Who will lead? Principal succession in New Zealand’s faith-based integrated schools


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Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice

New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society

Subject: Education


ISSN: 1178-8690





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VOLUME 32 , ISSUE 2 (December 2017) > List of articles

Who will lead? Principal succession in New Zealand’s faith-based integrated schools

Francine Bennett

Keywords : Principal; succession; leadership; special character

Citation Information : Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice. Volume 32, Issue 2, Pages 3-15, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/jelpp-2017-0014

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 03-June-2019



One of the most challenging tasks for any school’s board of trustees is leading the process to employ a new principal when a principal change is impending. The importance of this task cannot be underestimated as there is an integral relationship between school leadership and student achievement. Globally, research indicates that this task is becoming increasingly difficult as an aging population of principals is heading towards retirement and fewer teachers and middle managers are aspiring to lead a school. This challenge is further complicated if the school has specific employment criteria such as those found in integrated faith-based schools. The pool of applicants is smaller than for state schools and this requires that strategic succession planning occurs to develop a well-prepared leadership pipeline for future leadership roles. This paper draws on doctoral research focused on principal succession in faith-based schools in New Zealand and suggests a model to successfully manage the principal succession process.

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