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School principals and education law : what do they know, what do they need to know?

Trimble, Allison J., Cranston, Neil and Allen, Jeanne M. 2012, School principals and education law : what do they know, what do they need to know?, Leading & managing, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 46-61.

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Title School principals and education law : what do they know, what do they need to know?
Author(s) Trimble, Allison J.
Cranston, Neil
Allen, Jeanne M.
Journal name Leading & managing
Volume number 18
Issue number 2
Start page 46
End page 61
Total pages 16
Publisher Australian Council for Educational Leaders
Place of publication Sydney, N. S. W.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1329-4539
Keyword(s) education law
school principal
school leadership
Notes Principals now work in complex and challenging environments where uncertainty and change are the hallmarks of their roles and responsibilities. As such, the knowledge and capability demands on principals have expanded, including those related to education law. While these matters attracted some research interest a number of years ago, there has been little recent work in the area of principals and education law. This article reports on an exploratory study into aspects of the legal knowledge held by Tasmanian government school principals, particularly concerning non-sexual physical contact between teachers and students. The research was undertaken using a small-scale, mixed-methods research design, which required principals to respond to various legal scenarios. Three key findings emerged from the study. First, principals used two different levels of working knowledge about education law -one related to legal problems, and the other to legally-related routine activities. Second, on the particular topic of physical contact, some knowledge held by principals was not legally accurate. Third, for major legal issues, participants indicated that they acquired access to information from legal experts. The situation for routine legal matters was less clear, although in-service training and practical experience were identified as potential sources of knowledge. Participants recognised the importance of a sound knowledge of education law, especially for dealing with security and safety issues and preferred to access further information through in-service training. Notably, the findings of the study are broadly consistent with those from earlier Australian and international research, suggesting that much remains to be done in the area of principals' education law knowledge.
Language eng
Field of Research 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Socio Economic Objective 930401 Management and Leadership of Schools/Institutions
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Australian Council for Educational Leaders
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30062774

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Education
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Created: Thu, 01 May 2014, 16:31:23 EST by Jeanne Allen

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.