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Manchester Institute of Education


The CEPaLs group has taken a lead role in establishing several networks.


In addition to its MIE iteration, CEPaLS exists also as a research interest group in the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society.

It is co-convened by Prof Helen Gunter and Dr Steve Courtney of MIE along with colleagues from UCL and the University of Nottingham.

Its work is aligned to four overarching themes: privatisation and corporatisation; practice and professionalism; knowledge production and globalisation; and leadership and entrepreneurialism. 

European research network

A European collaboration through the Leading Democratic Schools (LE@DS) network was formed in November 2011. The membership includes:

  • Professor Helen Gunter and Professor David Hall: The University of Manchester, UK
  • Professor Jean-Louis Derouet and Associate Professor Romuald Normand, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France.
  • Professor Roberto Serpieri and Dr Emiliano Grimaldi: Università di Napoli Federico I, Italy.
  • Professor Jorunn Møller  and Dr Guri Skedsmo: University of Oslo, Norway.
  • Dr Anna Imre, Hungary    
  • Dr Jan Kahoutek, Czech Republic
  • Marta Curran Fabregas and Toni Verger, Spain

Three seminars have been held: in November 2011 we met in Naples for the inaugural seminar, and we took time to share the contextual settings and reform strategies, and to begin to unpick decentralisation and centralisation in our states. In September 2012 we met in Manchester were we focused on NPM as a conceptual framework through which to address the issues we raised in Naples.

Here we could witness the ‘newness’ of NPM in some contexts, and the maturities in others; we could recognise some common patterns in the form of performance targets, and some important distinctions linked to political and cultural histories. We met again in Naples in March 2013, were we continue to discuss New Public Management.

We have had symposium at three major international conferences, and a papers will be published in the Journal of Educational Administration and History in the autumn of 2013.

Network with CLEG

On 30 September and October 2013 a two day seminar was held at The University of Manchester; the seminar was a collaboration between the Curriculum Studies, Leadership and Educational Studies Group (CLEG) at the University of Oslo, Norway, and the Critical Educational Policy and Leadership group at The University of Manchester.

The purpose of the seminar was to:

  • build international networks by connecting PhD students and Early Career Researchers across institutions;
  • provide an opportunity to engage in collaboration across borders and establish conditions for international cooperation which may also help PhD students and Early Career Researchers in their future research careers;
  • further develop the relationship between the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Oslo and the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE).

Thirteen papers were given:

  • Wazerah Bawazeer (MIE):
    A biographical study of six women in leadership positions in the Ministry of Higher Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Rachel Chard (MIE):
    A Study of Current Male Educational Leaders, their Careers and Next Steps
  • Steven Courtney (MIE): 
    A reflection on the construction of a typology of school types
  • Patricia Davies (MIE):
    Turbulence within: fluidity of the identity of a doctoral researcher
  • Cate Goodlad (MIE):
    Teachers studying for Masters degrees: handling tensions in the policy-practice interface
  • Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen (Oslo):
    Research-based Knowledge and Leadership for School-development
  • Jeffrey Hall (Oslo):
    Social policy learning through national school inspection. A comparative study of state school inspection in Norway and Sweden
  • Maike Luimes (Oslo):
    Curriculum design and development introducing vocational oriented subjects: A comparative study of Norway and Germany
  • Ruth McGinity(MIE):
    School-University Research Partnerships: Knowledge Production and the impact of rapid reform
  • Jorunn Moller (Oslo):
    An overview of the project LEX-EL (Legal Standards and Professional Judgement in Educational Leadership)
  • Eli Ottesen (Oslo):
    Responding to reforms in education: local transformations and gradual institutional change
  • Stephen Rayner (MIE):
    The interrelationship between decision-making processes, values and professional practice in an English secondary school as it approaches academisation
  • Stephen Rogers(MIE):
    Personalisation, young people and democracy?
  • Sverre Tveit (Oslo):
    Constructing Legitimate Examinations: Assessment and Certification Policies in Norwegian and Swedish Secondary Education

Three keynote addresses were also given:

Further information

Processes of Privatisation in Education (PoPE) network

This is an international network whose scholarship focuses on the privatisation of education globally.

Members include Dr Steven Courtney (MIE), Dr Ruth McGinity (UCL), Dr Jaakko Kauko (University of Tampere), Prof Dennis Beach (University of Gothenburg, Dr Maija Salokangas (Trinity College Dublin), Dr Barbara Schulte (Lund University), Dr Sonja Kosunen (University of Helsinki), Dr Alejandro Carrasco (Pontífica Universidad Católica de Chile) and Dr Berglind Magnúsdóttir (University of Iceland).

Research interest group

This is a national and international Critical Education Policy and Leadership network made up of researching professionals and professional researchers from schools, colleges, higher education, local and national administrations/organisations.

The focus in on studying and practicing socially just educational leadership, and this has led us to hold a series of seminars both in Manchester and with our partner team at the University of Nottingham.

Methodology and methods

15/2/13 - School of Education, University of Nottingham

Convenor: Professor Pat Thomson

Guest Speaker: Professor Ivor Goodson.

Policy enactments

1/12/12 - School of Education, University of Manchester

Convenor: Professor Helen Gunter.

Guest speaker: Professor Meg Maguire


2011: School of Education, University of Manchester

Convenor: Professor Helen Gunter

Guest Speaker: Professor Michael Apple

Critical Approaches to Leadership and Policy Studies

2010: School of Education, University of Manchester

Convenor: Professor Helen Gunter

Guest Speaker: Professor Stephen Ball

A special issue of Management in Education was guest edited by Patricia Davies and Ana-Cristina Popescu. This contains an editorial and papers from the day. See Davies, P., Popescu, A-C. and Gunter, H.M. (2011) Critical educational leadership Studies. Management in Education. 25 (2)


A 2008 day seminar for researchers in the field. See Gunter, H.M. (ed) (2011) The State and Education Policy: the academies programme. 
London: Continuum

Critical Education Policy and Leadership International Seminar 2013