BERA Early Career Researcher (ECR) Conference in May 2023, The ECR Journey: From inspiration to impact, celebrated the journey of ‘becoming’ an educational researcher. It was an...

Blog Special Issues

Leading Women in Higher Education

In this Leading Women seminar, we investigated the intersections of gender, race, and geolocation in shaping women's experiences of leadership in Higher Education. We aimed to identify...

Past event18 Apr 2024Virtual