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Leadership & Policy in a time of Precarity

Abstract submission
1 March 2020

The gig economy. The academic precariat. Teaching contracts. Short-term performance-based contracts for school leaders.

Education systems and sectors around the globe are functioning in increasingly casualised workforce environments, which has implications for leadership in schools and in higher education institutions. Precarity also holds serious implications for policymakers and for the leaders and educators who have to enact those policies.

The Journal of Educational Administration and History (JEAH) publishes work that takes a critical perspective on issues relating to educational administration, leadership, and policy. How might we theorise the effects of precarity, and the experiences of those people working in precarious environments?

We know that the work of school improvement takes time. Developing a highly-skilled and confident teaching workforce requires a long-term investment and commitment. Schools in vulnerable communities face higher rates of turnover and difficulty in staffing than advantaged schools do. Tackling the big issues in education – inequity, opportunity gaps, democracy and cohesion – also takes time. How are precarious leaders, or leaders in precarious organisations, able to make long-term plans to address these challenges?  

JEAH’s mission is to incorporate historical perspectives to help us examine contemporary issues within their wider context. How can we look back to the past to take an historical perspective on these issues, so that we can better plan for the future?

Questions that might be addressed within this special issue include:

  • How do leaders and educators prepare students to enter an increasingly casualised workforce?
  • How do university leaders address issues of increasing precarity in their academic staff?
  • How might we theorise effects and experiences of leadership in a time of precarity?
  • Is it possible to take risks in educational settings in a time of precarity for educators?
  • How do leaders develop and maintain long-term visions with short-term staffing?
  • How can a historical understanding of these issues help us to understand the current effects and future implications of precarity for leaders and leadership?
  • How do educators remain committed to the deep and often-challenging work of education when working in precarious employment?
  • How can leaders take a long-term view of supporting and developing teachers’ skills and capabilities when those teachers are on short-term contracts?
  • What policy initiatives could be put into place to address some of the challenges of precarity?
  • How does precarity in educational settings impact upon the communities we serve?  

Submission guidelines

  • Please submit an abstract of 400 words (excluding references) to the journal’s Editors, Amanda Heffernan ([email protected]) and Jane Wilkinson ([email protected])
  • Abstracts should clearly include how the journal’s scope of historicising current issues will be addressed in the paper
  • Please clearly indicate the theoretical lens to be employed within the paper


  • Abstract Submissions – 1 March 2020
  • Invitation to submit – 1 April 2020
  • First draft due – 1 October 2020
  • Production / Publication Estimated 2021

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