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Leadership in Methodist schools: Headteachers, Chaplains and Methodist ministers
Anthony Thorpe and Sue Miller present research into the concept and discourse of leadership in the context of Methodist schools and colleges in England.

Methodist Schools: Headteachers, Chaplains and Methodist ministers


The project examines the concept and discourse of leadership in the context of Methodist school and colleges in England. Interviews with head teachers, associated ministers and school chaplains will explore how they understand leadership, their perceptions of its perceived purpose and impact, and how they articulate their practice. The project aims to generate important insights into ministry, organisation and management in a context which brings together the Church and education.


We seek to understand how the concept and discourse of leadership enables or limits the participants in their promotion of the school’s mission, and in the achievement of equality and diversity within the teaching workforce. We seek a better understanding of how the Methodist Church and schools can fulfil their distinctive missions in the joint practice of running schools and preparing those working in schools for specific roles and responsibilities.


Between 18 and 20 head teachers and school chaplains from between 9 and 10 Methodist schools in England will be interviewed, both groups being identified as leaders in faith and school settings. The interview data will enable us to have a greater understanding of leaders’ perspectives and identify i) recommendations for school leaders’ and chaplains’ professional development and ii) future research projects on a large scale. The project’s outputs will include a full research report with a non-technical executive summary, presentations at conferences and development events, and publications in academic journals.