Thought-leadership blog articles from Paul Teys

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 



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