The role of deputy and assistant principals in the New Zealand secondary school : a collaborative administrative project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Educational Administration, Department of Education, Massey University
The purpose of this study was to examine the role and representation of DPs and APs in the New Zealand secondary school in 1999. While significant literature exists on the role of the Principal, there is little published literature on the DP/AP group. Since 'Tomorrow's Schools' there has been significant change in secondary schools yet little is known about how this change has affected the role and representation of DPs and APs. A previous study done by Manchester in 1983 formed a baseline for comparison. The current study involved conducting a replica survey, by questionnaire, with all DPs and APs in the historical 'central region'. 1983 and 1999 data was then compared. Eight DP/APs from the group of questionnaire respondents were then selected for case study. They were selected from a variety of secondary school types in an effort to make their voices representative. Interviews were conducted with these eight people to provide more in-depth information about what they do and how their current roles and representation affect them.
The previous study identified that women were under-represented in senior school administration. In addition, their roles tended to reflect the traditionally feminine duties of 'hostessing and nurturing activities.' A focus for this study, therefore, was to investigate whether this situation had changed in light of legislative and policy changes in the intervening period.
The present study concludes that change has occurred in both the role and representation of DPs and APs in New Zealand secondary schools. There is movement towards a team approach to management, workload has increased and job satisfaction decreased. The findings support previous New Zealand and international literature about what this group does but questions whether, as a group, they have real decision-making ability that should accompany these responsibilities. Concerns about equity in representation are also highlighted. Females are still under represented in DP positions. Finally, increasing numbers of DP/APs are looking at options outside education for their future.