Problematising the standardisation of leadership and management development in South African schools
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In 2007 the Department of Education introduced the standards-based Advanced Certificate in Education: School Management and Leadership. The standardisation of leadership and management development in South African schools has been uncritically accepted by most academics and professionals. The purpose of this article is to problematise the standardisation of leadership and management development, using the critiques of the Interstate School Leadership Licensure Consortium standards of the United States as the basis of analysis. This article indicates the following areas of concern: the lack of clarity regarding the empirical basis of the unit standards; the incorporation of certain non-empirical ideals into the programme; the generic instead of contextualised approaches to leadership and management development; the use of a generic programme for school principals, deputy principals, and heads of department in spite of their differentiated roles; and the lack of a single, generally accepted policy document containing an exposition of the role of school principals that could form the basis of leadership and management development. This emphasises the need for the unit standards to be subjected to regular scrutiny and revision to address areas of concern and to ensure relevance thereof in the face of current developments and empirical research findings.