Leadership succession and retention: it's time to get serious about a principal retention policy

Warren Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The large number of principal retirements is presenting educational jurisdictions with two significant school leadership challenges: (1) a potential shortage of principals; and (2) a potential loss of corporate knowledge. These issues are especially relevant at a time when educational systems across the nation are engaged in significant restructuring based on greater devolution of responsibility and decision-making to the principal. The questions which arise are: 1. Are educational jurisdictions interested in retaining these principals past their normal retirement age? 2. Are late-career principals interested in staying-on beyond their anticipated retirement age? This article suggests that it may now be more important than ever for educational jurisdictions to actively develop human resource policies deliberately aimed at capturing the experience and expertise before these principals 'walk out the door'. However such policies might not please everyone; especially those younger aspiring leaders who have been patiently waiting their turn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalLeading and managing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Employee retention
  • School principals
  • Educational leadership
  • Retirement age
  • Baby boom generation


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