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A head teacher, head instructor, headmaster, headmistress, head, chancellor, principal or school director (sometimes another title is used) is the staff member of a school with the greatest responsibility for the
management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body. Management includes the activities of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the ...
of the school.


Description

School principals are stewards of learning and managing supervisors of their schools. They provide vision and leadership to all stakeholders in the school and create a safe and peaceful environment to achieve the mission of learning and educating at the highest level. They guide the day to day school business and oversee all activities conducted by the school. They bear the responsibility of all decision making and are accountable for their efforts to elevate the school to the best level of learning achievements for the students, best teaching skills for the teachers and best work environment for support staff.


Role

While some head teachers still do some teaching themselves, in most larger schools, most of their duties are
managerial Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body. Management includes the activities of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the ...
and
pastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herding livestock around open areas of land according to seasons and the changing availability of water and pasture. It lends its name to a genre of literature, art, and music that depicts such life in ...
. They are often used to discipline misbehaving students, help organize school sponsored activities and teachers report to them. In Australia, the head teacher is sometimes in charge of one (in the case of a major subject) or multiple (often in smaller schools) specific departments, such as English, history, maths, science, writing, technology, etc., but maintains full teaching duties and status. They are considered part of the school executive, and often a head teacher position is a stepping-stone into administration.


Executive head


Deputy head


Assistants

In larger schools, the principal is assisted by one or more "
vice-principalIn larger school systems, a head teacher principal is often assisted by someone known as a vice-principal, deputy principal, or assistant/associate principal. Unlike the principal, the vice-principal does not have quite the decision-making authority ...
s", "
assistant principalIn larger school systems, a head teacher principal is often assisted by someone known as a vice-principal, deputy principal, or assistant/associate principal. Unlike the principal, the vice-principal does not have quite the decision-making authority ...
s", "associate principals", or "deputy principals". Their position is secondary to the principal with regard to school governance. Assistant principals generally perform specific duties such as handling student discipline, curriculum, student council or student activities whereas the principal has the ultimate responsibility for the school as a whole (including faculty and staff, physical plant, etc.).


Regional information


Australia and New Zealand

In many Australian and New Zealand schools, a headmaster/principal is the head
administrator Administrator or admin may refer to: Job roles Computing and internet * Database administrator, a person who is responsible for the environmental aspects of a database * Forum administrator, one who oversees discussions on an Internet forum * Ne ...
of a school who has been appointed to her/his position by the
school board A board of education, school committee or school board is the board of directors or board of trustees of a school, local school district or equivalent. The elected council determines the educational policy in a small regional area, such as a ci ...
, superintendent, or other body. The principal, often in conjunction with the school board, makes the executive decisions that govern the school, as well as having the authority over the employment (and in some cases firing) of teachers. The principal is often the chief
disciplinarian Discipline is action or inaction that is regulated to be in accordance (or to achieve accord) with a particular system of governance. Discipline is commonly applied to regulating human and animal behavior to its society or environment it belong ...
of the students.


United States

In 1999, there were about 133,000 principals and assistant principals in the United States. In the early decades of public education, the full title was "principal teacher", which accounts for the present day title having an adjectival form, essentially being a shortened version of the original full title. Yet the terms ''head(master/mistress)'' and ''head of school'' are still used in older schools, such as in Louisiana and some southern small towns. School principals in the United States are sometimes required to have school administrator licensing, and, often, a master's degree in educational administration.


Impact of school principals

While there has been considerable anecdotal discussion about the importance of school principals, there has been very little systematic research into their impact on student outcomes. Recent analysis in the United States has examined how the gains in student achievement at a school change after the principal changes. This outcome-based approach to measuring effectiveness of principals is very similar to the
value-added modeling Value-added modeling (also known as value-added measurement, value-added analysis and value-added assessment) is a method of teacher evaluation that measures the teacher's contribution in a given year by comparing the current test scores of their st ...
that has been applied to the evaluation of teachers. Such research in the state of Texas found that principals have a very large impact on student achievement. Effective school principals have been shown to significantly improve the performance of all students at the school, at least in part through their impacts on selection and retention of good teachers. Ineffective principals have a similarly large negative effect on school performance, suggesting that issues of evaluation are as important for school administrators as they are for teachers. The impact of principals has also been measured in non-traditional ways. Some principals have focused their efforts on creating more inclusive schools for students with disabilities.DeMatthews, D. E., & Mawhinney, H. B. (2014). Social Justice Leadership and Inclusion: Exploring Challenges in an Urban District Struggling to Address Inequities. Educational Administration Quarterly. http://eaq.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/01/06/0013161X13514440.full


See also

*
Dean (education) Dean is a title employed in academic administrations such as colleges or universities for a person with significant authority over a specific academic unit, over a specific area of concern, or both. Deans are common in private preparatory schools, ...
*
Executive head teacherAn executive head teacher, executive head master, executive head mistress, executive head or executive principal is the substantive or strategic head teacher of more than one school in the United Kingdom. The position role of an executive head teach ...
*
Deputy head teacher A deputy head teacher, deputy headmaster or deputy headmistress is the second most senior teacher in a school in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Secondary schools usually also have between one and five deputy heads (occasionally "depute head" in ...
*
School governor In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, school governors are the overseers of a school. In state schools they have three main functions: of: *Giving the school a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction *Holding the headteacher to account for t ...
*
Schoolmaster A toy lithograph depicting a stereotypical mid-nineteenth century village schoolmistress The word schoolmaster, or simply master, refers to a male school teacher. This usage survives in British independent schools, both secondary and preparatory, b ...
*
Vice-principalIn larger school systems, a head teacher principal is often assisted by someone known as a vice-principal, deputy principal, or assistant/associate principal. Unlike the principal, the vice-principal does not have quite the decision-making authority ...


References


External links


Association of head teacher School and College LeadersNational Association of Head Teachers (England, Wales & Northern Ireland)Society of Headmasters and Headmistresses of Independent SchoolsHeadmasters' and Headmistresses' ConferenceInternational Confederation of head teacherAustralian Secondary head teacher AssociationGerman information for Head Teachers
{{DEFAULTSORT:Head teacher
Education and training occupations{{Commons Occupations by type Occupations Occupations ...
Academic administrators Positions of authority