Explores two interesting areas for understanding the changing roles of principals. Describes, first, some changes in the political structure and in the educational policy which make clear that primary and secondary school principals are confronted with a turbulent policy environment; second, during the last 20 years, schools and principals have been involved in so‐called large‐scale improvement projects. Using research data illustrates what the consequences are for principals, and how they restructure their activities. From these analyses, it is obvious that in the coming years principals are expected to legitimate their local policy.
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