It is commonly reported in the research that the role of the principal is second only to classroom instruction in ensuring student success (Leithwood et al., 2004). Being a principal can be the most challenging, while also the most rewarding role in education. Principals regularly interact with students, staff, parents and the greater community. Blazer (2010) reports that, “principals are expected to be instructional leaders, business managers, data analysts, community engagement experts, parent liaisons, and fund raisers.” The influence a principal has extends beyond a classroom and even their school because of the mobility associated with the position. The principal's leadership is critical for student success and school improvement. (Leithwood et al. 2008) state: “As far as we are aware, there is not a single documented case of a school successfully turning around its pupil achievement trajectory in the absence of talented leadership.” The expectations we have of principals as leaders of the school can be somewhat daunting!

The Education Act outlines the legislative duties of a principal.