Briefly outlines the scope and pace of change in education in Australia which is extraordinary and, for many, disconcerting if not dislocating – there is virtually no aspect of the field that has not been touched by reform over the last decade, whether it be the processes of policy making among the different levels of government, or the structures within which public education is administered, or the roles of leaders such as school principals. Briefly contrasts the emerging and traditional roles, then offers an outline of the broad context for education. Details the factors which are influencing change in education, with a description in each instance of the manner in which these are affecting the role of the principal. Describes scenarios for schooling as the nation moves towards the twenty‐first century, with a further shift towards a market model foreshadowed. Proposes four dimensions for leadership on the part of the principal.
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