Leadership Authority for School Innovation
Brian J. Caldwell is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Educational Transformations and Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne where he served as Dean of Education from 1998 to 2004. This paper was addressed in an invited keynote presentation at the Sydney Principal Credential Conference held at the Novotel Brighton-le-Sands, New South Wales, 1 April 2014.
It is difficult to name any field of endeavour where there is not currently a call for innovation. School education is no exception. Yet there have been far too many constraints that have prevented innovation from flourishing, leaving us with a host of seemingly intractable problems for which schools are frequently blamed. Most importantly, as a result of these constraints, we are shackling principals and other school leaders and short-changing students when it comes to preparing them for success in the 21st century.
This is a major theme in my recently co-authored book The Self-Transforming School (Caldwell and Spinks 2013) from which I shall draw in suggesting a way forward. I shall also set my remarks in the context of school reform in New South Wales and the Australian Professional Standard for Principals. It is clear that leading innovation is a core requirement for the principal.