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Leadership for Learning

A vibrant network dedicated to leadership, learning and their inter-connection.

Leadership. Learning. Two ideas at the heart of education. Both are complex, open to widely differing interpretations and the subject of continuing debate among academics, policymakers and practitioners. The LfL network is concerned with both concepts and particularly with their connection, seeking to understand and share knowledge about leadership in education that supports learning.

Annual Report CoverThe 2018 Annual Report offers an overview of our recent work and current focus and reach. Read online or download as a PDF.

Learn about us and our principles and framework, the team behind LfL, our Current Collaborations, Publications (including our own series InForm), our Resources, and also opportunities for Visiting and Studying with us.

Events carries details of our seminars and conferences.

Projects introduces our current portfolio and also contains a rich archive of resources from past programmes.

Join us to become part of the network and keep in touch via our regular newsletters. Connect with us @LfLCambridge


Book Launch: Reforming or Re-inventing Schools? Key Issues in School and System Reform.

By John MacBeath, Maurice Galton, John Bangs

Book Launch PosterReforming or Re-inventing Schools? revisits some of the key issues in school and system reform, offering an insightful review and critique of education principles and practice. It explores some of the myths as well as the potential value of comparative data. Drawing on new evidence and interviews with policy makers and academics on the British and international stages, the authors ask:

• What do parents, children and ‘society’ want from an education system?

• What motivates teachers to join the profession and why do such large numbers leave so soon?

• What are the roots of misunderstanding and mismanagement in provision, support and accountability?

• How do teachers communicate, support and exchange ideas with each other?

• How do we measure positive change?

• How good is our education system in comparison to innovative development taking place elsewhere in the rest of the world?

John MacBeath and John Bangs will be reflecting on the changes that have taken place in education practice and policy since the publication of their first book Reinventing Schools Reforming Teaching ten years ago. They will not only cover developments in the UK but changes which have taken place internationally.

An introduction to the book, its relevance for school leadership, classroom practice and policy making will be addressed by Sir Alasdair Macdonald. As headteacher of Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets he remained faithful to his staff and pupils over a 21 year period in which pupil attainment rose significantly. The school was rated as ‘outstanding’, featuring in the London Evening Standard’s first ever ‘Most improved School’. 

Download the event poster here. This book is available to order on Routledge.

Thursday 27th February 2020, 5.15-6.30pm                     

Room GS5, Donald McIntyre Building, Faculty of Education
All welcome. Free to attend. Refreshments served. Please email: to register.


Leadership for Professional Learning International Symposium

flier cover

Common Challenges, Shared Solutions


This event was an opportunity to share innovations, research and dilemmas, and to contribute to a range of professional and academic outputs, through collaborative and supportive dialogue. Taking the view that leadership is an activity that can be exercised by anyone, regardless of status, the symposium convened a diverse, international group of educational leaders.


The two-day symposium was structured in focused strands to allow preK-12 educators, school and system leaders, academics and political thought leaders an enriched experience that will inform their work.

Furthermore, the symposium was a working session in which participants were expected to host a dialogue; bring an artifact, document, or other material to contribute to that dialogue; and participate in other dialogues within up to two selected symposium strands.

Symposium strands

  1. Focusing on, and conditions for professional learning
  2. Dialogue, professional learning and leadership
  3. Shared leadership and mutual accountability
  4. Student learning and leadership
  5. Leadership within a virtual learning space

Working in partnership

The symposium built on work by the three lead organising partners: The University of Cambridge Leadership for Learning Network, The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning, and 'Professional Development in Education' international journal.

Find out more you can visit LfL Symposium and download the brochure. For any queries please contact cc

Details of other recent events.

New Publications

Strengthening the connection

Strengthening the Connections between Leadership and Learning

By John MacBeath, Neil Dempster, David Frost, Greer Johnson, Sue Swaffield

Examining a decade of research and practice, this book makes the case for a radical reappraisal of leadership, learning and their interrelationship in educational policy. Discussing whether policy direction is progressively constraining the professionalism and initiative of teachers and school leaders, it challenges conventional understanding and argues the case for thinking differently about the way to lead learning.

It is an essential read for postgraduate students, especially those in leadership in education, as well as for teachers and policymakers in schools.

Read more here, and find this book on Routledge.

book launch image

We were thrilled to see so many of you and meet some new members at the book launch! If you couldn't join us in person, or would like to re-visit this interesting event, you can now watch the film footage online.

InForm 19 - Teacher Leadership: a tragedy in five parts?

InForm 19 ScreenshotThe development and practice of teacher leadership is directly aided and inhibited by the conditions for learning that exist within a school setting and the policy context in which it operates.

This latest InForm is adapted from a talk given by Phil Poekert to attendees at the Leadership for Learning network's seminar. This seminar drew on the creation of the Teacher Leadership for School Improvement graduate degree program at the University of Florida and the subsequent theoretical model for teacher leadership development that emerged from its implementation in contexts across the State. Noting that external support from a university and philanthropy were key facilitators, the seminar entertained the question: "if external support seems necessary, what hope do we have of institutionalizing teacher leadership within schools?"

Phil Poekert

Phil Poekert is the Director of the University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning. His research focuses on the development of teacher leadership and the impact of collaborative professional development on teaching quality.

You can read this InForm online or download as a PDF.

LfL Seminars - A Good Educational Read

A Good Educational Read example cover

A unique opportunity to discover inspirational reads chosen by distinguished professors.

  • Professor John MacBeath
  • Professor Madeleine Arnot
  • Professor Andrew Pollard
  • Professor Neil Mercer
  • Professor Mary James
  • Professor Maurice Galton
  • Professor John Gray

LfL Resources

Link to Resources/LfL Fan page

The LfL Fan

Discover the LfL Fan featuring the key principles and elements of the LfL framework on a series of petals.

  • An innovative hand-held resource
  • Captures the key LfL principles and framework elements
  • Stimulates debate and reflection in an educational context

Read more about the LfL Fan.

LfL - the Cambridge Network