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Thought-leadership blog articles from Paul Teys

Appointing New Principals and the Importance of Continuity in Leadership

As educational leaders, principals have the opportunity to shape the very soul of the school. READ MORE HERE

Is the Principal Accountable for the Viability and Sustainability of Your School?

With over twenty years as a principal in four independent schools, Dr Paul Teys says, Yes! READ MORE HERE

Have Schools and Teachers Lost Control in the Classroom?

Policymakers, administrators, and teachers should work together to develop comprehensive strategies and initiatives that promote positive behaviour. READ MORE HERE

Reducing Teacher Anxiety in Schools

A principal can do a lot to reduce the amount of stress staff experience at school. READ MORE HERE

You Will be Judged by Your School’s Culture

Culture is like the wind. It is invisible, yet its effect can be seen and felt. READ MORE HERE

Managing Staff Conflict

If there is conflict between staff members it will be left to the principal to come to a solution, first of all slow it down, and meet with the combatants face to face. READ MORE HERE


An essential element of the principal’s character is the will to take the lead. READ MORE HERE

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

The Principal is the storyteller in chief. READ MORE HERE

The Importance of Producing High Quality Graduates

A focus on graduating students’ results has to be maintained, coexisting with nurturing students’ happiness. READ MORE HERE

Self-Leadership: Your Silver Bullet

Self-leadership is your focus on your own self-improvement and professional growth. READ MORE HERE

You are the CEO

Running a school is strikingly similar to running a business. READ MORE HERE

ACCOUNTABILITY – a ‘dirty’ word

As a principal, or executive leader, you must have robust accountability frameworks to ensure that staff comply with your direction and that they perform to your standard, in your role as principal, acting for and on behalf of the board and the fee-paying parents. This is where courage comes into the game – do you have the courage to challenge teachers if they are not doing all they can for the learning, growth and wellbeing of students? Do you have the courage to speak candidly to a nonteaching member of staff if their conduct toward a colleague is inconsistent with the school’s values? READ MORE HERE

As Principal, You are the Head of a Village

As a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, 37-year-old Principal, I was not aware of how significant community leadership would be. Managing relationships and stakeholder influence would weigh heavily on me as the principal. It would wear on my energy and resources to engage positively and productively with all the groups in each of my schools. Just like a community leader in a small town or village, you are associated with the life of your community… READ MORE HERE

Successful Principals are the Right Fit

The foundation for a successful principalship, or tenure as a CEO, starts before the first day on the job. Boards have got to get this aspect of the recruitment right – the successful applicant must be the “right fit.” Right fit means the principal’s leadership compatibility and affinity with the context of the school that they are working within. Boards make it so hard for new principals if they do not get this right. READ MORE HERE

Principal as CEO

Being a principal in an independent school in Australia is a complex and demanding role, multi-faceted and carrying responsibilities akin to that of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a medium-sized, not-for-profit company, or corporation in Australia. There are no shareholders in not‑for-profit companies, but in these school-businesses, there is a multitude of stakeholders. READ MORE HERE

Principals as Brand Managers

Brand. 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. READ MORE HERE

The Principal as CFO, know it!

Independent school principals in Australia are CFOs.  They must run their schools as large businesses, just like a CFO of a large not-for-profit company. READ MORE HERE

Independent School Principal – CEO

CEO. Independent school principals in the common vernacular in Australian schools and chief executive officers (CEO), as understood in not-for-profit businesses and corporations. READ MORE HERE

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. READ MORE HERE

For a Principal to be effective – context matters

The foundation for the effectiveness of the principal in large, P-12, autonomous, independent schools in Australia, hinges on the Board making a quality decision about the person they appoint to lead the school. READ MORE HERE

Confronting the Shadows: Addressing Staff Bullying in Schools

Staff bullying staff can be addressed with informed strategies, but requires a delicate balance of theoretical understanding and pragmatic leadership, a challenge that every school leader must overcome with both resolve and sensitivity. READ MORE HERE



Other interesting articles

Becoming an IB Continuum World School (four programs)

Read about Hunter Valley Grammar School’s journey from Fiona Devlin, Deputy Principal. READ MORE

The Independent School Principal, Superhero

This article was published in Independence May 2017, in the Journal of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. What does it take to be an independent school principal? Paul Teys argues that Heads are incredible and extraordinary, but they don’t have to be born a superhero, or with innate qualities that enable them to lead. All Heads can learn to be a superhero. READ MORE

A summary of research by Kouzes and Posner (2013, 2016).

They developed the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). The LPI comprises 30 leadership behaviours (six for each one of The Five Practices).  READ MORE

Leadership lessons from the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Attached is a summary of his world-acclaimed book “Shackleton’s Way” written by Margot Morrell & Stephanie Capparell. I have extracted the key lessons that have significant import for school principals. READ MORE