Hidden, yet in demand: Voices of principals who are governing deliberately different Australian schools

Megan Adams, Rebecca Cooper, Angela Fitzgerald, Sindu George, Richard Gunstone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


In Australia, there is a significant rise in the number of students with complex needs who seek alternative education pathways. While there are schools specifically focused on making an educational difference for disengaged and disenfranchised students, their governance is complex. This chapter draws on data from a focus group interview with eight principals of such schools. Analyses of these data have identified three governance-related challenges. First, there is no clarity in terms of the systematic categorisation of these schools, which subsequently makes policy alignment and budgeting profoundly difficult. Second, significant funding is required to support students accessing external services, transport and attracting and retaining staff. Third, the schools’ visibility within the community is limited due to low levels of parental involvement. Implications for governance include staff recruitment, increased parental involvement, and a call to reposition the role and value of these schools for greater visibility in the community at large.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchool Governance in Global Contexts
Subtitle of host publicationTrends, Challenges and Practices
EditorsNicholas Sun-Keung Pang, Philip Wing Keung Chan
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781003221456
ISBN (Print)9781032116129, 9781032117669
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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