Leading the Small Rural School: The case of the novice principal

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This article reports a study of novice principals of government primary schools insmall rural communities in Western Australia. Most theory in educational leadership fails toacknowledge contextual differences, such as those applicable to schools located in rural andremote communities. In WA as in all Australian states and territories, principals working in theserural and remote environments face added challenges. First, many schools are small (under]00students) and the principal is also a teacher. Second, such principals are usually in their firstappointment, and although they may be expert teachers, they have little preparation forleadership. Third, their communities are ofien isolated and conservative, making integration andinnovation challenging This study indicates that principals manage the complexity of theirworkload at the expense of building relationships with the community and struggle to make thetransition to a leadership role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-56
JournalLeading and Managing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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