Dr Richard Niesche

Deputy Head of School (Research)

BA; Dip Mus; GradDipEd; MEd (Leadership); PhD (Education)

School of Education


+61 2 9385 1391
+61 2 9385 1946
104 Goodsell Building
Kensington Campus

Richard Niesche is Deputy Head of School (Research) and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He has worked as a teacher in both NSW and QLD. His research interests include educational leadership, the principalship and social justice. His particular research focus is to use critical perspectives in educational leadership to examine the work of school principals in disadvantaged schools and how they can work towards achieving more socially just outcomes. He has published his research in a range of peer-reviewed journals and is the author of a number of books including Foucault and Educational leadership: Disciplining the Principal (Routledge, 2011), Deconstructing Educational Leadership: Derrida and Lyotard (Routledge, 2013), and Leadership, Ethics and Schooling for Social Justice (co-authored with Professor Amanda Keddie, Routledge, 2016). He is the founding co-editor of the ‘Educational Leadership Theory’ book series with Springer. In press is Social, Critical and Political Theories for Educational Leadership (2018, Springer).


Teaching and Supervision

EDST5143 Critical Perspectives in Educational Leadership

EDST5438 Leadership Theory: Research and Practice

EDST5457 Literature Review (Educational Leadership)

EDST5035 Current Issues in Education 2

Honours and prizes

2011 - 2013 University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

2009 Nominated for AARE Doctoral Thesis Award

2005 – 2007 University of Queensland Joint Research Scholarship (PhD)


Keddie, A., Blackmore, J., Wilkinson, J., Gobby, B., Niesche, R. & Eacott, S. (2019-2021)School autonomy reform and social justice in Australian public education. ARC DP190100190 (350,000)

Vass, G. & Niesche, R. 2015-2018Culture, Curriculum, and Community Project funded by the Ian Potter Foundation ($120,000)

Niesche, R. (2018). Equity Review. Gonski Institute for Education UNSW Sydney ($10,000)

Niesche, R. (2014). FASS Research Grant ($5,000)

Niesche, R. (2014). UNSW Goldstar Award ($10,000)

Niesche, R. (2011-2013). University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellow ($241,000)

Engagement and Professional contributions

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)

American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Educational Leadership SIG Co-Convenor 2013-2017(AARE)

Editorial Boards: Leadership and Policy Quarterly, Journal of Educational Administration and History

Co-Editor: Educational Leadership Theory book series (Springer)

Vice-President NSW Institute for Educational Research 2016-2017

Member ofCritical Educational Policy and Leadership Studies(CEPALS) Research Interest Group (BELMAS)

Other information

Research Interests:

Educational and school leadership

Social Justice

Indigenous education