University of Leicester
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The role of academic middle managers in secondary schools

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:43 authored by Christine Susan. Wise
This study focuses on academic curriculum team leaders in secondary schools who are in middle management positions and assesses their role following the Education Reform Act of 1988.;It examines both their perceived role, along with how that relates to the tasks they prioritise, and their stated role. The expectations of others within their school are considered and compared with findings of other studies established by analysis of current literature.;A model is developed to classify the tasks expected of the academic middle managers to see if expectations and performance vary according to whether the task is related to the management of people and if it is on a school wide or individual basis.;Data collection includes a survey of middle managers in schools in three local authorities in the East Midlands and East Anglia with a response rate of 47 per cent. There are also three case studies where middle managers and members of their role sets are interviewed, meetings observed and documents analysed.;The research findings show that the department or subject area team is considered by the middle managers as being their most influential group in all areas of decision making with the head and senior management of secondary significance.;There is some difference between the tasks the middle managers perceived as expected by their heads and senior managers and those they perceive as expected by their departmental or subject area team. For all task areas there are middle managers who perceive tasks to be expected of them by their senior managers but do not accept them as being their responsibility. There is clear evidence, however, that the middle managers have accepted responsibility for the monitoring and supervision of their departmental staff.;Middle mangers were aware that expectations of them had increased following the ERA and accepted the legitimacy of these requirements but there was no evidence of additional time being given for this extra responsibility.


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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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