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Biography Before joining the University of Nottingham in 2018, I was Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the University College London Institute of Education (UCL IOE). During my time at UCL I was Director of the London Centre for Leadership in Learning and, later, Vice-Dean - Innovation and Enterprise. Before joining the IOE I worked for the National College for School Leadership, the Design Council, the Campaign for Learning and the Cabinet Office. From 2005-06 I was Special Adviser to the House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee for its enquiry into Sustainable Schools. I studied at the Universities of Birmingham and Manchester.

I am also: a Director of the Transform Multi-Academy Trust based in Nottingham, a member of Ofsted's Advisory Group for Research into Multi-Academy Trusts, a member of the Ambition School Leadership Research and Evaluation Advisory Group, and a member of the Foundation for Education Leadership Research Advisory Group.

I have lived and worked abroad, including time spent teaching in Brazil and China. In 2018 I undertook a fellowship at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, where I advised the Ministry of Education on its review of Tomorrow's Schools and the Kahui Ako/Communities of Learning programme. I have also worked on projects and undertaken speaking engagements in various countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Israel, Singapore and Spain.

My most recent book - School leadership and education system reform - was co-edited with Peter Earley and was published by Bloomsbury in 2017.
Research Interests My research is focussed on aspects of school leadership and school system governance and reform. I am interested in the ways in which policy and practice interact to effect change, improvement and innovation, but also the unintended consequences of change, in particular in terms of equity and social justice. I am also interested in leadership development and the ways in which leaders make decisions, for example how they evaluate and balance organisational and personal priorities. My work is informed by a range of theoretical perspectives, including governance, complexity, organisational and institutional theories as well as school improvement, effectiveness and leadership.

My most recent research was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and explored the interactions between hierarchy, markets and networks across four localities in England's 'self-improving school-led system' (Greany and Higham, 2018). This large-scale mixed methods study highlighted the ways in which the accountability system and parental choice mechanisms, in particular, influence both the behaviour of school leaders and the nature of school to school networks and local school systems. The research was described by the Observer newspaper as "a seminal analysis" (See and and - 30.6.18). See here for the full research report and a supplementary report on the impact of Multu-Academy Trusts:

My current research projects include an evaluation of a model for school to school peer review for the Education Endowment Foundation, a large-scale study of school improvement approaches in Multi-Academy Trusts, Teaching School Alliances, federations and Local Authorities for the Department for Education and work for the OECD on developing schools as learning organisations.

Past Research

In the past I have led and contributed to a range of studies exploring school leadership and governance issues. Examples include:
an evaluation of the extent to which schools and teachers utilise research and evidence to inform teaching and school improvement (Coldwell et al, 2017)
an umbrella review of evidence on effective approaches to professional development and learning for teachers (Cordingley et al, 2015) and subject-specific CPDL (Cordingley et al, 2018)
research into the nature and impact of school-led Research and Development approaches across networks (Greany and Maxwell, 2017)
a review of school-university partnerships in the UK (Greany et al, 2014)
the national analysis and report of findings for England from the Trends in International Maths and Science Survey (TIMSS) 2015 (Greany et al, 2017).