Conceptualising Creativity and Innovation in the Role of Primary Sector Headteachers

Marie Beresford-Dey (Lead / Corresponding author), Richard Ingram, Liz Lakin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    70 Downloads (Pure)


    Schools and policy makers face common challenges driven by external affairs such as economic uncertainty, globalisation, and advances in technology. Rapidly changing educational, societal, and political systems require school leaders to adopt creativity and innovation (Cr&Inn) as an integral feature of their leadership. To understand what Cr&Inn means to those in primary sector headteacher positions, this conceptual paper explores the following questions: How is Cr&Inn defined regarding headteachers within the primary sector? What are the key characteristics of Cr&Inn regarding primary sector headteachers? We incorporate a systematic literature review along with definitions from primary sector headteachers drawn from interview data. Whilst Cr&Inn remain conceptually complex, we provide clarity by proposing a succinct definition and recognising the key characteristics involved which in turn, has the potential to strengthen effective leadership to improve learner outcomes through overcoming unusual challenges. We conclude with a discussion of how misconceptions may negatively influence creative and innovative practices, yet we recognise that Cr&Inn have much to offer those in such dynamic and accountable roles, globally, particularly in times of uncertainty. Through our identification of the characteristics, we provide school leaders and policy makers with a framework to understand what Cr&Inn entails.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number70
    Number of pages15
    JournalEducation Sciences
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2022


    • Creativity
    • Headteachers
    • Innovation
    • Leadership
    • Primary
    • Schools

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
    • General Computer Science
    • Education
    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Public Administration
    • Computer Science Applications


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