Strategies to assist women become competent principal applicants

Year: 2007

Author: Neidhart, Helga, Carlin, Paul

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper reports a study about women in Victorian Catholic primary and secondary schools who expressed a interest in becoming a school principal. The research extends our earlier three-State leadership succession study (VSAT, 2003), which found that women were strongly under-represented among principal aspirants.

Data collection took the form of a lengthy questionnaire designed for deputy principals in Queensland (Cranston, 2004), was adapted slightly for use with a Catholic population. It sought information on the range of leadership experience across roles and schools, and the key factors that might influence the women's decision to apply. The questionnaire was followed by in-depth one-to-one interviews with a self-selected sample of senior leaders. The research explored their perceptions of principalship, including what they considered to be key readiness criteria, and invited them to nominate strategies, which might assist interested women become more competent and active applicants for principalship.