Merit selection

The state of the art in NSWDE schools

Kevin Steed, John De Nobile, Manjula Waniganayake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The merit selection of school leaders on the basis of their relative suitability and experience using a competitive, impartial selection process is built into government policy on staff recruitment and selection. There is little empirical research on principals regarding their personal attitudes and dispositions to the assessment of merit when undertaking the in-school selection of middle level school leaders such as deputy principals, assistant principals and head teachers. Based on a critical review of available literature, this paper will explore both the extent to which the much-vaunted elements of fairness and impartiality ring true in scholarly writing on the topic as well as its relevance for contemporary in-school selection practices of school leaders in Australia. This paper also argues that given the known relationship between expert school leadership and quality student learning outcomes, far greater research is required regarding the dispositions of principals’ to the notion of merit as they select their respective in-school leadership cadres.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalLeading and managing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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