The experiences, support for, and coping strategies of beginner principals in secondary schools in the Cape Town Metropolitan area

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The aim of this study is to describe and critically analyse the experiences and challenges facing first-year principals in secondary schools in the Cape Town Metropolitan Area. The study focuses on the impact of change and reform on beginner principals, the problems that arise as a result; coping strategies of beginner principals and the support available to them. While the emphasis is on analysing the issues and drawing out implications, the study begins to identify those solutions and training needs which beginner principals see as useful. Many of these principals are products of the rationalisation measures of 1992/3, and the restructuring of education. This process has included the emergence of elements of School-Based Management, which follows on the history of state-aided schools in South Africa, such as the Model C schools. These elements are reconfigured in the recommendations of the Hunter Commission and the policy of the White Paper on the Organisation, Governance and Funding of Schools (February 1996). This has led to an increase in the number of beginner principals in the Cape Town metropolitan area, especially in the former House of Representative schools.

Bibliography: pages 87-99.