Dr Steve Courtney's research uses critical approaches to make contributions to the fields of the sociology of educational leadership and policy studies. He carries out research which seeks to explain, illuminate and theorise education policy, and educational leaders' identity and practice in interplay with diverse structures. These have included heteronormativity and the school-inspection regime.
Dr Courtney's doctoral research continued and extended this research project by exploring the relationship with leadership of neoliberal school-reform policies seeking to modernise education through diversifying schooling provision.
In addition to his role as convenor of the research group CEP at the University, Dr Courtney co-convenes the CEPaLs group (Critical Education Policy and Leadership Studies) in the British Educational, Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS).