Socio-economic class and educational leadership

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we present and discuss the relationship between socio-economic class and educational leaders, leading, leadership and leaderability. We note that socio-economic class is an under­researched area in the field of educational leadership yet suggest that present and aspiring leaders' backgrounds may be an important factor in subsequent
'leaderful' practice. We draw on a research case study as well as on research from related fields to suggest that socio­economic class may interplay with educational leadership in multiple ways. For example, access to leadership roles is probably classed, as in other fields; constructions of leader and leading conceptually foreground middle­ and upper­-class qualities and features; and yet socio-economic class may also be a factor prompting leaders to work with disadvantaged followers in what we call transformative, rather than transformational ways, that privilege social justice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Educational Leadership
Subtitle of host publicationCritical perspectives and approaches
EditorsSteven Courtney, Helen Gunter, Richard Niesche, Tina Trujillo
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781350081819
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021


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