…A recent ISR Forum post about “Country-Native Directors and Principals” caught our attention, sparking a conversation among ISR staff. We ask, What effect, if any, do country-native leaders have on a school? With the word “international” in a school’s name, does it not stand to reason a host national could justifiably fill the position? Or does “international school” really just mean Western School?
The ISR Forum post to which I refer states:
…“I’m starting to think about future possibilities and one thing which niggles me is this: I’ve noticed that, while many schools have a head teacher (Director and/or Principal) who comes from or has trained in the country from which their curriculum originates (eg UK for a British school, USA for an American school), there are some schools where the head teacher comes from the country in which the school is based.
…Now, maybe I’m being unreasonable here, and I know that there will be some of these heads who are great leaders and managers, just as there are incompetent UK and US heads, but I have this feeling when I see these schools that alarm bells should be ringing about the school and, in particular, its culture. Does that seem fair?”
….In regards to this post, consider that School Heads/Directors play a far different role than do School Principals. Directors are largely responsible for the business-oriented part of an International School and, as such, represent the owners. A country-native Head would surely understand how to get bureaucracy-intensive procedures accomplished and would speak the local language.
…School Principals, in contrast to Heads/Directors, assume responsibility for academics, student discipline, teacher concerns and parent relations. One would think it goes without saying that a background, or at least a clear understanding of the offered curriculum would be essential for the position, unless the Principal is simply a line-manager for the school owner.
…The topic of Country-Native Heads & Principals is far-reaching with many implications. If you’ve had first-hand experience working with a country-native Director or Principal, we invite you to join the discussion.
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