Faculty of Education

Neil Cranston

Neil Cranston

Prof Neil Cranston

Professor in Educational Leadership & Curriculum

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

Teaching Responsibilities

Research higher degree supervision - professional development of school leaders; principals and the law; middle-level school leaders. Coordinate and teach postgraduate leadership units (Graduate Certificate, Masters)

  • ESG786 – Successful School Leadership
  • ESH708 – Leading for Learning
  • ESH 707 – Leadership for Change
  • ESH706 – Leading and Managing People
  • ESH711 – School-based Leadership Project



  • 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.

Book chapters

  • Cranston, N., Ehrich, L. & Kimber, M. (in press). Managing ethical dilemmas. In C. Branson & S. J. Goss (Eds.) A 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

Journal articles

  • Trimble, A., Cranston, N. & Allen, J. (in press). The impact of education law on school principalship: Challenges and emergent findings. Journal of Leadership, Policy & Practice.

  • Cranston, N. (2013). Professional learning for school leaders: What do we know? Journal of Leadership, Policy & Practice, 28(1), 14-28.

  • Cranston, N. (2013).  School leaders leading: Professional responsibility not accountability as the key focus.  Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 41(2), 5-18.

  • Watson, J. M., Allen, J., Beswick, K., Cranston, N. C. & Hay, I. (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. (2012). (un)ethical practices and ethical dilemmas in universitites: Academic leaders’ perceptions. International Studies in Educational Administration, 40(2), 1-32.

  • Russel, D. & Cranston, N. (2012). An examination of professional development offerings for school leaders in one large education system. Leading & Managing, 18(1). 1-18.

  • 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.


Neil is Professor in Educational Leadership and Curriculum. He is also an Honorary Professor, The University of Queensland and has been Adjunct Professor, Department of Education, Unitec Institute, New Zealand. Prior to coming to the University of Tasmania, Neil was an Associate Professor in the School of Education, The University of Queensland. Before joining the university sector, he held various positions in the Queensland Department of Education at regional and central office. 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 interests include educational, school leadership, the principalship, change, aspiring leaders, future leaders, middle-level leaders, preparing future leaders, ethical dilemmas faced by leaders.

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 leadership post-graduate programs.

Neil is Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (1996), Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (2002), Fellow of the Queensland Institute for Educational Administration (2001) and he received the Nganakarrawa Award from ACEL in 2009. In 2007 he received an Outstanding Paper Award, Journal of Educational Administration and in 2002, a Best Conference Paper, Public Sector Management Stream award at the ANZAM/IFSAM World Congress.

He has been a member of the Teachers Registration Board (TRB), Tasmania (2010-2013) and is Chair of the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority (TQA).

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]