Better principals make a positive difference to their student’s educational outcomes, research by the Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER) at the London School of Economics and Political Science has found.
But while the research found that "leadership does make a clear difference to learner performance", it also suggests that "principals’ effectiveness seems unrelated to their salary". It did, however, find that the best-performing principals employed a higher proportion of female staff and staff on permanent contracts – and tended to pay their teaching staff more.
The research, exclusively revealed by Tes today, considered a dataset of principals in FE institutions in England over the period 2003 to 2015, and combined it with data on education performance coming from the Individualised Learner Records (ILR), the National Pupil Database (NPD) and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Considering both how principals performed at different colleges and how colleges fared under different leaders, the researchers ranked them from least to most effective.