Principal Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Principal, or Headmaster, is the administrative head of a school who oversees the daily operations of the institution. A Principal’s duties include coordinating staff schedules, developing and implementing the curriculum, and establishing and enforcing various school policies.

 

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What does a Principal do?

Principals are in charge of schools or other learning institutions and they maintain the school’s functionality as a whole. Everyone else who works at the school ultimately reports to the Principal, but managing the staff and establishing the curriculum are just a part of the job. Because they’re responsible for a school’s success, Principals may also have to work directly with students who need help achieving their academic goals. Additionally, Principals function as a liaison between the school they’re in charge of and the governing school board.

 

Principal duties and responsibilities

For Principals to be successful, they have to fulfill quite a few essential duties. Some of the most important duties and responsibilities of the job include:

  • Implementing a curriculum for academic success while maintaining compliance with government guidelines
  • Coordinating schedules for staff designed to optimize efficiency and workplace satisfaction
  • Creating goals and benchmarks for students and teachers alike to track progress
  • Developing programs to improve overall student and Teacher performance
  • Meeting with the school board to report the status and progress of the school
  • Meeting with parents to discuss concerns about students

 

Principal skills and qualifications

To work effectively and fulfill all the necessary duties, a Principal needs to possess several skills. Here are ones that matter most:

  • Teaching skills to help students and facilitate the school’s primary goal, which is to educate students
  • Communication skills to set clear goals and expectations for Teachers and students
  • Decision-making skills to enact new policies or changes to better the educational environment for students and Teachers
  • Delegating responsibilities to properly make use of the team of administrators and get the most amount of work done efficiently and effectively
  • Active listening to address concerns of students, Teachers, parents, and the school board

 

Principal experience requirements

Because Principals are the most senior-level position at any school, they typically are required to have extensive experience. This experience typically includes about five years of teaching experience as well as five years of administration experience. Some positions will require a bit less, but extensive experience is the norm for most Principal positions.

 

Principal education and training requirements

The education requirements for a Principal are comprehensive. Because a Principal position requires teaching experience, this alone necessitates a bachelor’s degree in education or a related Teacher preparation program. To become an administrator, candidates often must obtain a higher-level degree like a master’s or even a doctoral degree. As for training, Principals must be certified Teachers and administrators. Some provinces require Principals to pass the Principal’s Qualification Program, though this only applies to public schools. Some jobs may have slightly different requirements. For example, a Principal position may require a graduate degree or years of experience as an administrator rather than both.

 

Principal salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Principal is $94,495 per year. Keep in mind, however, that actual salaries will vary based on the experience of the candidate, the school in question, and the location of the job.

 

Job description samples for similar positions

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Principal job description FAQs

 

Whom do Principals report to?

A Principal typically reports to a governing school board, especially at public learning institutions. Private schools can work a bit differently, though there’s often still a board to report to. The main difference is that private school Principals have to report to a board of trustees or directors. In some cases, it will just be a singular director, though having an entire board is far more common.

 

Who reports to a Principal?

Because Principal is the most executive position at a school, all other staff ultimately reports to them. Due to the chain of command and delegation of duties, however, a Principal is usually only reported to directly by other school administrators. Departmental heads typically handle the individual aspects of any school, including teaching subjects, counselling, and discipline. Of course, the Principal would still need to be familiar with every facet of the school’s function.

 

How can you make your Principal job description stand out?

The average Principal job description will not only require specific skills but also the potential for improvement. A job description that emphasizes having a passion for teaching and excellence will stand out from one that merely describes the duties of maintaining a school and its performance. Highlighting that the Principal’s responsibilities will include not only administration but also occasional teaching duties can attract candidates who have a passion for education, which is what every school needs.

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