A study of current processes for the selection of school principals in Wentworth, city of Durban district of KwaZulu-Natal.
It is widely acknowledged that an effective school owes much of its success to the caliber of its internal management, particularly the principal, and it therefore follows that the selection of the principal is a critical task. Not only does literature suggest that selection processes for principals generally tend to reflect an inefficient 'selection technology', but also draws attention particularly to the limitations of such processes in respect of their ability to provide insight into how candidates are likely to perform in contexts very different to their work experiences. South African education has undergone many changes since the 1994 democratic elections. The trend is a move towards self-management at the school level. These, changing demands, which the principals have been subjected to, require a new style of management. This study involves an assessment of the current selection process for the selection of principals in KwaZulu-Natal and draws attention to the weaknesses identified together with suggestions for improvements. The current selection process has been found to be lacking in what is termed 'good practice' in the light of international research and literature, which is based on principles of human resource management. It has been found that, selection committees have to follow prescribed guidelines set by the Education Department, which leaves them with very little flexibility. Since the process of selection is fairly new in KwaZulu-Natal, selection committees have not been adequately trained to conduct the process of selection, particularly in selecting the right person for the post of principal. The current curriculum vitae for principal posts lacked in certain topic areas, which would reveal more detailed information to enable further comparison when describing ones abilities. At no stage were referees contacted to validate information of the applicants C.V. although reference was required. It has been found that too much weight is attached to the interview as part of the selection process, and no other means of assessing candidates are used, therefore placing applicants who cannot 'market themselves' in a disadvantaged situation.