As a school leader, you're probably often on the hunt for books that can provide recommendations and insights regarding wellbeing, leadership advice, and general education information. At Edurio we regularly produce research related to school improvement, staff and pupil wellbeing, EDI and more, so we’re always on the lookout for the best books talking about education.

Here are some excellent books (in no particular order) that have been published on school improvement recently, surrounding school improvement and leadership. As an added bonus, we’ve included a book for teachers and one book to look out for this year!

1. Outstanding School Leadership by Peter Hughes (2023)

Through a series of case studies and interviews with successful school leaders, Hughes identifies the core principles and practices that lead to outstanding outcomes for schools and students alike creating a blueprint for excellence in educational leadership. This book is an essential resource for anyone looking to elevate their leadership skills and drive meaningful change in the education sector.

2. Diverse Educators: A Manifesto by Bennie Kara and Hannah Wilson (2022)

The importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in schools is more important than ever. This book takes the structure of the Equality Act and lays out chapters on each of the Protected Characteristics with contributions from various people in the sector speaking directly to their experience. An enlightening read for anyone dedicated to creating a more inclusive environment in their organisation.

3. Terms of Engagement: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations by Richard H. Axelrod (2010)

Although not one of the newest books on our list, Terms of Engagement is a must read for any leader working to make changes happen in their organisation. The key to successful change is communication and Axelrod lays out a framework that will guide you through roadblocks when communication stalls or miscommunication happens, getting you to involve the right stakeholders and building true solutions no matter what type of organisation you work in.

4. Women Navigating Educational Leadership by Jana L. Carlisle (2024)

What’s it like to be a woman working in educational leadership today? Interviewing 37 women leaders between 2020 and 2022, this book takes a look at their experiences in a broad range of settings and experiences. This speaks to the underrepresentation of women in educational leadership positions today and invites discussion around what can be done to support women more effectively.

5. Humble Leadership by Edgar H. Schein (2018)

In "Humble Leadership," Edgar H. Schein, with his extensive experience in organisational psychology, explores the power of humility in leadership. Schein argues that the key to effective leadership and organisational success lies in building deeper, trust-based relationships with team members. By fostering an environment where vulnerability and openness are valued, leaders can unlock the full potential of their teams. This book is a compelling read for anyone interested in transforming their leadership style to cultivate a more inclusive and collaborative workplace culture.

6. Imperfect Leadership in Action: A practical book for school leaders who know they don’t know it all by Steve Munby and Marie-Claire Bretherton (2022)

A practical resource based on Munby’s previous book, Imperfect Leadership, is designed to help leaders reflect on their role and embrace the imperfect aspects of leadership. A great resource for anyone wanting some more directed prompts and practical case studies to grow as a leader in challenging situations.

7. School Leaders Matter by Helen Kelly (2023)

Drawing on research and real-world examples, Kelly highlights the strategies and qualities that distinguish effective school leaders, emphasising the pivotal role of leadership in shaping the success of educational institutions. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities in educational leadership, offering valuable insights for current and aspiring school leaders aiming to make a significant impact on their communities.

8. New School Leader. What now? By Neil Renton (2023)

This is the definitive guide for newly appointed school leaders navigating the complexities of their roles. This book covers everything from setting a vision and building a supportive culture to managing finances and handling difficult conversations. Renton's practical advice and real-life anecdotes provide a roadmap for making a positive and lasting impact in your school.

9. The Authentic Leader by Andrew Morrish (2022)

Morrish challenges conventional leadership wisdom, advocating for a leadership style rooted in authenticity and integrity. Through personal stories and examples from a range of sectors, Morrish illustrates how authentic leaders inspire trust, foster innovation, and drive performance. This book is a must-read for leaders seeking to develop a leadership style that is true to themselves and effective in today’s dynamic world.

10. My School & Multi Academy Trust Growth Guide by Al Kingsley (2023)

This is an essential manual for educational leaders looking to navigate the complexities of expanding their schools and trusts. With a practical approach, Kingsley shares insights on strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, financial management, and sustainable growth practices. This book also delves into the importance of leveraging technology and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. A must-read for any leader aiming to scale their educational institution while maintaining quality and integrity.

If you’re looking to support teaching and learning, get teachers to read this:

Just Great Teaching by Ross Morrison McGill (@TeacherToolkit) (2019)

Ross Morrison McGill, known online as @TeacherToolkit, distils decades of teaching experience into "Just Great Teaching." This book delves into practical strategies and innovative approaches to overcome common classroom challenges. With a focus on enhancing pupil engagement, curriculum design, and assessment methods, McGill offers insights that are both practical and inspiring. A go-to guide for teachers seeking to refine their practice and make a tangible impact in their students' learning journey.

Coming soon: Schools of Thought by David James and Jane Lunnon (2024)

We’re excited for "Schools of Thought" by David James and Jane Lunnon, an upcoming exploration into the diverse educational philosophies and practices that shape today’s schools. By examining the theories and ideas that underpin various educational models, the authors aim to provide educators and school leaders with a deeper understanding of how they can adopt and adapt these practices to benefit their students. Anticipated to be a thought-provoking read, this book is expected to spark debate and inspire innovation in the field of education.

Stakeholder Feedback Hub Digital Book

Complementary resource! This is a good practice guide to stakeholder surveying in schools and multi-academy trusts.


This resource brings clarity and structure into the surveying process to help your school or multi-academy trust gather, analyse, and implement stakeholder feedback.

Inside, you will find a handy guide to help you conduct a successful survey:

  1. Setting Smart Goals
  2. Designing and Running Surveys
  3. Analysing Survey Results
  4. Taking Informed Action

Access your free copy here.