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Robert

Robert Nairn

Year of Award: 2017 Award State: Western Australia Education > General
To examine the impact of principal preparation programs in preparing leaders for the role of principal - Singapore, UK, Denmark, Norway, USA
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What are the principles that underpin effective leadership development?

  • There is an embedded culture of ‘talent spotting’ potential leaders and targeting them for leadership development.
  • The programs are prestigious and entry is competitive.
  • There is a commitment of financial resources. This can occur at different levels.
  • There is a structured career pathway for potential leaders.
  • There is a long-term commitment that is not effected by political cycles.
  • Programs are developed in consultation with major stakeholders.
  • There is professional learning that:
    - reflects the role.
    - centres around ‘putting theory into practice’.
    - is research driven, and
    - is evaluated for impact.

There appears to be a fundamental flaw with the programs reviewed in that strategies specifically designed to address the ongoing health and wellbeing and self-care of school leaders are not included. Longitudinal data collected in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland highlights an alarming trend in school leader health and wellbeing as shown in the table from The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey (Australian Catholic University 2017) below.

This trend is likely to continue as people enter school leadership positions earlier in their career and will potentially spend much longer in that position. The general reliance on peer / network support and the assumption that the support given is appropriate must be challenged.

Key words: Principal, Workforce, Leaders, Profession, Registration, School, Education

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