Dr Tom Bisschoff

Dr Thomas Bisschoff

School of Education
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Tom started his career as a high school teacher in economics and accountancy. He was a member of the academic staff of the following tertiary institutions: University of South Africa (Pretoria, South Africa), Central University of Technology (Bloemfontein, South Africa), Vista University (Sebokeng, South Africa) and the University of Johannesburg before joining the University of Birmingham in 2008 and was awarded Professor Emeritus status from the University of Johannesburg. His doctoral thesis was on the influence of a schooling system on the economy of a country. This interest was further researched and explored and reported on in eight co-authored books, three chapter contributions to academic books and 31 peer reviewed journal articles. He has presented his work at more than 32 international conferences.

As an examiner for a PhD student at the British University of Dubai.He was the deputy president of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (CCEAM) (2004-2008) and on the steering committee for the biannual conference in Durban, South Africa (2008).

He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research and Reflections in Education (JRRE), University of Education , Lahore, India; Professional Development in Education (Editor: Ken Jones, Swansea Metropolitan University, UK); and Journal of Research on Leadership Education (University of Missouri-Columbia, USA). 

Feedback and office hours

Available by appointment only – contact me on my email address t.c.bisschoff@bham.ac.uk


  • DEd (UNISA)
  • MEd (UNISA)
  • BCom(hons) (PU)
  • PGCE(PU)


Tom is a fellow of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (FCCEAM) and a member of the South African Academy of Science and Art – LAkad(SA). He is a visiting professor of the Vaal University of Technology in South Africa 2010-2014.


British Commonwealth delegation to discuss a new Education Leadership Journal in CameroonHe contributes to the module: Education Observation, Evaluation and Supervision.

Postgraduate supervision

A successful EdD student from Cameroon.Tom has the following research interests: Leadership learning of headteachers with specific reference to financial school management, school marketing, school governance and project management.

View the profiles of three of his doctoral researcher students

Deputy and Assistant Headship: Why Headship is no longer an option

Measuring and appraising (KPI QA) institutional policies and strategies related with student retention (attrition) - an institution wide approach
Community participation in managing public secondary schools as an Implementation of education policy: A Lesson from the Morogoro region, Tanzania.

Former students

Frederick Ebot-Ashu - Effectiveness of School Leadership and Management Development in Cameroon


Specialises in School Marketing, School Financial Management and Project Management in Education.

Large funded research projects

2011-2012: British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (Belmas) funded project of £3,000 on academy schools in England
2011-2012: World Bank funded project of £15,000 to evaluate the new Primary School Curriculum in Turkey.
2011: RSA Academy project of £2,000 on student voice to evaluate seven specific student voice initiatives at the Academy.
2010-2014: A National Research Foundation South Africa (NRF) funded project to the amount of £4,000 per year for 5 years (2010-2014) in total £20 000. The research explored the possibility of using a Academy school type to address the ever growing number of dysfunctional schools in the South African system. The project was administered by the Vaal University of Technology. Find out more about this research Failing schools in South Africa: A case of defeatism in school leadership

Other activities

He is the co-editor with Chris Rhodes of the International Studies in Educational Administration (Official journal of the CCEAM)


Selected publications

Authored Books

Bisschoff, T. & Rhodes, C. (2011). From Good Schools for Some to Better Schools for All, in Day, C. The Routledge International Handbook of Teacher and School Development. (ISBN 978-0-415-66970-2) Oxford: Routledge Education. Book details

Rhodes, C. & Bisschoff, T. (2011). Leadership and School Effectiveness in: Arthur, J. & Peterson, P. Routledge Companion to Education. Oxford: Routledge Education. Book details

Bisschoff, T.C. & Rhodes, C.P. (2011). Transformation through marketing: a case of a secondary school in South Africa., in Tripathi, P. & Mukerji, S. Cases on Innovation in Educational marketing: Transnational and Technological Strategies. (ISBN 10:1609605993) New Delhi: IGI-Global. Book details

Mestry R & Bisschoff T (2009). Financial School Management explained, 3nd Edition. (ISBN 978-1-77025-485-5) Cape Town: Pearson Education South Africa.

Joubert, R. & Bray, E. (Eds) (2007). Public School Governance in South Africa (ISBN: 0-620-37203-6). Pretoria: CELP. Chapter 1: Administrative and Communicative Skills for Effective Schools.

Refereed journal articles

Bisschoff, T & Gibson, M. (2014) “Successful” Schools as agents of inner-city school transformation in England. International Studies in Educational Administration. 42(1), 1-14.

Bisschoff, T. & Watts, P. (2013). Leadership for learning: a case of leadership development through challenging situations. Education as Change. 17(S1), 21-31. DOI: 10.1080/16823206.2014.865987

Bisschoff, T. & Mackenzie-Batterbury, R. (2013). The journey to academy principalship. International Studies in Educational Administration. 40(3), 33-43.

Grobler, B.; Bisschoff, T. & Beeka, A. (2012). Changing perceptions of teachers regarding the importance and the competence of their principals as leaders. South African Journal of Education. 32: 40-55.

Du Plessis, P.; Bisschoff, T. & Chukwu, E. (2009). Sexual harassment in schools is not “routine adolescence” – A case study in the Vryheid School District of South Africa. Journal of Research and Reflections in Education. 3(2): 123-138.

Mestry, R.; Hendricks, I. & Bisschoff, T. (2009). Perceptions of teachers on the benefits of teacher development programmes in one province of South Africa. South African Journal of Education. 29: 475-490.

Bisschoff, T. & Mathye, A. (2009). The advocacy of an appraisal system for teachers: a case study. South African Journal of Education. 29: 393-404.

Bisschoff, T. (2009). Mandated change gone wrong? A case study of law-based school reform in South Africa. International Journal of Educational Management. 23(4), 336-347.

Refereed conference publications

Fouche, C & Bisschoff, T 2013. Failing schools in South Africa: A symptom of defeatism in school leadership. 2013 DEFSA Conference Proceedings, pp. 64-74. Online: http:// www.defsa.org.za

Funded reports and other publications

Bisschoff, T. & Gibson, M., 2012. BELMAS Research projects
Leadership of Academy Schools in England: Sponsors and the realisation of the ethos and vision. Accessed 7 March 2013 www.belmas.org.uk/belmas11/researchprojects/researchprojectreports.eb

Bisschoff, T.; Bojabotsena, T.; Corthing, V.; Du Plessis, Y.; Erasmus, R.; Fouche, C.; Hechter, R.; Lenz, R. & Vosloo, S. 2012. Failing Schools in South Africa: A case of defeatism in school leadership. PGlobal Insight, 1.3 Winter 2012, pp. 1-2.