How principal supervisors work to develop principal knowledge and expertise from the invisible middle tier: An Australian perspective

A35 Dearing Building, Online
Wednesday 24th April 2024 (09:00-10:00)

This event is taking place both face to face and online

Option 1: Please register your attendance for the face-to-face Session

Option 2: Please register your attendance for the online Session

Please note that the online seminar session will take place virtually via Teams and the meeting joining link will be provided on completion of your registration for the event.

When registering for this event, we will collect personal data from you. This information will not be passed outside of the University of Nottingham. Please read our privacy information for more detail about how we use data



A School of Education Seminar hosted by the Centre for Research in Educational Leadership and Management 

Presented by Dr Ricky Cambell-Allen who is celebrating her PhD graduation.  

Professor Toby Greany as Chair/Discussant 

Principal supervisors operate within the middle tier of schooling systems – connecting the policy-making centre with frontline leaders in schools. Existing research indicates that principal supervisors have been considered a promising enabler for supporting and developing principals and implementing policy (Goldring et al., 2020).  

My recent PhD research set out to understand how principal supervisors influence principal practice in the context of wider educational governance changes in the public system in Queensland, specifically a quasi-market-based autonomy policy. In Queensland, the region (middle tier) is a distinct geographically focused administrative tier embedded within the state-level education infrastructure – the Department, rendering it somewhat invisible. The study utilised a theory-led (hierarchies, markets and networks) case study approach to inquiry with mixed methods (predominately qualitative) to present a cross-case analysis of three case studies of principal supervisors from three regions in Queensland. 

In this seminar, I will focus on how professional knowledge is developed and how this might relate to sources of expertise, sharing an embedded learning framework within a governance analysis (hierarchy, markets and networks). I will also briefly explore three overarching empirical findings from the study that add additional nuance to our understanding of how the middle tier operates in a vertically integrated hierarchical context beyond the more widely studied tri-level district model. The seminar discussion will explore the implications for principals, leaders within the middle tier and policymakers across the schooling contexts.  




School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

Contact us