The emergence of distributed leadership in education: why now?

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The recent emergence of distributed leadership has been very marked. In England, it has received official endorsement. But the evidence-base which supports this endorsement is weak: there is little evidence of a direct causal relationship between distributed leadership and pupil attainment.What therefore might explain its rise to prominence? Here three possible explanations are considered: first, it accords with the contemporary reform of the public services; second, it is legitimated by an appeal to a culture wherein all categories and classifications are rendered increasingly permeable; and third, it is regarded as functional for the 'new work order'.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-214
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • capitalism, public services, distributed leadership, new organisational forms, culture