Women's leadership of 'much needed national work' in wartime education

Kaylene Whitehead

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    While there is a wealth of feminist research on women's educational leadership and policy-making in the interwar years, this article extends the discussion into the Second World War. My focus is the educational leadership of Dorothy Walker, head teacher of St Peter's Infant School and the youngest head teacher in Birmingham, and Lillian de Lissa, longstanding principal of Gipsy Hill Training College (where Walker trained) and national advocate for early childhood education. I highlight Walker and de Lissa's ongoing challenges to patriarchal authority and their continuing commitments to progressive education, as well as many war-related issues they encountered in their lives and work. Working at different levels of policy-making and contrasting in age, Walker and de Lissa invested their leadership with a national significance during the war.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)197-210
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Educational Administration and History
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2016


    • education policy
    • educational leadership
    • gender and education
    • progressive education
    • Second World War
    • Women head teachers


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