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Dr Maria Kaparou


Research interests

  • Educational leadership and management, particularly focused on instructional leadership/Leadership for Learning; leadership and management for school improvement within MATs;
  • Education policy;
  • School improvement;

More research

Accepting applications from PhD students.

Connect with Maria


Dr Maria Kaparou is an academic at Southampton Education School and she has teaching commitments in the undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes. Maria is also supervising PhD students in the field of leadership and management in education settings in the UK as well as within the international context (e.g., England, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia). The calibre of Maria’s teaching has been independently verified. In 2013, Maria received a University of Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence in Higher Education for her innovative teaching methods in Higher Education. Maria has been recently nominated for an Academic Award as 'the most engaging lecturer' (SUSU, 2022). 

Maria has been an Associate Director of the Undergraduate (BSc Hons Education) and Postgraduate (MSc Education) programmes as well as holding the role of the Employability Lead of Southampton Education School. Recognising the commitment of the leadership and teaching teams in the Education programmes, Maria has been nominated for a Vice-Chancellor’s Award as part of the MSc Education team and colleagues in the Student Experience category (2022) as well as in 2018 (Vice-Chancellors Awards nomination for good leadership/ quality of work in the Undergraduate Education programme).

Maria is an active researcher, with a record of successful applications for research grants. Maria's research interests include: educational leadership and management, particularly focused on instructional leadership (Leadership for Learning); education policy; school improvement; research in Multi-academy Trusts (MATs); leadership of international schools; international and comparative education; diversity and leadership; employability and Higher Education; leadership and management in Higher Education.

Maria is the winner of the prestigious British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Best Thesis Award 2015. ‘The quality this year was exceptionally high, a really good reflection of where we are’, said Professor Peter Earley, Professor of Education Leadership and Management at UCL Institute of Education London. "There were nine submissions this year and the winner was Maria Kaparou for her thesis on learning centred leadership in two education systems, a very good read indeed", Professor Earley said at the awards presentation ceremony. Maria, also, has been awarded a doctoral bursary by BELMAS (2011-2013).

Apart from her academic and research commitments, Maria is reviewer for international peer-reviewed journals (Educational Management, Administration and Leadership; School Leadership & Management; School Effectiveness and School Improvement; Management in Education) and she is a member of the international editorial board for the Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Management (MOJEM).

Maria is the coordinator of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) Network, MoREI, which is a network for Methods of Researching Educational Effectiveness and Improvement (MoREI).

External activities and associations:

  • British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI)
  • Leadership for Learning: the Cambridge Network (LfL)
  • London Centre for Leadership in Learning (LCLL)
  • European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)- Junior Researcher of EARLI
  • Steering Group in the Beauchamp Group (School support network) - Schools of Tomorrow