The Educator asks Chris Presland, president of the NSW Secondary Principals Council… What kind of year can principals expect in 2017?
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As a female principal of a large complex secondary school I do not think the imbalance is due to anything sinister. I was appointed as a principal at the relatively young age of 37 and the principals of the surrounding secondary schools were all male. Both my supervisor and these local principals were male and they were all incredibly supportive of me. Post my appointment I have found it to be other females who have often been the people who have made my life difficult - including another female principal who conducted email conversations with members of my staff about my personal life. I get really tired of hearing people speak of the imbalance. In my experience, people are promoted as they are the best people for the job not because of their gender and that is exactly the way it should be.
The bigger issue in education at the moment is the horrendous abuse principals are subjected to without consequence both at work and via the Internet. Much of this abuse is totally unreasonable and based on lies designed to humiliate and break a person's confidence. It is this that will likely cause more females to walk away from the profession. I have been accused of being on a power trip because I expect certain standards at the school I work in. The Education Act actually states that a person should not direct offensive comments at a staff member in the presence of a student!! The implication is that it is fine to do this if a student is not present. Unbelievable.
Mike, are you really implying that females are limited by gender in their leadership?
Are you teaching female students and encouraging them to achieve the same that their male counterparts?
There are studies documenting the subtle discrimination that discourage girls to become engineers, such as the sons are giving precedence over their female siblings to use the family computer, the physics teacher asking male students first and ignoring the girls, and the IT teacher using boy's games to introduce programming. Only the most obstinate female students ignore all these signals and persist in doing an engineering degree.
It is ok for female teachers to opt out of being principals, but it would be good to know if there were steps that prevent them to apply or other reasons behind that behaviour. We are not aiming for 50/50 but for an even field for those that want to be principals or whatever role or profession they choose.
I didn't even know they still had ' religion ' classes in school. Anyway, I assume they're only referring to primary schools because in high schools, these sorts of classes went out in the 60s didn't they? With the incredible decline in number of adults attending church of any description on a regular basis, I'm not surprised it's time for these classes to go. Some parents might wish their children to attend such classes but when they don't themselves, it's a little rich if not just plain hypocritical. And given the concerns some people have, somewhat misguided however, that standards of literacy and you must see are declining, then perhaps that time would be better spent on these other topics
Can we please remove SRI in Qld too? Tim Mander is a joke.
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