Title: The development needs of newly appointed senior school leaders in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Authors: Nelius Jansen Van Vuuren; Yusuf Sayed

Addresses: Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Centre for International Teacher Education (CITE), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa ' International Education and Development Policy, School of Education and Social Work, University of Sussex Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QN, UK; Centre for International Teacher Education (CITE), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa

Abstract: For many years the essential role that senior school leaders play in school leadership teams, and the development programmes they follow to ensure effective strategic leadership in schools have been the subject of intense debate. Crucial to this debate has been the focus on context-shaped professional learning and leadership approaches where the importance of appropriate, multifaceted, developmental support initiatives for young newly appointed senior school leaders, namely vice-principals and principals, is highlighted and recommended. This paper shows how new young Emirati senior leaders generally lack role experience and thus rely on their expat vice-principals or head of faculties for much of their daily leading strategically and operational management functions in the school. Reflecting on findings developed in a recent doctoral study, the paper highlights what 20 young newly appointed senior school leaders at the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), United Arab Emirates (as a unique group of young newly appointed leaders) say about their development needs and what specific preparation they require. This paper employed a mixed-method approach to gather data, with the findings relying heavily of a quantitative analysis of questionnaires conducted.

Keywords: leadership development; development programs; development needs; vice-principal; principal development; UAE.

DOI: 10.1504/IJACMSD.2017.086218

International Journal of Arab Culture, Management and Sustainable Development, 2017 Vol.3 No.1, pp.67 - 80

Received: 28 Oct 2016
Accepted: 21 Feb 2017

Published online: 17 Aug 2017 *

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