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Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(9): 1479-1489, 2017 
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2017.050905 

Training and Appointing Processes of School Leaders in 
Developed and Developing Countries: How is the 

Situation in Turkey? 

Aycan £i<;ek Saglam 1 '*, Ali Ge^er 2 , Derya Bag 2 

'Faculty of Education, Mugla Sitki Ko9man University, Turkey 
2 School of Foreign Languages, Mugla Sitki Rodman University, Turkey 

Copyright©2017 by authors, all rights reserved. Authors agree that this article remains permanently open access under the 
terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License 

Abstract Goal of the study is to compare training and 
appointing processes of education administrators in 
developed and developing countries to see similarities and 
differences and also the situation in Turkey so as to give 
some suggestion thought to have some positive impacts on 
training and appointing-related problems of Turkish 
Education. Within the terms of this main goal, some 
developed countries such as England, United States, France 
and Finland as well as some developing countries such as 
Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland and Flungary have been compared 
and contrasted in terms of training and appointing processes 
of education administrators. When taken insight into the 
results of the study; developed countries except for France 
have some pre-service training programs and this is a prior 
requirement to be appointed. When it comes to France, two- 
year on-the-job training is needed. Master degree in 
education management is also a pre-requisite for appointing 
in developing and developed countries but Turkey and 
Bulgaria. With the result of the study, it has turned out to be 
that Turkey hasn’t got a pre-service training process among 
all those countries and the policy for education 
administrators’ choosing and appointing has been changed 
almost every year over the past 10 years. In addition, it is 
seen that political interference is frequent thus leading to 
some conflicts. In view of solving Turkey’s education 
problems in general, training, choosing and appointing 
processes of education administrators must be regulated in 
the light of new, permanent and consistent laws. 

Keywords Education Administrator, Education 
Administrator Training, Education Administrator 
Appointing, Education Administrator Training in 
Developing Countries, Education Administrator Training in 
Developed Countries 

1. Introduction 

21st century not merely provides a wide range of 
knowledge sources and also ease reaching the knowledge 
along with the social, political and technological changes, 
which cause an in increasing competition. This global 
market making the countries get closer also brings the need 
to have new approaches so that they catch up with this new 
era. Flow to shape and administer education organisations in 
the centre of those changes are the key issues as well, 
because a good administration of education organisations 
makes reaching the expected goals easier and provides a 
continuous survival in that ambiguous competitive 

Reflections by this competition in which individuals need 
to improve creativity and continuous renewal. De Vita, 
Colvin, Hammond & Haycock [1] who has been a scientist 
in education for years argues that the most important factor 
that improves the school environment and staff efficiency is 
the administrator. Therefore, school administrators not just 
must have qualities and skills to keep up with the change 
but implement an education role for an effective, strong and 
productive schools as well (Jackson & Davis, Olson) [2-3]. 
A successful administrator is in the centre of the school and 
his/her knowledge, vision and leadership is the key about 
how to cope with the problems. Khan [4] suggests that the 
most significant thing for an organisation is an effective, 
efficient and trained leader. 

Different study results also show how crucial the school 
administrators must be trained. Studies also stress the 
importance of training process. For instance; A 10-year 
comprehensive study by Wallace Foundation conducting 
studies and projects in the field of education in United 
States for more 50 years states the first and most significant 
step is the training process to have strong and effective 
leaders. According to the report, Mitgang, [5]; School 
administrator must be educated on purpose and participate 
pre-service training. Moreover, local authorities must be 


Training and Appointing Processes of School Leaders in Developed 
and Developing Countries: How is the Situation in Turkey? 

more active and employing administrators having qualities 
to meet the needs must be supported. Standards to raise a 
qualitative school administrator, accreditation, certificate 
programs for administrators and financial supports to the 
successful administrators, mentorship for new 
administrators and regional or individual- tailored 
professional development support are other issues to tackle 
the problems. 

Role of the administrator is very significant at every level 
of education administration. Globalisation affects 
administrators as well as education systems. But in Turkey, 
following the laws and regulations is almost impossible as it 
changes too often, and consequently, pre-conditions to be 
an administrator undergoes radical changes as well. 
Ironically, as any teacher is able to be an administrator and 
there aren’t any objective criteria, some objections even 
filing lawsuits get widespread. 

In literature, some studies investigate current situation 
with reference to the training appointing process (Altin & 
Vatanartiran, Balyer & Giindiiz,) [6-7]. But the attempted 
coup in Turkey in July 2016 has proven that the process 
must be handled in a detailed way. For those many of whom 
were involved in the coup thus harming the country were 
the teachers and appointed administrators without any 
objective pre-conditions the ones attempting coup certainly 
vary from. But when regarded that those people have been 
educated by teachers and administrator, it is seen how the 
problem is big in Turkey. 

