A female school leader and emotional management: coping in ‘Special Measures’ in a secondary school in England

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


Schools are placed in ‘special measures’ in England if they are deemed to be under performing by failing to provide their pupils with an acceptable standard of education. This chapter explores one female headteacher’s emotional experiences as she coped in difficult circumstances during an intense period of scrutiny as she led her staff towards school improvement and out of special measures. The headteacher regulated and utilized her emotions intelligently to deliberately enhance the performance of others at work and in doing so she addressed and changed the localized culture of the school. Data are drawn from a series of interviews with the headteacher and her self-reported responses to an ‘EQ Map’ (Cooper & Sawaf, 1997). Using the EQ Map as the conceptual framework, findings show a sense of work satisfaction emerged as a result of tackling challenging situations. An increased awareness of one’s emotions led to being mindful regarding the emotional state of others, as the headteacher sought opportunities to bring about school improvement and address challenges presented by being placed in special measures. A distinctive list of 21 key features of emotional management emerged from the scales of the EQ Map capturing a model in relation to coping under internal and external pressures.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotion Management in Teaching and Educational Leadership
Subtitle of host publicationA Cultural Perspective
EditorsIzhar Oplatka, Khalid Arar
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2019

Publication series

NameStudies in Educational Administration


  • School leadership, headteacher, special measures, emotions, emotional intelligence, coping