A school principal has to play many different roles, such as a decision maker, problem solver, instructional leader and change agent. Research studies on profiles and preparation of school leaders have demonstrated many similarities and some differences between school leaders in different contexts. This study undertaken in Sweden, the third largest country in Europe, but with a small population with particular problems of her own, focuses on the profiles and pre-service and in-service training received, and how the school leaders perceive that their future professional development programs requirements to be designed and provided. The sample includes both principals and vice-principals in Swedish schools. Results suggest that the most important reasons for becoming principals were to transform society and the attraction of higher salaries. Only one third had undergone some sort of pre-service training whereas almost all have undergone in-service training. In their view 'Human resources management'; 'Introduction and management of reforms'; 'An induction program'; and 'Ethics, morals and values for educational leaders' were the most important topics for pre-service programs.
World Studies in Education Vol. 9, Issue 1, p. 55-72