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Effective (independent school) principals are very good at managing the school’s image and reputation

Effective principals are keenly aware of why parents seek their school to educate their children.

They are aware of the school’s reputation, the heritage, the strengths, aspects of school culture that are to be nourished and developed. Managing the school’s image and reputation is an important aspect of the role of independent school principals. Appearances matter in our schools and the principal’s job is to ensure the school is projected in a very positive light and any experience people have with the school leaves a lasting impression. Parents of independent school children are buying more than their child’s classroom experience or curriculum offerings, more than getting an education, there is an emotional aspect to how parents make their choice about the right school for their child. The principal is responsible for the school’s brand.

A school’s brand represents their market identity; who they are; what they do; what kind of quality education they provide; their reputation for trustworthiness, and more. Principals in independent schools are responsible for establishing their school’s point of difference and sustaining this in the market-driven context which is independent schools in Australia. These principals are building an image of the child’s future. The whole management of the brand/image is an integral part of the role of a principal but adds to the pressure of the position. If independent school principals don’t manage the brand of their schools, then their schools can be unviable. They have a responsibility to see that all staff in their schools support this aspect of the reality of an independent school, and engage with the associated obligation to ensure that the school is held in esteem in the community.