Which school? The secret business of principal supply

Year: 2004

Author: Sachs, Judyth, Barty, Karin

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Anecdotal evidence, surveys and studies in recent years have indicated a decline in interest in the position of school principal- primary, secondary, government and Catholic schools throughout much of the English (as first language) speaking world. Research currently being conducted in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales suggests that populist discussions of declining supply have been conducted using too large a data set. Our evidence suggests that it is only some schools that are experiencing a significant shortfall in applicants. We argue that it is more useful to examine which schools and which applicants are in short supply and why this is so. Further, our investigations also suggest that the process of application is conducted as secret business: there is significant trade in covert information about which districts and which line managers to avoid, which schools are in deep trouble, and which incumbents are reapplying for their positions.