Home' Independence : Independence Vol 38 No 2 Oct 2013 Contents VOL 38 NO 2 OCTOBER 2013 INDEPENDENCE 71
five years. For those who did not, the
prevalent reason was retirement.
Nearly two thirds of respondents
indicated that they aspired to be a
Principal. Given that three in five
respondents to our survey were
members of Generations X and Y,
this is a clear indication that there
is a substantial pool of the younger
generation in the profession with
Those who responded that they did
not aspire to be a Principal (37 per
cent) were asked to outline their
reasons. The main reasons provided
were largely related to a preference to
remain closely connected to classroom
teaching and pastoral care, and to a
belief that their work-life balance would
suffer greatly due to higher levels of
pressure and responsibility. This last
factor is worth considering in terms of
professional support -- if it is clearly
communicated that there are avenues to
assist, particularly in the first few more
vulnerable years of Headship, will this
overcome the barriers to Principalship
that may outweigh the aspiration?
Of particular interest to AHISA were the
responses on perceived barriers to career
progression. Some that loomed large
were the time and emotional energy that
Along with expert groups of AHISA
members, AHISA's national office is
working with third party providers
on tailored professional development
opportunities. AHISA is also working
on integrating new technologies for
the purpose of exchange between
members, so that it can encourage
the sharing of good practice and
of experience across the sector.
AHISA has identified leadership
qualities required for successful
Principals of independent schools,
primarily through its Model of
Autonomous School Principalship.
It is now implementing initiatives to
enhance support for new Principals
and to more fully understand the needs
of the next generation of leaders.
AHISA can play an influential role in
developing a comprehensive leadership
framework and innovative support
for current and future members.
Clearly articulating AHISA's value for
the future should also assist in the
challenges of generational change
in membership associations.
1 Moore, B. (2012) Membership is dead?
Accessed at http://www.smsonline.net.au/
the job requires (expressed as a negative
impact on work-life balance), family
commitments and inability to relocate.
These three factors, of course, are not
necessarily anything that a membership
organisation, no matter how effective,
can address. However, also high in
the order of responses were factors
such as insufficient opportunity for
advancement, the lack of understanding
of recruitment practices and the
lack of professional development
and mentoring opportunities.
Aligned with these findings, almost
half of respondents indicated that a
tailored mentoring program would best
support them in overcoming barriers
to progression. One in five saw the
greatest value in tailored professional
development opportunities, and
an appreciable number in specific
assistance in recruitment practices
including interview techniques.
Over the past 12 months, AHISA has
been seriously engaged in evaluating
its capacity to offer mentoring
opportunities for new school leaders,
and is now engaged in a trial mentoring
program which, if successful, can be
broadened across AHISA's membership.
BARRIERS TO PRINCIPALSHIP Nearly two in three respondents to AHISA's Aspiring Leaders Survey indicated they aspired to be a Principal. For those
aspiring to the Principalship, several barriers were commonly reported as perceived barriers to achieving this goal.
Negative impact on work-life balance
Family commitments such as raising children
Inability to relocate to a different city or region
Insufficient scope for succession and insufficient opportunity for advancement
Lack of experience and understanding of recruitment practices and criteria for selection 25%
Lack of appropriate professional development and mentoring opportunities
Insufficient breadth of experience in the independent schools sector
Insufficient formal qualifications
5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35%
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