This opening chapter presents and scopes the focus and argument of the book. Specifically, the use of leaders, leading and leadership by New Labour governments (1997–2010) as a strategic policy strategy for bringing about radical reforms to and within schools is outlined. The antecedence of this strategy is presented, and the particular contribution of New Labour is explained. It is argued that New Labour entered and made interventions within a vibrant leadership field, and not only consumed leadership knowledge from the leadership industry, but also contributed directly to the growth and status of this industry. The chapter concludes by presenting the position and approach of the book, and the underlying conceptualization evidence base for the study.
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