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exploring trust

October 26, 2014

My reading around neoliberalism, new managerialism, hyper-accountability and the educational audit culture since July this year has forced me to confront notions of trust, especially while undertaking Performance and Development processes with colleagues in my workplace. Trust was previously something I had taken forgranted.

Given what I was learning, questions lingered:

  • Could I (honestly – despite the reading) place trust in processes?
  • What am I doing – and want to maintain – to ensure I am trusted in my role?
  • Is feedback the only mechanism available for gauging accuracy of perceptions?
  • Can policy documents and protocols assist in generating trust?


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According to one philosopher

we may not have evidence for a crisis of trust: but we have massive evidence of a culture of suspicion (O’Neill, 2002, p.6).

Despite best efforts and intentions, it seems likely that school leaders in current climates of performativity will be viewed askance ie with suspicion. And therein lies uneasy discomfiture: How can we read the signs?


Selected references

Appelo, J. (n.d.). Plan, do, check, act. [Image]. Retrieved from

O’Neill, O. (2002). A question of trust: Reith lectures. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved October 26, 2014


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