In many countries over the last decade, the emphasis upon standards has dominated the educational agenda. According to Joseph, Mikel and Windschiti (2002) the work of teachers has become increasingly routinized by the use of standardized curricula and standardized achievement tests to assess the performance of students, teachers and schools. School principals have to operate in this very exacting environment and performativity has been a major focus (Woods, 2000). Although the term ‘leadership’ is being highlighted for school principals, especially in the UK, structural conditions are ensuring that tight accountability regimes and curriculum speciﬁcations are in place (Glatter, 2006). There is a major tension still to be resolved between ‘leadership’ and ‘man-
agement’ for school heads. On the one hand the expectation for principals is to be proactive and transformational leaders but in reality the management requirements are closely linked to a narrow technicist orientation, hierarchical approaches and a market ideology (Grace 1995):
Governments have national agendas and want ‘compliant’ principals who will accept national values which are imposed upon them (Glatter, 2006). Brundrett (2006) describes the standards-based national intervention in leadership development in England under the National College for School Leadership (NCSL).