Education & Training

School Principal

School principals are in charge of the daily activities of the running of a school, including overseeing staff and ensuring standards.

  • Entry-level education

    Post-graduate qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a School Principal do?

School principals are in charge of the daily activities of the running of a school, including overseeing staff and ensuring standards.


Work activities

As a school principal, you would:

  • develop and promote the school's values to pupils, parents and staff
  • set attainable goals with high expectations for staff and students
  • manage the day-to-day running and activities of the school
  • recruit, manage and assess the performance of teaching and administrative staff
  • monitor student progress and discuss this with staff and parents
  • develop, implement, and maintain curriculum standards
  • engage with the broader local community
  • attend educators conferences and meetings
  • manage budgets, school finances and funding issues
  • be involved in the pastoral care of students and staff
  • assist teachers to manage students' behaviour
  • be accountable for every way in which the school is managed
  • establish and coordinate safety and security procedures for students, staff, and visitors
  • work in a primary, secondary or specialist school
  • report to managers, the school board and parents' committees.

Key skills and interests

To become a school principal, you would need:

  • to be passionate about educating children
  • excellent communication skills
  • good numerical, grammatical and spelling skills
  • the ability to develop good working relationships with children, parents, and carers
  • good teamwork skills
  • patience, confidence and flexibility
  • the ability to motivate children and teachers
  • good organisational and time management skills
  • the ability to deal with challenging behaviour.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

School principals usually work long hours during school terms time, balanced by longer than average holidays. However, some of your time during school holidays would likely be spent working, possibly from home.

You would attend sport, school functions, parents' evenings and events in the evenings or on weekends.


You would be based in an office in the school but spend much of your time in meetings and being present around the school grounds or facilities.


How to become an School Principal?

Entry Level Education

To become a school principal, you must first become a qualified teacher, and then gain experience working as a teacher in a primary or secondary school. To become a teacher you would need to complete at least a bachelor's degree, majoring in primary or secondary education. Minimum standards apply in some States for senior secondary school results, including in English, for applicants wanting to undertake an accredited undergraduate teaching degree. On successful completion of your degree, you would also need to be accredited by the board of studies in your State. Most teachers who aspire to become school principals would undertake further study such as a master's degree or PhD in Education.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of school principals is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment growth will come from increases in student enrolments and increases in population.


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