To sum up; it is crucial that training and appointing 
process are required objective and standard measures so as 
to solve the problems of education system in Turkey. In 
especially developed countries, objectivity is the essential 
part of the school administrator training and appointing 
process. So the question “how to train and appoint 
administrators” becomes more of the issue. 

Goal of the study is to compare training and appointing 
processes of education administrators in developed and 
developing countries to see similarities and differences and 
also the situation in Turkey so as to give some suggestion 
thought to have some positive impacts on training and 
appointing-related problems of Turkish Education. Within 
the terms of this main goal, some developed countries such 
as England, United States, France and Finland as well as 
some developing countries such as Turkey, Bulgaria, 
Poland and Hungary have been compared and contrasted in 
terms of training and appointing processes of education 

2. Materials and Methods 

The design of the study is qualitative because the model 
of the study is qualitative survey model for the purpose of 
searching how the administrators’ training, choosing and 
appointing processes are in both developed and developing 
countries and of seeing the current situation in those of 

T urkey. 

Survey models are research approaches having purposes 
to describe a certain situation at the time being or in the past. 
Survey models describe the situation as it is and it is 
covered suitably to define it (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 
2011) [8]. In this context; administrator training and 
appointing processes in develop and developing countries 
has analysed through survey model to see the current 
situation and assess with a critical perspective. 

Data collecting of the study may be classified as 
document analysis or research counting on documents. 
Document-based researches are the ones conducted through 
analysis of written or online data in resources such as books, 
newspapers, reports (Biiyukozturk et al., Yildirim & §im§ek) 
[9-10]. A document analysis is the analyses consisting of 
collected documents when observation and interview are 
impossible. Thus, these collected documents are searched in 
view of the researcher (Yildirim, §im§ek) [10]. This model 
has been preferred because only documents were benefited 
for the purpose of the study. 

2.1. Limitations 

In this study, administrator refers to the administrator in 
primary and high schools. Higher education or universities 
are excluded from the study as they are far different from 
primary and high schools. Resources are the printed ones 
such as books and essays or online resources on the net. 

3. Discussion 

3.1. Education Administrator Training and Appointing 
in Developed Countries 

In this section; education administrators’ training and 
appointing processes in three European countries (England, 
France and Finland) and United States were observed in the 
light of OECD Reports. 

3.1.1. Education Leader Training and Appointing in England 

In England, school head teachers are considered to be 
change pioneers. Hence, it is accepted that they must have 
the qualities to create education atmosphere, taking the 
recent improvements into account and must be competent 
leaders with a coherent notion of education who use 
management skills. They can also read and direct the 
change properly. Therefore, a school head teacher must 
have a manner of administration providing equal 
opportunities and high purposes and also follow the recent 
improvements and use these improvements in a view to 
increasing the standards. Managing the future, being a 
competent leader of teaching and learning for the 
organisation as well as having the abilities to self-improve 
are the keywords for a successful head teacher. Moreover, 
accountability and responsibility of principles to improve 

Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(9): 1479-1489, 2017 


the school and the society are regarded to be very important. 
The head teacher must use these characteristics in harmony 
with the help of professional knowledge and traits, skills 
and vision (DfE) [11]. 

School head teachers are seen as the people of 
effectiveness and efficiency in England. So, a model which 
encompasses training, certification, choosing, appointing, 
orientation and in-service training is followed and 
implemented fastidiously (Bolam) [12]. As in all developed 
countries, England also wants to improve the quality of 
education throughout the country, thereby using some 
essential standards. As they see the leadership and 
administration skills are crucial factors leading to a good 
school, National standards for head teachers is the guideline 
to be a head teacher. To be a head teacher, the candidates 
must participate in a training program consisting of theory 
and practice thus having an effective role to improve 
administration skills. This certificate program called 
National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is 
managed by National College for School Leadership 
(NCSL). (Bolam, NPQH) [12-13], 

The application, admission and the program itself are also 
managed cautiously. Vice-head teacher, teachers and 
education experts can apply for the program and the 
candidates must have at least 5-year teaching experience. 
They must have a reference letter and approval from the 
head teacher to apply online. This phase is the first election 
period. The candidates passing the first election process are 
interviewed online and asked some questions. Afterwards 
they are sent for workshops and taken 2-day face to face 
interviews. The last step to be accepted to the program is 
personality tests. After all, the candidates are invited to paid 
certificate programs (NPBEA) [14]. 

NPQH has a four-stage and detailed certificate program 
to accomplish national goals. The main purpose in the 
program is to make the candidates improve in direction of 
their individual needs and skills. The first stage of this 4-12 
month program is basic education period. This 180- hour 
course is obligatory for all candidates and covers the topics 
of school improvement and strategic leadership. The latter 
covers and job- based training and administration. The third 
stage is job- based training and school improvement skills. 
The last one is the stage in which the candidates aim to 
construct and improve learning and to be educational 
leaders. After the program, the candidates present their 
studies to the board of evaluation and are invited to 
one-hour interview. The program gets finished successfully 
if confirmed by Board of Evaluation (NCSL, 2012) [15]. 

In England appointing head a teacher is taken 
meticulously just like training period. Head teacher is 
appointed by a board with at least three members. Unpaid 
board consists of locals, education experts, school staff, 
students above 8th class and local authorities with no vote 
right. The board is responsible of determining the needs of 
school, finding solutions to the problems, improving the 
education, regulating the financial budget and also 

appointing the head teacher. Appointing period takes seven 
stages (NCSL, 2008). When the head teacher announces 
that he/she is going to leave, process begins and board of 
school prepares a report covering the need of school and 
writes a declaration head teacher position, taking the needs 
of the school into consideration. Afterwards, they determine 
suitable candidates and make a pre assessment in terms of 
NPQH certificate, academic competency, essays on school 
administration and the situation in previous school. 7-10 
candidates are invited to the interview made by six - 
member jury. After the assessment period, head teacher 
elected is appointed by informing local authorities in 
writing. Elected head teacher also gives the acceptance 
letter to the jury and head teacher begins orientation and 
encouragement (NCSL) [15]. 

Head teachers join on-the-job training after being 
accepted to the position. Specialist Schools and Academies 
Trust (SSAT) which supports new head teachers 
professionally and makes nationwide sharing is one of those 
training programs (SSAT) [16]. Leadership Programme for 
Serving Head teachers (LPHS) is developed by 
collaborative study of Open University, National College 
and Hay and McBer. The union’s goal is to improve head 
teachers’ qualities and contribute to their Professional 
developments as well as making the personal development 
and educational activities (Duncan as cited in Balyer & 
Giinduz) [7]. 

3.1.2. Educational Leader Training and Appointing in United 

United States is a pioneer country about training and 
appointing. Seeing that schools fail to succeed and 
understanding that head teachers primarily affect school 
success, almost all states started campaigns for training, 
choosing and appointing. The reform “No Child behind Act” 
aiming to leave no child uneducated is another factor to 
bring up some standards of school leaders’ training. Council 
of Chief State School Officers (CCS SO) and Interstate 
School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) have 
brought some standards for school leaders and aimed to 
increase the quality of education. Some new restructure 
period was started as it had been claimed that the students’ 
success had decreased. For this purpose; some standards for 
head teachers were launched following the standards of 
professional development. Moreover, Interstate School 
Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) determines 
common school leader competency standards. Once this 
common framework was reviewed in 2008, it begun to be 
used in all states in order that school leaders would be 
trained both pre-service and on the job. Common standards 
of ISLLC are school policies, law, accountancy, curriculum 
development, public relations and leadership (Mitgang, 
Hale & Moorman) [5- 17]. 

Candidates for the position of school leadership have to 
participate in a pre-service leadership training in United 
States in which universities and local authorities cooperate 


Training and Appointing Processes of School Leaders in Developed 
and Developing Countries: How is the Situation in Turkey? 

with common policies (Hale & Moorman) [17]. 30-credit 
program is a master degree for two years. Once the 
candidates have their master degree of school leadership, 
they follow a training program with a mentor in schools 
(Jackson & Kelly) [18]. School leaders graduating from 
departments which don’t require an obligatory training 
programs are appointed as a vice-principal just after an 
on-the-job training (Edelfelt) [19]. Unlike England, United 
States doesn’t have a central Ministry of Education, states’ 
education boards and administrations are responsible for 
training and appointing. Therefore, school leader training 
process may vary among different states (Hale & Moorman) 
[17]. However, there are some common conditions as well. 
Bureau of Labour Statistics [20], states that master degree 
in educational administration or in other fields. In addition, 
candidates must have a 18-hour basic training. The other 
pre-conditions are to have worked in state school for 1-3 
years and to have administration certificate. There are lots 
of leadership and administration academies. New Leaders is, 
for instance, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which 
trains school leaders, determines school leadership policies 
and regulates school systems in the country. The 
organisation is also the only organisation which raises 
school leaders. It has two different programs called 
Aspiring Principles Program and Emerging Leaders 
Program. New Leaders takes over the responsibility of 
training school leaders, choosing and appointing. Besides, it 
develops atmospheres so as to help leaders be successful by 
conducting bilateral school projects. Both programs under 
New Leaders are quite selective while determining the 
candidates for the programs. Thus, they visit schools under 
the program “New Leaders Urban Excellence Framework” 
to conduct efficient school and school leader projects in 
terms of student success (Schleicher) [21]. 

In addition to New Leaders, universities, councils and 
foundations such as University of Harvard, New Jersey 
State University, Arkansas University, The Institute for 
Educational Leadership (IEL), American Association of 
School Administrators (AASA), The National Association 
of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and The National 
Association of Elementary School Principals (NAES) 
involve in school leaders’ training period. Moreover, some 
academy-based national foundations like The National 
Council of Professors of Educational Administration 
(NCPEA) and The University Council for Educational 
Administration (UCEA) are also active in training process. 
The National Commission on Excellence in Educational 
Administration (NCEEA), National Policy Board for 
Educational Administration (NPBEA), New Leaders for 
New Schools (NLNS), leadership training program, 
Principle Residency Network (PRN) distance learning 
program, The Massachusetts Elementary School Principals 
Association (MESPA) are other examples nationwide (Hale 
& Moorman) [17]. 

There are also other different examples for training of 
school leaders such as School-University Cooperation and 

Peer Assistance and Leadership Program (PAL) which is 
nationally recognized and non-profit. School-University 
Cooperation provides free assistance training to the school 
leaders. In PAL, school leaders meet every two year and 
exchanges problems and solutions (Meclntyre) [22]. 
Leaders gather information about their peers and what they 
have done throughout the year and give a well-structured 
feedback to them (Anderson) [23]. 

The employment also differs from one state to the other. 
Regional Education Offices declare the position publicly 
and the process starts. Candidates prepare a portfolio along 
with the reference letter from previous school and the 
school from which they graduated, diploma, exam result 
paper from regional office. Afterwards they are interviewed 
orally or verbally. If the candidate doesn’t fail, makes a 
three-year contract. Regional office could cancel before the 
end of contract if it were necessary or there were any 
complaints from either parents or students (Anderson) [23]. 

3.1.3. Educational Leader Training and Appointing in France 

Having a central administration system, France as in 
England and United States defines the success of students as 
a result of that of school administrator. Therefore, the 
success of administrator is regarded as a key factor to 
organisational and individual success (Eurydice) [24]. 

French Ministry of Education Centre (Condorcet) is 
responsible for training and appointing in the country. The 
framework called “Rules related to School Administrator 
Formation” (Charte de la formation des personnels de 
direction) and Local Educational Institutes (EPLE) 
organises the choosing, training and appointing process by 
coordinating different regions. Candidates must attend 
70-80- hour training in two years. After the training period, 
if they don’t fail in the exam, they can be appointed as a 
school administrator. In some occasions, the appointment 
can be done by the central or among substitutes. (Eurydice) 
[24]. In France, appointing primary school administrators 
and high school administrators differ. The former is not so 
detailed as the latter. On account of central and hierarchic 
system, high school administrators have more authorization 
and responsibilities than those of primary schools (Huber as 
cited in Balyer & Giindiiz) [7]. 

Administrator to primary schools in France are not 
pre-trained but as of 1989, a regional on-the-job training has 
been managed under 89-122 law codes. The program 
consists of formal papers about school system and structure, 
relationship with school and parents, leadership, society and 
school relationship. Moreover, administrator teaches for 
few hours (Eurodice) [24]. In France, local authorities 
choose the administrators to primary schools and two-year 
teaching experience is required. Teachers having two-year 
experience is pre-evaluated by National Investigator for 
Education (IEN) and if accepted, their paperwork is sent to 
Board of Interview of the Educational Region. The board 
consisting of a regional and a national educational 
supervisor and a school administrator assesses the 

Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(9): 1479-1489, 2017 


applications and calls the candidates after an interview. 
Teachers joining an interview previously or becoming an 
administrator to a school for at least one year exclude the 
interview for three years. But if they have applied before 
and been not accepted, the candidates have to reapply. 
Administrator is appointed for one year, if found successful 
by local authorities, they are reappointed for another one 
year (Eurydice, Europedia) [24 -25]. 

Whereas Regional Investigation Academy regulates the 
choosing and appointing process of administrators to 
primary schools, Ministry of Education (Recteur) is 
responsible for high school appointments. Teachers have to 
be at least 30 years old and have at least five-year teaching 
experience to be an administrator to a high school. Since 
2007, the law code 8 gives more authorisation and 
responsibility to high school administrator compared to 
primary school administrators. Therefore, not just training 
but also appointing process is managed meticulously. 
Appointing to the position, administrators also have 
on-the-job training (Eurydice) [25]. 

The training and appointing process begins presenting 
with a portfolio of the candidates including their experience 
and a reference letter by the administrators of the school 
where they work. If the application is accepted, the 
candidate has an entry exam and an interview and lastly 
makes a presentation. When a candidate succeeds, he/she is 
appointed as a vice administrator. This is called as a training 
period and helps administrator gain experience. The training 
period lasts two years in the light of consultancy of the 
administrator of that school. It covers school organisation, 
human resources, legal and financial issues. This is the last 
assessment step to be an administrator as well (Eurydice) 

The consultant administrator (mentor) of the school 
where the candidates are trained has also a 3-day orientation 
course in the Academy. These mentors play a vital role in 
training the elected administrators Training period 
continues for 4-6 weeks in the target school. Another 
training period is in a state office out of field of education 
for 2 weeks. Mentors are very active through this period and 
responsible for providing the candidates program content 
and determining the place where they are going to be 
trained (Huber, 2003 as cited in Balyer & Giinduz,) [7]. 

In France, there is a mechanism controlling all these 
stages. The regional academy boards consisting of experts 
in education have the responsibility to organise training 
programs, hold seminars, take expertise support, organise 
mentors, assess and investigate. An annual nationwide 
meeting is hold to coordinate regional boards (Huber, 2003 
as cited in Balyer & Giinduz, 2011) [7]. School 
administrators can also join short term training course 
enabling knowledge and experience. These courses aren’t 
obligatory but attending administrators are preferred in the 
processes of school and task or level changing (Lafond & 
Helt) [26], 

3.1.4 Educational Leader Training and Appointing in Finland 

In Finland, school principle training and employing 
process is different from United States, England and France. 
School principals have broad powers in Finland where 
lifelong learning is seriously considered. School principal 
has the power to make curriculum, annual plan, course 
programmes and content. Being both education leaders and 
administrators of the school. School principals play a 
bridging role between the school and environment. Since 
the principles have responsibilities and powers above, 
choosing and appointing process is naturally carried out 
meticulously (OECD) [27]. 

Teaching experience isn’t, though, a pre-condition for the 
principal position in Finland, usually experienced teachers 
are employed as school principals. Yet, it is obligatory to 
have education of school administration (Taipale) [28]. Two 
different training programmes are conducted, one of which 
is before appointing and the other one is when employed as 
a principal. The first requirement is to graduate from 
department of education administration of universities, 
which is equal to 25 ECTS and includes school laws, 
administration and leadership. The second one is to have a 
20-45 hour and 12-ECTS certificate of education 
administration under the law 43/011/2000 of National 
Board Of Education. This programme covers public law, 
national and local government, education finance and 
human resources management and aims to train school 
principals before the duty. Before-job training doesn’t have 
any practical school training as all applicants are vice 
principals at schools (Taipale) [28]. However, having 
master degree in education administration and teaching 
experience are very significant. In Finland, twenty 35-ECTS 
doctoral programmes nationwide raise competitive 
administrators (Alava, Ministry of Education) [29-30]. 

As lifelong learning is seen important, school principals 
in Finland continue their training in the service. Different 
courses given by National Centre for Professional 
Development in Education (OPEKO) are financially 
supported by National Board of Education. Almost 200 
principals join these programmes annually. This programme 
covers administration in education, organisation, finance, 
staff management, strategic planning, learning atmosphere 
and learning outcomes. Another training programme is 
workshop groups led by National Board of Education. 
These groups meet either in the term or in summer and 
principal exchange experience on new learning atmospheres, 
information technologies, assessment process, strategic 
leadership, mentorship and variable topics beneficial to 
students. National Board of Education, at times, provides 
courses to the principals if needed (Alava, Ministry of 
Education) [29-30]. 

In Finland, it is needed to attend an education 
administration programme. The country is made up of six 
states and has a lot regional programmes enabling teachers 
to benefit. Along with the education administration 
programmes at universities, certificate programmes by 


Training and Appointing Processes of School Leaders in Developed 
and Developing Countries: How is the Situation in Turkey? 

National Board of Education, OPEKO and workshops, 
candidates participate “Expertise in Administration 
Competency Programme" and have an exam so as to be a 
school principal. This regional expertise programme is paid, 
theoretical and lasts 14-16 days for the purpose of getting 
40 credits. The programme charges € 3000-3500 (Alava) 

3.2. Education Administrator Training and Appointing 
in Developing Countries 

In this section, it was compared that school leaders' 
training and appointing process in Turkey and countries 
such as Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and Portugal thought 
similar to Turkey. OECD facts of 2015 were considered to 
choose these countries. Chosen countries except for 
Bulgaria have a $10,000-22.500 of Gross National Income. 
The same countries spend $ 4.000 - 7.000 per capita on 
education (OECD)[32]. Bulgaria was included on account 
of having a similar GN1 ($ 7.000) though it is not in OECD 

