Notre Dame alumnus receives recognition for defining principles of aspiring principals

Dr Shane Glasson receives the ACEL Award from Aasha Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. (Photo: ACEL)

25 May 2015

What does it take to become an effective Catholic school principal? Alumnus of The University of Notre Dame Australia, Dr Shane Glasson, has received national recognition for his research into the perceptions, personal development and successful attributes of aspirant principals in Western Australia’s Catholic school system.

Dr Glasson, the current Learning and Development Consultant at the Catholic Education Office of Western Australia (CEOWA), recently received the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) WA Award for Research in Educational Leadership and Management.

The research focused on the Aspiring Principals Program – a two-year principal preparation program convened by the CEOWA – where eight aspiring principals in Catholic primary and secondary schools in WA were assessed on effective leadership qualities for the study.

The purpose of the research was to explore aspirant perceptions of Catholic principalship before, during and upon completion of the program, together with the influences provoking discernible perception changes. Factors enhancing and diminishing interest in Catholic principalship were forefront of the study.

The findings and conclusion of the research will be used to refine the structure, content and activities of the Aspiring Principals Program and improve the capacity of the WA Catholic education system to meet the demand for well-informed, resilient aspirants. This demand is expected to increase, triggered by the anticipated retirement of up to 43 per cent of existing principals by 2020.

“The research suggested that the Aspiring Principals Program assisted aspirants to develop a holistic understanding of Catholic principalship role components and requisite capabilities; clarify their attraction to the role; identify, experience and mitigate disincentives; and confirm or achieve high self-efficacy to commence principalship,” Dr Glasson said.

“I believe that the research findings and conclusions, along with the proposed integrated model of principal preparation, will assist local, national and international designers of principal preparation programs considering modification of existing or design of new programs.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues from the CEOWA to implement these changes to form an even more role-ready, resilient pool of aspirant principals to meet future demand.”

Keith Newton, ACEL Western Australia President, said Shane’s research and contribution to their knowledge of the capabilities required for effective school leadership was invaluable.

“It is so good that it has already been picked up and is being used by local, national and international school leadership program designers. Shane’s award, like so many others, highlights the great achievements and inroads being made across the educational leadership sector,” Mr Newton said.

Dr Glasson completed a Master of Education (Leadership and Management), a Master of Education (Religious Education), and a Doctor of Philosophy across a 10 year period at Notre Dame’s Fremantle Campus.

To enquire further about courses in Notre Dame’s School of Education, please contact the Prospective Students Office, Fremantle, on +61 8 9433 0533 or email

Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;