Policy-mandated collegiality in the Maltese education scenario: The experience of the leaders

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In the unfolding Maltese education scenario of gradual decentralization and school networking, I explore the reception of policy-mandated collegiality among the Principal and the Heads of School within one Maltese college, and its subsequent effects on the unfolding network leadership dynamics. This is explored through the leaders’ understanding of the collegiality concept; their reaction to the ‘forced’ implementation of policy-mandated networks through ‘For All Children to Succeed’ [FACT] (2005); and the resulting ‘effects’ of this implementation. My study is framed within a postmodern paradigm and adopts a Foucauldian theoretical framework. Data are collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews; observation of a Council of Heads meeting; and a documentary analysis of FACT. Narrative is both the phenomenon under exploration and the method of analysis. The Heads experience the college as simultaneous individualization and totalization, acknowledging its benefits but criticizing their lack of autonomy, loss of individual school identity, and its imposition in the form of geographical clustering. The findings address a gap in educational leadership literature in terms of the effects of ‘contrived collegiality’ as they unfold within the top leadership hierarchies in the network. This research can serve as an inspiration for practising leaders; as well as aid policy makers in reviewing the way policies are initiated and enacted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-226
JournalMalta Review of Educational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2015


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