3.2.1. Educational Leader Training and Appointing in 

Over the past 20 years, Bulgaria has enforced reforms 
about a lot of education-related topics. In addition to these 
reforms, some change seeking projects were also tried to be 
started over some topics such as organisational climate, 
school environment related to school principals. These 
reforms since 2005 has resulted in some significant changes 
in the country's education system, both of which are 
decentralized administration of education and school 
principals' autonomy (Parvanova) [32]. To ensure the 
autonomy of principals, some powers such as budget 
management, teacher choice and cooperation with different 
outer organisations were granted to them. Yet, assessment 
of principals' competency has been ignored (Parvanova) 

The country has got master degree education of school 
administration but this is not a pre-condition to be appointed 
as a school principal. Continuous improvement training 
programmes for high school principals is provided. These 
5-day programmes which are not a pre-condition to be a 
principal are hold by National Education Institute and 
participating is voluntary after the appointment. The only 
requirement to be a principal is 2-year teaching experience 
(Eurydice) [33]. 

In Bulgaria, Public General Education Law (Law no 37) 
regulates education leaders' training and appointing. 
Conditions to be an education leader are listed below: 

1. Schools and related departments are managed by 

2. To be a school principal, university degree and 
teaching experience are obligatory whereas college 
degree and teaching experience are accepted. 

3. Ministry of National Education (MoNE) holds a 
competition whereby candidates present their 
programmes to improve the target school. The 
improvement programmes have to be compatible with 
the laws. 

4. MoNE forms a commission consisting of teacher 
representatives and local authorities. They listen to the 
candidate and decide to sign a contract or not. 

5. MoNE is the only authority to resign or to end up the 

6. Principal contract in Nursery Schools is activated by 
local authorities. 

7. Ministers appoint principals for 5 years 

8. Principal decisions are only reversed by MoNE. 

9. Candidates have to be successful at the competition 
hold by the ministry. Yet is a common belief among 
people that political view is an effective factor rather 
than competency and merit (Eurydice) [33]. 

3.2.2. Educational Leader Training and Appointing in Poland 

Poland is another country to have had fundamental 
changes in the field of education in 1989. The system which 
had been central and closed transformed to an open and 
regional one (Bogaj et. al.) [34]. The contemporary change 
in education system of Poland has aimed to raise principals 
competent in pedagogy, adult education, student problems 
and curriculum as well as financial and managerial skills 
(Michalak) [35]. The expected outcome was that this new 
holistic approach in education administration would 
contribute to improving individual, professional and 
communication skills of school principals 
(Ekiert-Grabowska) [36]. 

In Poland, improving leadership skills is seen an 
obligation rather than a chance in order to be a school 
principal. There are two methods to train school leaders. 
The former is to have master degree at education 
administration from universities or academies; the latter is 
to participate in leadership courses in regional in-service 
centres. Universities play an important role in training 
education leaders since Poland makes having master degree 
obligatory to be a principal. The goals of post graduate 
education are described as below (Dyrada & Przybylska) 

1. Improving organisation managing skills 

2. Curriculum management 

3. Performance, organisation peace, innovation in 
education, use of technology 

4. Communication with other counterparts such as 
government and parents. 

However, continuous in-service professional training is 
not obligatory in Poland though it is in a number of 
European countries (EU Leadership in Education, Country 
Reports) [39]. The law called Education System Law passed 
in 2001 regulates conditions for appointment of school 
leaders. Conditions to be a school principal are stated as 

Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(9): 1479-1489, 2017 


1. To meet the conditions for being a teacher (Master of 

2. Post graduate degree of education administration. 

3. 5-year teaching experience. 

4. School principals are appointed for 1 year to 5 year by 
a commission consisted by 2 members from school 
administration, 2 from local authority responsible for 
education, 2 from council of teachers in the school the 
candidate wants to be appointed, and lastly 2 members 
from School-Parent Union (Dyrada & Przybylska, 
Smoczynska) [37-38] 

3.2.3. Education Leader Training and Appointing in Portugal 

In Portugal, 1999 was the year when law on school 
management was modified significantly. With this change, 
parents, local government, teachers, students, security and 
other staff who had limited role in education policy got 
more active, thus developing a cooperative perspective (EU 
Leadership in Education, Country Reports) [40]. Education 
leader training rests on master degree in the country since 
one of the pre-conditions to be a school master is to have a 
master degree. 

