The quality and adequacy of principal preparation is cited as being one of the major contributing factors to declining principal applicant pools (AITSL, 2015, Darlin-Hammond et al., 2010; The Wing Institute, 2018; Rowland, 2017; Zellner et al., 2002). However, there are other factors, just as pertinent to declining aspirations. These include the lack of understanding about the varied and complex aspects of a principal’s job; the perception that school leadership is inherited; the difficulty of transition from classroom teacher to principal and a lack of clear pathways for career progression (AITSL, 2015; The Wing Institute, 2018; QTU, 2018). Aspiration for leadership is also seen to decrease the longer that a teacher is the classroom (ACER, 2013; Australian HR Institute, 2018; William & Morey, 2015). These factors can be addressed through a full talent management system.
An additional thought is around the language described in principal preparation. This includes, recruitment, recommendation, support and retention. However, I believe that we need to also include “recognising potential” as part of the process. This brings into the discussion what is the difference between identifying potential vs identifying performance. Maybe the framework of talent management could be recognise & recruit, recommend and reinforce (building capacity/supporting practice) and finally retain. This practice of identifying potential (or High Potential) was employed through the Future Leaders project run by Education Queensland and QELI from 2015 to 2017 and something to further review in regards to its potential as forming part of a talent management system.