The principalship, autonomy, and after

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Journal of Educational Administration and History, ISSN: 0022-0620, Vol: 47, Issue: 4, Page: 414-431

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Eacott, Scott
Informa UK Limited
Social Sciences; Educational Administration and Supervision
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article description
Contemporary discourses in educational administration have exponentially grown the number of adjectival leaderships, challenged traditional organisational structures, and offered autonomy as a solution to performance issues. In this theoretical paper, I ask what does the principalship look like after autonomy? Despite the range of objections that could be raised in relation to thinking with and through an organisational role, it is the contention of this paper that it is in the principalship that we find important resources for theorising educational administration, even if, at first sight, these resources appear to bear little connection to, or resonance with, contemporary discourses of ‘leadership’ in education. Working within a relational approach to educational administration that I am advancing, my argument is built around three key markers: the centrality of temporality, the (im)possibility of the local, and the imposition of ‘quality’.