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Novice principals : the challenges of leadership and management in four schools in the Pinetown District.

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This investigative study focused on challenges experienced by novice principals in executing their mandated leadership and management duties. A case study was conducted on four novice principals in the Pinetown District. Two headed a rural primary and high school respectively and the other two, an urban primary and high school respectively. The study investigated challenges experienced by novice principals, how they coped with these challenges and how they enacted themselves as assets to their schools. This qualitative study was located in the interpretive paradigm. Documents review, observations and semi-structured interviews constitute the research instruments for date generation. The study was framed by the distributive theory and the asset-based approach. Local and international scholastic works, on the research topic, were interrogated to seek insights into the progress so far made and determine the agenda to the explored. The analysis and discussion of the generated and presented data led to findings that demystified the world of novice principals. Clearly, they require pre-service induction or orientation, mentoring and coaching should accompany the in-service workshops for contextualisation of the theory learnt and informal networking to glean from the experience of peers. Higher stakeholder involvement and learning should be enhanced through the adoption of distributive leadership and the asset-based approach. The findings were utilised as the basis of making conclusions. It was concluded that capacity building initiatives are key to development even if novice principals are appropriately qualified, possessed accumulated experiences in leadership position as the Head of Department or Deputy principal and prior knowledge. It was also concluded that for the effective and efficient entrenchment of thee DoE’s legislated vision and direction of the democratic system of education, leadership should be shared or distributed. Individual capabilities should be determined and employed in the asset-based approach. Recommendations, informed by the conclusions were presented to facilitate how each theoretical conclusion can be translated into a workable practice in running schools effectively and efficiently.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2013.


School principals--KwaZulu-Natal--Pinetown., School personnel management--KwaZulu-Natal--Pinetown., Transformational leadership--KwaZulu-Natal--Pinetown., School leadership and organization--KwaZulu-Natal., Theses--Education.