Faculty of Education

Neil Cranston

Neil Cranston

Prof Neil Cranston

Adjunct Professor

BSc, BEdSt, MEd, MPubSectMgt, EdD, FACE, FACEL (Qld), FACEL

Contact Details

Contact Campus Sandy Bay Campus
Building Hytten Hall
Room Reference 403
Telephone +61 3 6226 7404
Fax +61 3 6226 2569
Email Neil.Cranston@utas.edu.au


  • Cranston, N. & Ehrich, L. (Eds.) (2009). Australian school leadership today. Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.
  • Cranston, N. & Ehrich, L. (2007) What is this thing called leadership: Prominent Australian tell their stories. Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.
Books Chapters
  • Cranston, N., Ehrich, L. & Kimber, M. (2014). Ethical dilemmas faced by school leaders: An examination of their nature, complexities and challenges (pp. 230-245). In C. Branson & S. Grose (Eds.) Handbook of ethical educational leadership. London: Routledge.
  • Cranston, N. (2012. Managing change in a high school. In D. D. Warrick & J. Mueller (Eds.) Leading change: Learnings from real world cases. Oxford, UK: RossiSmith.
  • Cranston, N., Ehrich, L. & Kimber, M. (2011). The challenges of ethical decision making in an Australian school. In D. D. Warrick & J. Mueller (Eds.) Lessons in leadership: Learnings from real world cases (pp. 71-76). Oxford, UK: RossiSmith.
  • Ehrich, L., Kimber, M. & Cranston, N. (2011). To act or not to act: This is John's dilemma. In D. D. Warrick & J. Mueller (Eds.) Lessons in leadership: Learnings from real world cases (pp. 67-74). Oxford, UK: RossiSmith.
  • Cranston, N. (2009) Middle-level school leaders: Understanding their roles and aspirations. In N. Cranston & L. Ehrich (Eds.) Australian educational leadership today (217-241). Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.
  • Cranston, N. & Ehrich, L. (2009) Enhancing leadership density through effective senior management teams (SMTs). In N. Cranston & L. Ehrich (Eds.) Australian educational leadership today (348-366). Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.
  • Ehrich, L. Kimber, M. & Cranston, N. (2009) Ethical dilemmas for school leaders: New agendas, new challenges. In N. Cranston & L. Ehrich (Eds.) Australian educational leadership today: Issues and trends (39-56). Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.
  • Ehrich, L. & Cranston, N. (2009) Deepening our understandings about school leadership: Learning from educators and non-educators. In M. S. Khine & I. M. Saleh (Eds.) Transformative leadership and educational: Excellence in learning organizations in the information age. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense.
Government commissioned report
  • Cranston, N. (2012). Review of the professional learning institute (PLI). Department of Education, Tasmania.
Journal articles
  • Cranston, N. (2013). School leaders leading: Professional responsibility not accountability as the key focus. Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 41(2), 5-18
  • Trimble, A., Cranston, N. & Allen, J. (2013). The impact of education law and school principalship: Challenges and emergent findings. Journal of Leadership, Policy & Practice, 28(3), 34-56.
  • Cranston, N. (2013). Professional learning for school leaders: What do we know? Journal of Leadership, Policy & Practice, 28(1), 14-28.
  • Watson, J., Allen, J., Beswick, K., Cranston, N., Hay, I. & Wright, S. (2013). Issues Related to Students' Decisions to Remain in School beyond Year 10. Youth Studies Australia, 32(1), 21-29.
  • Cranston, N., Ehrich, L., Kimber, M. & Starr, K. (2012). An exploratory study of ethical dilemmas faced by academic leaders in three Australian universities. Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice, 27(1), 14.
  • Ehrich, L., Cranston, N., Kimber, M. & Starr, K. (2012). (Un)ethical practices and ethical dilemmas in universities: Academic leaders' perceptions. International Studies in Educational Administration.
  • Russel, D. & Cranston, N. (2012). An examination of professional development offerings for school leaders in one large education system. Leading & Managing, 18(1), 1-19.
  • Trimble, A., Cranston, N. & Allen, J. (2012). School principals and education law: What do they know, what do they need to know? Leading & Managing, 18(2), 46-61.
  • Ehrich, L., Kimber, M.., Millwater, J. & Cranston, N. (2011). Ethical dilemmas: A model to understand teacher practice. Teachers and Teaching, 17(2), 173-185.
  • Mulford, B., Edmunds, B., Cranston, N., Keating, J., & Reid, A. (2011). Forces Impacting upon Australian Schools and Some Implications for School Leaders. In Russo, B. (Ed). Encyclopedia of Teaching and Teacher Research (pp.315-342). N.Y.: Nova Science.
  • Ehrich, L. C., Kimber, M., Cranston, N. & Starr, K. (2011). Ethical tensions and academic leaders. Higher Education Review. 43(3), 50-69
  • Cranston, N. & Kimber, M. (2010). Perspectives on enhancing educational policy processes. Leading & Managing. 16(2), 16-29.
  • Cranston, N., Mulford, B., Reid, A. & Keating, J. (2010). Primary school principals and the purposes of schooling: The results of a national survey. Journal of Educational Administration, 48(4), 517-539.
  • Cranston, N., Kimber, M., Mulford, B., Reid, A. & Keating, J. (2010). Politics and school education in Australia: A case of shifting purposes. Journal of Educational Administration, 48(2), 182-195.


Dr Neil Cranston was appointed as Professor in Educational Leadership and Curriculum in the Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania in 2009 and is now an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty. He is also Honorary Professor, The University of Queensland. Neil has also been Adjunct Professor, Department of Education, Unitec Institute, New Zealand.

Professor Cranston was Chair of the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority from 2013-2015 and member of the Teachers Registration Board (Tasmania) from 2010-2013. Prior to coming to the University of Tasmania, Neil was an Associate Professor in the School of Education, The University of Queensland and earlier Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology. Before joining the university sector, he held various positions in the Queensland Department of Education at regional and central office levels. He has been a Senior Research & Evaluation Officer, Senior Review Officer and Coordinator of a School Support Centre and has taught science (Head of Department) and mathematics in secondary schools.

Neil researches, consults and lectures in the area of leadership, management and change. His major interests include educational leadership, school principalship, organisational change, aspiring and middle-level leaders, and ethical dilemmas faced by leaders. He also researches in areas such as the purposes of education, and student retention in schooling beyond the compulsory years.

His expertise in the educational leadership and management area has been acknowledged through invitations to present conference key-note addresses, to guest edit leadership journals and act as course moderator and program review member for tertiary leadership post-graduate programs. In 2014 he was awarded the Hedley Beare Award for Educational Writing by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) - presented annually for an outstanding piece of educational writing (which may take various forms) that has provided new and significant knowledge about educational leadership. In 2009 he was the recipient of the Nganakarrawa Award by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders for contributions to, and general excellence in, educational leadership.

Recent competitive grants

ARC – Linkage: Prof Ian Hay, A/Prof Kim Beswick, Prof Neil Cranston, Prof Jane Watson, Dr Jeanne Allen (all University of Tasmania) – with partner Department of Education (Tasmania) – Student Retention Beyond the Compulsory Years in Rural, Regional and Disadvantaged Communities – [2011-2013]

ARC – Linkage: Prof Alan Reid (University of South Australia), Prof Neil Cranston (University of Tasmania), Prof Bill Mulford University of Tasmania), Prof Jack Keating (University of Melbourne) – with partners Australian Government Primary Principals Association & Foundation for Young Australians – Education Investment in Australian Schooling: Serving Public Purposes [2007-2009]