The role of the principal is pivotal in the development of student leadership within schools. As well as assuming a heavy administrative workload and undertaking numerous complex and time-absorbing responsibilities, the principal plays a significant part in facilitating student leadership development initiatives—in essence, this person becomes the steward of student leadership. This stewardship most often takes one of two forms: through direct or indirect involvement. A principal advocating stewardship through direct involvement is personally engaged in leadership activities, and works closely with student leaders. By contrast, indirect involvement requires the principal to empower colleagues with the responsibility of personally engaging with leaders, and to be involved in the philosophical and organisational components of the leadership program. Both forms have merit. This article underscores the importance of including student leadership programs within schools and examines the manner in which the principal can engage directly or indirectly in developing student leadership.
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