Leading and Managing People in Education, second edition
By Tony Bush and David Middlewood
Sage 2005 pound;19.99
The first edition of this book, published in 1997, did not include "leadership" in the title. The authors have conceded the growing significance of this concept and added the word to the title of this new edition, though the book is primarily about management.
The book is divided into three sections; leading and managing people; key concepts underpinning educational leadership; leading and managing key processes. Important topics are covered such as staff motivation and job satisfaction; leading and managing through teams; recruitment and selection; mentoring and coaching; staff and organisational learning.
The tone is mainly neutral, allowing the reader to use the information as an aide-memoire. The book is based on evidence, occasionally critical of the status quo. The authors suggest that performance related pay is unlikely to have much impact on teacher performance or on pupil outcomes.
Extrinsic factors do not contribute significantly to staff motivation as teachers are more likely to be motivated by intrinsic factors. The chapter about leading and managing for equal opportunities addresses some important issues but contains no mention of homophobia or supporting gay and lesbian staff. International exemplars add richness to the discussion. I particularly liked the notion of the Chinese concept of Wu-wei: "the art of non-action". This is not about passivity but about knowing when to intervene and when to leave well alone. A concept to send up the line?
Kate Myers is senior associate in leadership for learning at the University of Cambridge