Dee Wheatley

Department: Social Sciences
Discipline: Education

Project Summary

My current research interest arises out of a long career in facilitating, training and coaching leaders’ and assessing the impact of leadership in schools here and abroad. In particular, I am interested in exploring the school culture and conditions which determine the efficacy of leaders’ school actions during and following extended training programmes – of the kind developed by the NCTL. Throughout my career I have been involved with supporting and promoting (through NCTL, TDA and Ofsted roles), the increased focus on school improvement and performance over the last twenty-five years. In recent years however, I have become concerned that accountability demands inherent in the present performativity culture have become overbearing for schools, that they encroach considerably on leaders’ and teachers’ agency causing disaffection and attrition in the workforce. I am interested to discover then whether, and how far, a leadership programme delivered in a jurisdiction (the C. Islands) with a less punitive performativity regime than is found in England has more efficacy and sustained effects.

Early in my career I undertook research on student voice linked to work on records of achievement. In the intervening period between that early research and now, as a trainer and consultant, I have drawn widely on research related to leadership, school improvement and effectiveness, as well as that in the field of personal development (such as Drucker, Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence suite) because such research was a necessary component of the national and international training programmes I was facilitating.   


Wider Research Interests

The Great Irish Famine (An Gorta Mor)1845 - 1852: