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This issue of the Journal of Educational Change explores the complexity of leadership and, for and in change in schools. There is a large body of literature which focuses specifically on the influence of principal leadership and school improvement (see review by Hallinger & Heck, 1998) and increasing amounts recently that extend the focus to include governors, teachers, students and communities, as they explore leadership within change processes in schools (for example, Dimmock, 2000; Harris & Lambert, 2003). Professional learning communities and networking of leaders, nationally and internationally, working together to improve student achievement are common themes in the leadership literature today (for example, Stoll, Bolam & Collarbone 2002; Hargreaves, 2003). Distributed leadership is also a regular theme, with research indicating that it is in the ‘‘leadership practice’’ at various levels within a school, where change occurs (Harris, 2005; Spillane, 2006). A common theoretical underpinning in recent literature is that change in schools is a socio-cultural process (Sleegers, Geijsel & van den Berg, 2002; Wells, 1999; Wells & Claxton, 2002) and that it is through the interactions between members of the learning community that the construction of new knowledge takes place (Spillane, 2006). The contributions in this issue of the Journal of Educational Change focus attention on the socio-cultural nature of leadership, change and transformation in schools.
- Education Papers