The national context An impending shortage in applicants for principalship In 2008 the average age of principals was 50, and 25% were over 55. Pincer: Increasing vacancies, decreasing applications
The transitions Gronn, 1999 Formation (birth to young adulthood) Accession (grooming and rehearsal) A time of active consideration, “emotional labour” Need the time and space to “try on” roles Incumbency (attainment and experience) Divestiture (moving out)
What influences the decision to become a principal? The potential principal The school and the system The wider community
How can we help? Take a whole of career stance – it’s too late when they are on the threshold Situate the experience in the context of explicit career planning Focus on building a sense of personal and professional efficacy Build on real life situations Provide positive role models of a wide range of approaches to principalship Provide access to good mentors during the transition and beyond Focus on the unique concerns of women and minority groups.