The importance of headship to the success of schools is widely acknowledged. This paper focuses on two related aspects, transition to and development during the first year in post, and identifies and compares research findings with some of the key literature on transition theory and the development of occupational identity. The paper is based on three case studies of new heads before and during their first year in post. The part-grounded / part-developmental analysis identifies how particular themes emerge during transition, how post-transition development is influenced by the transition experience and how theoretical developments and previous research in the field of school improvement and school effectiveness are borne out in practic
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