Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    A study of successful principal leadership: moving from success to sustainability
    Goode, Helen Margaret ( 2017)
    As part of the International Successful School Principalship Project (ISSPP) the researcher revisited successful school principals five years after the initial study. This paper reports on three of these principals in Victoria, Australia and examines the extent to which they were able to maintain both the success of their school and their success as a leader. It focuses particularly on their attitudes to change, how this influences their leadership practice, and ultimately its contribution to improving school performance. A multiple perspective case study methodology was used. Data were collected through individual or group interviews the principal, members of the school board, president, senior staff, teachers, support staff, students and parents. The researcher attended several school functions, examined school documents and shadowed each of the principals for four days. The study found that sustainability of success was an outcome of the principals’ personal qualities, their attitude to change and the strategic interventions they made in response to external and internal environmental influences. These principals demonstrated different attitudes to change both in their capacity to continue to improve the school and to promote exemplary development. As leaders of change, the three principals were characterised as restorer-builder, strategic-builder, and visionary-driver. Whilst all principals were found to have continued to lead successful schools, their attitudes to change were found to influence the pathway of success.