Embracing vulnerability: How has Covid-19 affected the pressures school leaders in Northern England face and how they deal with them?
AbstractResearch into the effects of pressure on schools and school leaders has focused more on its impacts at system level than on the human impact on leaders themselves. Using theories of vulnerability, this paper attempts to redress this balance, examining the challenges school leaders faced during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, the support they accessed, and what this says about how schools might be rethought. Located in the North East of England, the study combined an online survey of 132 school leaders with in-depth interviews with five leaders in 2020. The research found that the pandemic has had an amplifying effect, increasing the pressures they already felt and increasing their responsibilities. It also found that many find it difficult to admit when they are under pressure and a large proportion have no source of support when they felt exhausted. This suggests new ways need to be found to help all leaders, and particularly male and secondary leaders, to admit a sense of vulnerability and access professional support. The overwhelming majority of leaders surveyed wanted to increase trust in the school system, reduce accountability and a renewed focus on the mental health of both children and adults in schools.
CitationJopling, M. and Harness, O. (2021) Embracing vulnerability: How has Covid-19 affected the pressures school leaders in Northern England face and how they deal with them? Journal of Educational Administration and History, 54, pp. 69-84. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220620.2021.1997945
JournalJournal of Educational Administration and History
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Routledge in Journal of Educational Administration and History, available online at: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220620.2021.1997945 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/