Leadership: Succession, Recruitment, Retirement

  • Ciaran Sugrue
Part of the Studies in Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 20)


Against an international backdrop of a ‘crisis’ in school leadership recruitment, exacerbated by a declining leadership talent pool, this chapter focuses on principals’ perspectives; the ‘real life’ stories behind the statistics regarding applications, and the extent to which systemically there is a need for a more radical re-think about leading schools. Informants appear relatively optimistic about the future, despite performativity and accountability yet there is concern about the duration spent at the helm, the inadequacy of current structures to enable principals to ‘step down’ and to facilitate mobility. Analysis reveals that in some respects principals are complicit in the perpetuation of outmoded practices, thus there emerges a need for a more systemic review of all aspects of leadership, its cultivation and renewal. These unique structural features within the Irish context have potential to contribute to international discourses on this increasingly important concern since in that context traditional practices continue relatively undisturbed. The purpose of this chapter is to contextualise recent literature with a view to providing more grounded perspectives; by surfacing the relationship between leadership practices and conceptualisation of roles and responsibilities and their systemic structures, it becomes evident the extent to which leadership capacity building is constrained and curtailed in the absence of addressing deeply embedded systemic structures; limited and limiting leadership rather than building leadership capacity (within and beyond school communities) while sustaining leaders and school leadership.


School Leadership School Community Maternity Leave Leadership Practice Succession Planning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ciaran Sugrue
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity College DublinBelfield, DublinIreland

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