Independent school principal wellbeing: Exploration of enablers and inhibitors to leadership

Year: 2017

Author: Anstee, Ann

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The wellbeing of the principal in an Independent School directly influences their ability to operate an effective school. Principals in all schools have key management roles and the responsibility for successful educational outcomes (social, performing, sporting and academic) of students and also responsibility for the wellbeing of students, staff and parents.
The proposed thesis will examine the enabling and inhibiting factors that impact on the wellbeing of principals of Independent Schools in Australia. The study contributes to the knowledge of the range of factors a principal of an Independent School faces, the ways individuals create and utilise strategies and suggests advice for newly appointed principals of Independent Schools. As there is little research in this area, this thesis has the potential to contribute to understanding these issues.
The absence of research in this area and more specifically to define wellbeing for school principals highlights the significance of this study. A plethora of research exists regarding student or learner wellbeing, and even teacher wellbeing. The bulk of this work relates to programs which support and teach students, parents and teachers about resilience and mental health. This makes the exploration of wellbeing for principals highly legitimate.
The proposed research uses a phenomenological approach, incorporating an appreciative inquiry. A theoretical model will be developed to assist principals of Independent Schools to operationalise future pathways that seek to create improved and increased personal wellbeing.
The research findings will have implications regarding principals' self-imposed actions for improved wellbeing. It will conclude with an identification of related areas for further research.