I am an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. I have worked as a teacher in Queensland and New South Wales at both primary and secondary levels. My research interests include educational leadership, the principalship and social justice. In particular, my research focus is to use critical perspectives in educational leadership to examine the work of school principals in disadvantaged schools and how they can work towards achieving more socially just outcomes. I have published my research in a range of peer-reviewed journals and have written a number of books in these research areas.

This website is an opportunity to share my research and thoughts on writing in the margins of a number of different areas and topics. I am interested in educational leadership and particularly the principalship but with a distinctly critical edge. I am sceptical of educational leadership research that claims to have the answer to ‘what works’, and to prescribe what ‘good leadership’ is without a nuanced and sophisticated analysis of context. By context I do not simply mean a school, region or country, but the interrelationship between the social, political, cultural, religious, economic, philosophical, and theoretical that must be acknowledged to understand leadership practices. Drawing on mostly post-structural ideas to inform my writing, this has resulted in a marginalisation of such ideas in what is still largely an instrumental, positivist and conservative field.

Please feel free to get in contact about my blog, publications or other links on this site.

Best wishes,


Email: r.niesche@unsw.edu.au