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Implementing changes in the head teacher role: Adaptation of strategic leadership style in inclusive school settings

Anabel Corral Granados (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK)
Fredrik Kruse (Chambers and Partners, London, UK)

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services

ISSN: 1747-9886

Article publication date: 16 November 2011




During the last 20 years inclusive practices in primary schools have been promoted by policies and worldwide organisations. Scholars confirm that school leaders have an essential role to play with direct impact on meeting children's needs and that there is a chronic deficiency of research on this issue. The purpose of this paper is to describe how strategic leadership roles implemented by head‐teachers can facilitate the implementation of inclusive policies in the school setting and present possible suggestions through the analysis of leadership theories and literature related to inclusion in primary schools.


The methodology this research employs includes a literature review that conceptualises the roles of leadership positions in inclusive settings. This is structured as an explanatory discourse, drawing on the notion of transformational and visionary leadership as the basis of strategic leadership, in order to identify the important role and strategies of leaders in a primary school setting.


The paper highlights the benefits of exploring the role of leaders in these schools. The paper assumes that organisations are complex structures and the analysis indicates that there is not one single exclusive way of implementing an effective role and that alternatives can be created by adapting a flexible framework. This framework is conceptualised by examples from institutions in which leaders have motivated the improvement of school quality by following the described strategic tools. The implications of this for leadership are that Strategic Intent seems to address the directions of the aims of inclusive leaders: it uses unique strategies and relies on the capability of leaders to encourage further dedication and involvement in the organisation's culture. It is suggested that the key components of this framework which will result in the school setting becoming more inclusive consist of: resource allocation, consistency, strategic planning and cultural considerations.

Practical implications

This paper introduces different strategies that can be explored by school leaders with the aim of being implemented in schools.


This paper has developed a framework to which leaders could adapt their own needs and it assists them in their decision‐making process.



Corral Granados, A. and Kruse, F. (2011), "Implementing changes in the head teacher role: Adaptation of strategic leadership style in inclusive school settings", International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 287-303.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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