The leadership, personality, style and ability of a headteacher are widely accepted as key factors in determining the quality of a school and the achievements of its pupils. Even so, we know remarkably little about headteachers in general and least of all about those who work with children with special needs. We know even less about what they thik of themselves and of headship. Headteachers and Leadership in Special Education is the first book of its kind to study headteachers and headship within special schools and within maintstream schools. It reports on a series of edited conversations which the authors undertook with ten very different headteachers drawn from a range of institutions designed to reflect the rich diversity of provision in special education. The conversations explore the experience of headship and aim to elicit individual perspectives on sets of key themes which impinge on the current theory and practice in the substance and management of special education. In addition, the heads involved have bene encouraged to talk at length, openly and frankly, about their lives, work and views as persons and as educational leaders.This book is written for headteachers, teachers and students (whether on initial training or post-experience courses) who have a concern for special education within special schools, special units and mainstream schools.It will appeal to parents and school governors and to a wide range of workers within health, social and care services. Finally, it will be of interest to students of leadership and leaders in education in other contexts. Steve rayner is a Lecturer in Special Education and the University of Birmingham.