An induction programme is arguably the most important process that welcomes and orientates the newly-appointed school leader into the institutional role and responsibilities of the position. This is a significant shift in terms of position, as it catapults the leader into the broader education system, where s/he becomes a key player in connecting the institution with the other parts of the system to ensure learner success at the level of the school and in the classroom.
Newly appointed school principals are also expected to “hit the ground running”; step into the gap to minimize the disruptive effects of the leadership transition; and either continue the momentum of the school to attain its goals, or take it in a new direction of change and improvement. This is no easy task, and many incoming school leaders are inadequately prepared to step into this crucial role.
An effective induction programme will make an important contribution in assisting both the newly -appointed principal and the school through the leadership transition phase by preparing the incoming school leader for the role, and developing the capabilities that are required to maintain and strengthen school functionality and performance. The outcomes of the programme are the following:
- School leaders are building organizational capacity and shaping school practices that contribute to effective school performance and improved academic outcomes.
- School leaders understand the DBE’s policy environment and frameworks; how these are aligned to achieve educational goals and how they are translated into routines and practices within the operational milieu of the school.
- School leaders have the leadership skills, knowledge and competencies necessary to lead their schools.
- School leaders have the confidence to act decisively and build collective agency to address the challenges faced by their schools.
- Circuit Managers effectively mentor new principals and grow in their competence as mentors