The significance of trust in school based collaborative

Andy Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The expectation that schools should work in partnership to promote the achievement of children has arguably been the defining feature of school policy over the last decade. This rise in school-to-school partnerships and increased emphasis on multi-agency-based interventions for vulnerable children have seen the emergence of a new form of school leadership, required to simultaneously reconcile the pressures of cross-organizational partnership working with the demands of effectively leading a single institution.

Based on original, doctoral research, this article discusses the fundamentally important role trust plays in assuring the leader’s integrity and capability within this context. It explores the concept of trustworthy leadership, offering an innovative model for the emergence of trust and a three-dimensional framework to account for its manifestation in collaborative contexts. The article concludes that trustworthy leadership is fundamentally relational in nature and based on the leader’s consistent modelling of their values in their day-to-day behaviours. Furthermore, it requires that followers perceive a flawless connection between these aspects, which in turn is dependent upon understandings as to the nature of professionalism within a specific context. Trustworthiness is therefore viewed as both an innate and attributed quality, the precise nature of which is contextually constructed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-106
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Issue number1
Early online date22 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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