International Successful School Principalship Project (ISSPP)

The ISSPP is the largest and most sustained network on research on successful school principalship.

It began in 2001 with a meeting called by its founder and current co-ordinator, Professor Christopher Day at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Representatives from eight nations agreed to create a range of case studies that would examine successful school principalships in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Norway, Sweden and the United States. The network now involves fourteen countries in active research and continues to grow.
The origin and methodology of the ISSPP lay in an earlier study of English schools (Day, Harris, Hadfield, Tolley & Beresford 2000) that included: (1) data collected from multiple perspectives, i.e., head teachers, deputy heads, governors, parents, students, support staff and teachers; (2) comparisons of effective leadership in diverse contexts ranging from small primary schools to large urban secondary schools; and (3) the identification of personal qualities and professional competencies generic to effective school leaders.

Strand 1: Successful school principals

  • School principals of primary and secondary schools
  • Principals in schools located in areas of high social and economic disadvantage
  • Principals who sustain success

Strand 2: Principals of schools which under-perform

  • Principals in visible and invisible under-performing schools

Strand 3: Principal identities

  • Principal identities

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