Network Meeting 2015, Budapest

MINUTES (NW 26, Educational Leadership)

This year’s conference

ECER conference is still growing. The educational leadership network is among the 10 largest networks. This year we had a slight reduction in proposals. Our rejection rate is 17% which is 3 % more than for the conference as a whole. We had 69 presented papers of which 7 was symposium, 1 workshop, 4 roundtables and 3 joint sessions.  Our impression is so far that many of the sessions in Budapest had good attendance and was of good quality.

Comments: It is important to leave time for questions in the paper sessions. If time for questions is allocated at the end of the session, the questions should address all papers / cross papers (like in a symposium).  The chair decides the format together with the presenters in each session.

Quality and acceptance

Most of the proposals to our network holds high quality and get good scores in the three assessment areas: Coherence in Argumentation and Methodology; Awareness of Previous Work and Own Contributions; European Perspective.   

When a proposal is rejected the main problems are:

  • Insufficient information (short abstract)
  • Low coherence in the abstract
  • Missing leadership focus
  • To limited perspective
  • Duplicate of parts of the text in two proposals

Comments: It is good if there is a balance between quality and quantity among the papers, we need to be inclusive and reach more countries.

The question about the European perspective as a criterion was raised. It might be more difficult for junior researchers to address. It was stressed that we also have the emerging researchers’ conference for junior researchers, and this part of the conference is growing in attendance.

New ideas:

  • There is a call for a special issue targeting South African school leadership
  • Emerald are looking for more articles and special issues from our network (contact Sharon Parkinson)
  • Perhaps there could be a special issue in the ECER-journal, (EERJ), the European Educational Research Journal), next year when the Dublin-conference focus leadership
  • Another option for publications is an upcoming handbook on School Leadership. Contact Stephan Huber for more information


To assure quality it is important to have known routines and strive towards the following principles;   transparency, legitimacy, openness, trust, and continuity.

Today the network has the following conveners:
 Link convener
Helene Ärlestig Sweden

Stefan Brauckman, Germany
Simon Clarke, Australia
Lawrie Drysdale, Australia
Lars Frode Fredriksen, Denmark
David Gurr, Australia
Ulf Leo, Sweden
Gerry Macruairic, Ireland
Anita Nordzell, Sweden
Guri Skedsmo, Norway
Howard Stevenson, England
Pierre Tulowitzki, Switzerland
Helen Wildy, Australia

There is no formal membership to networks. Networks themselves don't have a formal status.

The conveners act as a reference group to the link convener as well as reviewers of proposals.

  • A Link Convener is appointed by each Network to act as first contact and coordinator of the group of conveners. They shall also
  • Act as a contact for the EERA Office, EERA Executive Board and Council in any questions related to the Network.
  • Manage the operations of the Network (including the annual Network meeting at ECER).
  • Coordinate the ECER program

The convenors are important to be able to manage reviews and planning

  • No convener should need to review more than 15 proposals
  • Conveners are encourage to volunteer by sending an email to the link convener with information about their experience
  • New conveners will be selected based on experience and country
  • New conveners will have a mentor
  • The Link convener mandate will last four years with one possible re-election. Impeachment is possible by the Conveners or the network meeting
  • During the third year an incoming link convener will be elected to shadow the link convener  with the aim to be elected at the next years network meeting

There are currently 13 conveners and those who want to join the group can contact Helene. There is a need for continuity e.g. to discuss the standards in reviewing. The waiting list for conveners is short, and there could be more conveners depending on the number of proposals that needs review. We also want conveners from countries that are not represented today.

The meeting discussed and agreed on the routines described above. The link convener should be elected for four years with an option for re-election once. When the link convener wants to step down after three years of the period, the network elect an upcoming link convener who can work together with the link convener the coming year, and then take the full responsibility.

Helene will continue for one year and Pierre Tulowitzki, University of Teacher Education Zug, Switzerland, will work together with Helen the coming year to become the next link convener.

Next conference in Dublin 22 – 26 August 2016

Gerry MacRuairc, University Collage of Dublin, in our network is one of the hosts for next year. The conference is in August to access rooms at the University, and accommodation for the participants of the conference. It also means that the children are still on vacation so there will not be school visits. Gerry is going to arrange a social event for network 26.

There will be no special calls for proposals since the theme fits our network very well, LEADING EDUCATION: THE DISTINCT CONTRIBUTIONS OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND RESEARCHERS

However the network needs more conceptual papers, ideas for work-shops and symposia.

We are also pleased that Jorunn MØller university of Oslo will be one of the Keynote speakers.

An idea was to have a special issue on “What has the Network been doing?” as a give-away on the conference. To make that happened we need network members to work with this question.

Other issues

The current refugee issue was raised with an open question. What could we in the network do as researchers, activists, affecting policy etc.  

We take the opportunity to also include the official statement and the address for the blog

"Recurring crises have transformed Europe and its peoples throughout the centuries. The current refugee crisis and its human and educational implications were discussed intensively at the annual European Conference on  Educational Research (ECER) in September 2015. Educational researchers emphasize that research and education are central to the framing of ideas and the construction of life chances. We collectively call upon educational researchers across Europe and beyond to reflect on and act according to our moral and intellectual responsibilities."
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If you have questions or ideas do not hesitate to contact me as the networks link convener or use our webpage
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Thanks to all that took time to come to the meeting, all together we were between 30 and 40 persons at the meeting.

Remembered by
Ulf Leo and Helene Ärlestig

NW 26 runs a mailing list and invites researchers to join. To join the mailing list, send a blank message to nw26-subscribe(at)

Interview with Link Convenor 2019