This chapter provides the broad background to the remaining chapters in the book, each of which deals with school leadership as it is understood and practised in a distinctive context. It opens by examining what is meant by context in relation to individual schools. It goes on to detail the thrust of the tradition in comparative education which stresses that the possibility of any set of educational ideas and practices proposed for any context being adopted successfully is maximised when attention is paid to the nature of that context. Consideration is then given to how those involved in educational leadership can benefit not only from taking into account each of these two matters, but also by deliberating on the extent to which other subdisciplines within educational studies have paid attention to them and the consequences that have followed. Overall, the chapter is aimed at impressing that much school leadership practice for the future could be unsuccessful if leaders are not sufficiently sensitive to context. This position provides the justification for considering the sorts of cases reported in the chapters that follow.