A reflective case study of four newly appointed Head of Department: their leadership styles and experiences of leadership in one Welsh secondary comprehensive school.
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
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A case study based in one Welsh comprehensive school, which reflects on the career paths of, and the experiences of, four young female middle leaders. The middle leaders were all within their first two years of their new leadership posts and were all under 30 years old. This study aimed to look reflectively at their ideals of leadership as well as assessing challenges they faced on a day to day basis, whilst hoping to shed some light on why they were able to rise up the career ladder so quickly. Through the use of semi-structured interviews, career path mapping and diaries, the study concluded that these individuals' careers were shaped by two factors. firstìy the participants' willingness and enthusiasm for their school seemed to set them out from the crowd, but secondly and more importantly, the supportive and somewhat perceptive senior leadership team who seemed to encourage them to stretch their careers early on. However, an air of caution was drawn from the research findings, which highlighted the need for specialist training and support of individuals who have reached the next level of their potential development, either through INSET (training days) or an in-house mentoring system.
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