The Pressures Of Performativity And The Responses Of Leadership

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The Pressures of Performativity and the Responses of Leadership

In this essay, I will try to develop an understanding of why performance measures are so important to school leadership and how leadership stimulates change when new performance measures are demanded. Firstly, I will briefly explore the development of historical practices in the education field, the ‘History of Classifications and the History of Blood’, discussing their influences on modern day experiences (Ball 2013). To do this I will I use a personal anecdote to direct my research and develop my understanding of the leadership position. Next, I will discuss how business-like practices have begun ‘creeping’ into educational practices influencing leadership decisions
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‘Histories of Classifications’ are those ‘interpolated’ with the histories of subjects through pedagogies and grouping whilst the ‘History of Blood’ is far more complex (Ball 2013). The ‘History of Blood’ refers to the influence social class and intelligence ranking systems have as stimuli for change. Both are still evident in modern practice and it is clear to see how education is currently at a ‘point of intersection between discipline and regulation, between individualising and totalizing’ (Ball 2013:65). I would like to share an example from own experiences where such developments were clearly evident.

I am currently working in a school that has received ‘special measures’ status by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Apart from embracing the challenges such conditions, propose I have been exposed to many interesting situations which have tested my reflexive capacities. Here is one of those experiences:

‘During the winter term, my children were expected to complete yet another set of exams to assess their progress so far. Commonly referred to as assessment week amongst staff, regular subject lessons were abandoned to cater for the conduction of the exams. During the first day, it came to my attention that one of my students was absent and would consequently miss their exams. I approached my key stage leader on the issue and they instructed me to complete the papers with the student when they returned. The week progressed
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