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School principal preparation in Europe

Angela Thody (University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)
Zoi Papanaoum (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Olof Johansson (University of Umea, Umea, Sweden)
Petros Pashiardis (University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 23 January 2007




This article seeks to centre on Cypriot, English, Greek and Swedish selection and training of principals. This was part of a 2001‐2002 European Union (EU) funded study which created a distance learning CD ROM for principals.


National education systems and principals' selection and training were analysed and compared using documents, focus groups, principals' interviews and an international seminar.


The most centralised systems of Greece and Cyprus had less principal preparation, and more government involvement in principal selection, than the less centralised Sweden and England.


The extent of training was perceived to matter less in successful principalship than selecting the right people, although even a good leader can be improved through training and principals were concerned about their lack of formal training.



Thody, A., Papanaoum, Z., Johansson, O. and Pashiardis, P. (2007), "School principal preparation in Europe", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 37-53.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited