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Maximising leadership capacity and school improvement through re-alignment of children's services.Tarpey, Christine; Poultney, Val; University of Derby; Derby City Council (Sage, 2014-07-25)This article emerges from work undertaken with leaders from a local authority who took part in a programme entitled ‘Advanced Leadership in Integrated Children’s Services Environment’ or ALICSE programme. The aim of this course was to engage leaders and managers in thinking differently about their roles and to consider how they could make changes to their leadership practices to cope with the fast pace of change now enforced on the educational landscape. Through coconstruction of work-based knowledge and the application of integrated leadership theory with a local Higher Education Institution (HEI) during 2012, this research offers some insight into how a group of Local Authority (LA) teams have provided a de-centralised service for vulnerable families whilst maintaining and improving educational standards across the City’s primary schools. A range of leadership, improvement and process strategies are currently being piloted with inner city schools and presented in this paper as a series of vignettes which exemplify these strategies. By taking a more holistic, integrated approach to working with key personnel at both local authority and school level it has been possible to demonstrate a greater alignment between the different LA teams in respect of the support they are offering to the schools. These outcomes have arisen as a result of professional teams working on the development of a more autonomous approach to leadership based on a ‘can do’ attitude firmly embedded within a morally focused culture.