Continuous training programs are necessarily important 
because the principals fulfilling these programs successfully 
can progress in their careers (transition to high school 
administration position from that of primary school) and get 
salary rising (EU Leadership in Education, Country Reports) 
[40]. In Portugal, school councils choose the principals. The 
conditions to be a principal are as below; 

1. At least five-year teaching experience. 

2. Being educated in the field of administration, 
especially in of education. 

3. To present an administration project. 

3.2.4. Education Leader Training and Appointing in Hungary 

In the year of 1996, Hungary had significant changes in 
education system. With the change, having master degree of 
education administration was a pre-condition in addition to 
graduating from a school of education. The master degree 
lasts four semesters and requires 360-hour training. 
Moreover, it involves courses of strategy, pedagogy, 
organisation skills, human factor, economy and law. 
Candidates have to pass 2 different exams and write a 
graduation thesis. Budapest University of Technology and 
Economics (BME) and Hungarian-Netherlands School of 
Educational Management (HUNSEM) are two important 
institutes in this field (EU Leadership in Education, Country 
Reports) [41]. 

In Hungary, rights of school principals were regulated by 
a law (no 138) in 1992. Later inl993 and in 2001, some 
improvements were also made. According to this law, a 
teacher has to have a master degree mentioned above and 
five-year teaching experience (Act LXXIX of 1993 on 
Public Education). Furthermore, continuous in-service 
professional courses are obligatory for school principals 
(EU Leadership in Education, Country Reports) [41], 

3.2.5. Education Leader Training and Appointing in Turkey 

Although education leader training in Turkey has been an 
issue debated on and taken precautions, it is still not a 
solved problem today. Established in 1953, Institute of 
Public Administration for Turkey and the Middle East was 
the first official institute to signify the education of school 
leaders. Another state office “Managing Board of the 
Central Government Organization Research Project” stated 
in a report of 1962 that education administration needed 
expertise and universities must have departments of 
education administration (Cemaloglu) [42]. 

Opened in 1965, Ankara University, Faculty of 
Educational Sciences educated students for the first time at 
undergraduate level. In following years, a number of 
universities opened departments for the purpose of raising 
education leaders but since graduates didn’t have privileges 
and weren’t appointed as education leaders, these 
departments at undergraduate level were closed in 1997 on 
grounds that they were non-functional. Today, universities 
have departments of educational administration but 
graduating from these departments isn’t a pre-condition to 
be appointed as a school principal although over 30 official 
regulations were published and criteria for appointments 
were often changed (Altin & Vatanartiran) [6] . 

The regulation no 23472 on education administrators’ 
appointing and appointment in MoNE can be seen as a 
regulation which considers merit because the candidates 
have to pass an exam hold by official Assessment Selection 
and Placement Centre (OSYM) in order to be a principal. 
The candidates need to have 80 for type A positions, 75 for 
type B and 70 for type C positions. They also have 
120-hour, obligatory in-service training courses. However, 
those having master degree of education administration, 
public administration master from Institute of Public 
Administration for Turkey and the Middle East and 5-year 
teaching experience exclude from the exam and are directly 
taken in-service training. According to that regulation, 
candidates getting 70 and over from the in-service training 
are appointed. 

As of 1998 to 2017, Turkey’s governments have ignored 
merit for the appointment of administrators. Because, 18 
years ago, there was a central written exam and teachers 
having master degree at educational and public 
administration, 5-year teaching experience were preferential 
but today, school principals are appointed by a subjective 
interview. Turkey has moved into a system of interview 
from a system that teachers having master degree at 
educational and public administration, 5-year teaching 
experience were preferential. This transformation clearly 
shows that school leaders’ training has been pushed into the 
background. According to the last regulation no 29494 
published in 2015, candidates have to possess requisite 
qualifications below; 

1. Working as an administrator 

2. At least two-year experience in the position of senior 
vice principal 


Training and Appointing Processes of School Leaders in Developed 
and Developing Countries: How is the Situation in Turkey? 

3. At least three-year experience as founding manager, 
senior vice principal or vice principal separately or 

4. To work as unit head or above in MoNE. 

Teachers possessing conditions above enter a written and 
oral exam if they succeed; they are appointed as a teacher. It 
is not obligatory for teachers to have in-service training 
before the exam or appointment. 

The fundamental change to appoint school principal was 
in regulation no 29026 of 2014 and 29294 of 2015 because 
appointments of principals are done according to the results 
of oral exams rather than exam result supremacy in previous 
regulations. With these regulations training education 
leaders are totally ignored. Although MoNE holds 
about-5-day courses these courses don’t bring school 
principals any benefit such as promotion to an upper level, 
privileges for some tasks or economical contribution. 

Subjective oral exams and ignorance of training process 
naturally brought a lot of objections. Because principals are 
removed from their offices and new principals are 
appointed after so-called oral exams, a number of trials with 
claims of ignorance of merit or cronyism and political 
favouritism continue. Some labour unions also give their 
members legal support. 

