This paper reports on the initial stages of research on the strategic role of primary school principals in New South Wales. Strategy, a leadership dimension present in all leadership theories and perspectives, holds the key to effectively linking the actions of today with the future. This study draws on a theoretical framework derived from a comprehensive review of literature, previous case studies and doctoral work undertaken by the author. Attempts are made to explicitly link the strategic role of school leadership with the principles of Catholic Education. The findings suggest that the very concept of strategy remains elusive to scholars and practitioners alike. Researchers have tended to focus on planning as the sole source of strategy and consequently practitioners have been led to believe that this is their strategic role. This paper argues that by broadening an understanding of the concept of strategy, practitioners and scholars can gain greater insight into the strategic role of the educational leader. A more holistic understanding of the strategic dimension of educational leadership will provide leadership theorists, systemic authorities, and practitioners - the ones who grapple with enormous complexities posed by strategy - with a knowledge and understanding of the strategic role within Catholic Educational leadership more positively into the future.
Journal of Catholic School Studies Vol. 79, Issue 2, p. 3-18