Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Education)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Dr Sean Kearney

Second Supervisor

Dr Shannon Kennedy-Clark


This thesis explores the future of leadership in Sydney’s Catholic schools to clarify teachers’ and leaders’ understanding of leadership in the context of their experience in Catholic primary schools. A review of leadership literature describes and critically assesses contemporary definitions and practices in educational leadership and determines their effectiveness in developing identification practices and leadership-formation structures and programs for use by Catholic Education Offices throughout Australia. A multiple case design is employed to gain insight into current leadership practices in Catholic primary schools in the Inner West region of Sydney. To facilitate this, Catholic school leaders and teachers were interviewed and surveyed. Results indicate a need to review current identification frameworks and practices and further development opportunities. Leaders and teachers identify Catholic Faith, Student Learning and Professional Learning as significant for authentic Catholic school leadership, with most leaders citing a principal’s invitation as the catalyst for their considering a leadership position and then learning from experience. Recommendations are proposed for robust processes that first identify candidates for Catholic school leadership and then provide them with appropriate training programs and experiences that nurture their Catholic faith and leadership development.

Included in

Education Commons