In Australia, the professional learning of school leaders has seldom mattered more. The importance of school leadership stems both from an increasing emphasis on improving schools and a foreshadowed crisis in attracting sufficient quality applicants to principal class positions. Nevertheless, it is clear that the preparation of future school leaders needs to be a priority, particularly given the likely retirement of most of the current school principals over the next five to ten years. A key challenge for developers of school leadership programs is to identify those factors that are of central importance in the preparation of school leaders, including the capacity to take on a broad range of responsibilities and facilitate shared leadership and the relationship between leadership and student outcomes. Attention needs to be given to the recruitment and selection of school leaders who have the qualities and capacities that lead teachers and schools to improve student learning. Stakeholders have also drawn attention to the need to establish working conditions and support structures that will improve the retention of effective leaders. This chapter explores issues relating to the structure, processes and effectiveness of existing school leadership preparation and development programs, recent initiatives that have been adopted, and the areas where more support appears to be needed.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/elizabeth_kleinhenz/13/