Principal quality practice guideline: Promoting successful school leadership in Alberta


The role of school principal has evolved over the past half-century. As schools became larger, the traditional role of the school principal as head- or principal-teacher responsible for teaching and learning within a school was expanded with the addition of greater administrative responsibilities. The principal’s role has become more focused on the management of teaching and learning within the school, consistent with local school board and provincial policies and directions.

Policymakers assumed that significant, positive teaching experience generally provided individuals with sufficient preparation to assume the office of school principal. Therefore, Alberta, like most other Canadian provinces, required only that an individual designated as a school principal be a certificated teacher. However, some Alberta school authorities increasingly recognized that teaching qualifications and successful teaching experience alone were insufficient to prepare individuals to serve as school principals. Over time, school boards have increasingly required that individuals interested in being considered for the principalship hold post-graduate diplomas or degrees in education administration or leadership.

Full publication is available here.

Alberta Education. (2009). Principal quality practice guideline: Promoting successful school leadership in Alberta. Retrieved from


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