Despite the focal position of school principals in Australian education, there exist hardly any data on the work that they actually do. This study reports on continuous observations — for three weeks each — of the principals of a State High School, an Independent College and a Catholic College in Melbourne. The variables of their work during the school day were recorded by the researcher, who attempted non‐participant observation, and the principals kept a diary of their “after‐hours” work. The content and characteristics of their work are described with the Findings expressed in a set of propositions about the principalship.
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