The impact of education law on school principalship: Challenges and emergent findings

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Trimble, A.J.
Cranston, Neil
Allen, Jeanne M.
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2013
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This article examines a number of environmental and organisational factors underlying the impact of education law on the professional practice of school principals. Following a brief examination of education law, the article discusses factors occurring beyond the school, as well as school-based considerations, that contribute to the impact of education law on the modern principalship. The external factors include political (international human rights and public decision-making standards), social (legalization), systemic (self-managed schools and professional standards) and professional (leadership and management roles of principalship) matters. The school-based factors, drawn from a 2011 Australian pilot study into education law, suggest the work of school principals is significantly impacted by education law, particularly when principals decide not to obtain expert legal advice. The research revealed that, in such circumstances, principals may rely on their own, or colleagues', knowledge and experience which may not always be legally accurate. Participants in the study also highlighted specific areas of their practice impacted by education law, including the overall operation of their school, risk assessment and their leadership role. While this article relates specifically to education in Australia, the factors influencing the impact of education law on the principalship may also apply to New Zealand and other Western schooling systems.

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Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice

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28

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2

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School
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© 2013 New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified

Specialist Studies in Education

Policy and Administration

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