«Die Frage ist, wer profitiert?»

Führung ist ebenso wie Bildung eng verknüpft mit der Frage, wer Zugang erhält – und wer nicht. Jacky Lumby, emeritierte Professorin an der Universität in Southampton (UK), beschäftigt sich seit Jahrzehnten mit Fragen von (Un)gerechtigkeit und Macht im Schulwesen. Im Interview mit Nina-Cathrin Strauss erzählt Lumby von Macht als Element von Führung und Bildung, über das es sich zu sprechen lohnt.

Jacky Lumby, what is the current focus in the discourse about educational leadership in the UK?

My answer takes Covid-19 into account as a context because in England and Wales Covid-19 has clearly revealed and exacerbated the gulf between advantaged and disadvantaged learners. The latter has suffered greatly from the effects of the crisis. The government planned to ensure that every learner had a tablet or a PC so they could study online, but this has not happened. Not everyone had a supportive environment and there were even children who had insufficient food. There was a big debate about how to ensure that students were fed if they did not get free meals in schools. In contrast, privileged students in private schools, for example, continued to work relatively unhindered without major losses as they all had laptops or tablets. In response to the situation, you would hope that everyone would work together to try to minimize the level of disadvantage. It has not happened.

Teaching unions have been assertive in fighting for the rights of teachers to be safe, to have their holidays, and not to be overworked and the government has used that to develop a narrative that leaders and teachers are not committed sufficiently to their learners. So instead of working to meet the needs of learners, leaders have been embroiled in a conflict between the government’s wish to impose actions and teachers struggling for control, for example about when schools close or open and how learners are assessed. In my view power is always a fundamental underpinning issue and here we see a battle for power that is impeding a focus on the needs of children.

Now we are getting right in the middle of your topic power in the context of leadership – and especially distributed leadership? Why do you consider it as important?

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