Leading or managing? Assistant Regional Directors, School Performance, in Queensland

Bloxham, Ray, Ehrich, Lisa C., & Iyer, Radha (2015) Leading or managing? Assistant Regional Directors, School Performance, in Queensland. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(3), pp. 354-373.

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Education reform aimed at achieving improved student learning is a demanding challenge for leaders and managers at all levels of education across the globe. In 2010, the position of Assistant Regional Directors, School Performance (ARD-SP), was established to positively impact upon student learning across public schools in Queensland, Australia. This study explores the perceptions of the role and leadership understandings of ARDs in Queensland in order to understand more fully the tensions and opportunities they face within this reasonably newly created position.


This qualitative study is based on interviews with 18 Assistant Regional Directors and two of their supervisors to gauge a better understanding of the nature of the role as it relates to leadership and management in the Queensland context.


Interview data revealed three key themes pertaining to the nature of the role and these were performance, supervision, and professional challenges. A key finding was that the notion of supervision was experienced as problematic for ARDs-SP.

Research limitations/implications

This study has limitations and these include a sample that focused on Assistant Regional Directors within one State of Australia and one schooling system (i.e. public education); and interviews were the primary data collection source.


Although there have been studies of supervisors of principals (referred to as superintendents, directors) in other countries and other systems, this study is a first to explore the tensions and opportunities faced by executive leaders in Queensland.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 82010
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: School performance, Leadership, Leading and managing, Assistant Regional Directors
DOI: 10.1108/JEA-12-2013-0129
ISSN: 0957-8234
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright Statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here (http://eprints.qut.edu.au/82010/). Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Deposited On: 12 Mar 2015 23:42
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2015 10:25

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