Following a brief overview of the contents and structure of the Handbook, we introduce the chapters through a framework that arose from our reflections as editors on the array of perspectives, ideas and provocations presented within them. We recognise the value of this variety and that fundamental areas of contestation within both leadership and education mean the field of leadership in education may inevitably be a fractured one. At the same time, could we see a unifying message or themes in the diversity? The framework through which we introduce the chapters consists of areas of problematisation and reconfiguring that concern structure, effectiveness, ethics and knowledge and represent themes across the chapters. We conclude with the suggestion that it is possible to recognise differences in the field - often impassioned differences - and to hold to understandings that frame these. We share our belief that readers will find in the Handbook’s array of perspectives, ideas and provocations much to ponder, critique and inform policy and practice.

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