Table 1 at the end of the study (Appendix 1) shows the 
differences and similarities the target countries in terms of 
assigning school leaders. 

4. Conclusions 

In this study, some developed countries such as England, 
the UNITED STATES, France and Finland and some 
developing countries such as Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and 
Turkey were observed and compared in terms of education 
leader training and appointing processes. As seen in the 
study, Training and appointing processes in developed 
countries are closely related to those countries’ public 
administration. In England, the United States, and Finland, 
training and appointing are governed regionally as these 
countries have a decentralized system. Moreover schools 
have the rights to speak through the process. These 
countries have an accountable and transparent training and 
appointing framework. Therefore, choosing and appointing 
processes are in no uncertain words. France has central 
structure and the processes are managed by MoNE but it 
varies by school type. While primary school principals are 
responsible to the regional education authority, the Regional 
Auditing Academy, the Ministry of Education (Recteur) is 
responsible for the appointment of secondary school 
principals. For this reason, a decentralized process is 
followed during the process of selecting and appointing the 
school principal, and the examinations and appointments 
are carried out by the Ministry of Education. So as to be a 
school principal in the UK in the scope of this study, it is on 
the basis of the National School Principals Standards, 
incorporating theory and practice, and requires being 

involved in a training program that plays an active role in 
the development of managerial skills. In order to become a 
school principal in United States, it is stated that he/she is 
required to have a master degree in Educational 
Administration or to pursue any master degree. Candidates 
having any master degree must also have taken 18 hours of 
basic education administration courses. In France, primary 
education principals do not have an obligatory pre-service 
training. However, the internship, which is an important 
part of the training of principals, provides for two-year 
on-the-job training for candidates to gain experience and 
specialize in school administration. In order to become a 
school principal in Finland, he/she must be trained in school 
administration before and during the service period. In 
developed countries, which are covered in this study, as 
competitive policies and lifelong learning have developed, 
school principals can be involved in in-service training 
during their service life. These in-service courses, funded 
by the school or individual allowances already in place, 
provide the development of professional knowledge and 
skills as well as individual skills. Thus, holistic 
development is aimed to adapt to new developments. 
Graduating from any higher education program is required 
in order to be a school principal in Finland, while, in 
developed countries, it is required to be a teacher to become 
a school principal in England, United States and France, and 
to have two to five years of experience in the profession. In 
Finland, It is not necessary to have a teaching experience in 
order to become a school principal, but a candidate manager 
must have completed his education in school 

Looking at Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary from 
developing countries, it is pointed out that reforms in the 
field of education have been carried out and they have to be 
included in a training program in education management in 
order to become school principals in these countries. The 
issue of how schools should be managed in Bulgaria was 
reviewed again, and in 2005, school principals were given 
autonomy, and many school decisions were left to the 
discretion of school heads. A graduate education and 
in-service training program to become a school principal in 
Bulgaria is not considered a prerequisite for being a school 

Being a university graduate and having two years 
teaching experience is a prerequisite. Candidates carrying 
this prerequisite are taken to the central school management 
examination carried out by the MoNE and the exam is 
conducted by local administrators of the region. Successful 
candidates are employed by signing a five-year contract. 
The contract signed with school principals can be ended 
before the process is over. There is widespread belief that 
political viewpoint is influential in managerial appointments 
in Bulgaria, where experience and competence in school 
principals' referral is not a priority. 

In Poland, with the influence of changing global 
dynamics, it has entered into drastic changes in education 
and has begun to adopt a new holistic structure. According 

Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(9): 1479-1489, 2017 


to this structure, it is envisaged that the school principals 
who will expose the managerial function in the school 
should firstly develop the leadership qualities, as well as the 
financial, managerial and educational activities. In the 
country, in order to be a school manager different from 
Bulgaria, it is necessary to have a master's degree in 
educational administration and have at least five years of 
teaching experience. In Poland, the appointment of school 
principals is made for processes ranging from 1-5 years by a 
board of school and local administrators. 

In Hungary, managerial training policies were abandoned 
from a single center and school autonomy gained 
importance. In Hungary, school management boards are the 
decision-making mechanism in the process of appointing 
school principals. In order to be a school principal in a 
school, it is necessary to have a master's degree in 
educational administration and have 5 years teaching 

On the other hand, understanding of "education 
administration is a profession" espoused in developed 
countries is ignored in view of the fact that in Turkey the 
concepts of "basic teacher in profession" and "absence of 
school of administration" prevail. 

It is seen that Education Administration and planning 
departments in Turkey were active at the undergraduate 
level, from 1970 to 1997, in which a school leader training 
model is applied. However, candidates graduated from such 
program covering topics such as the organization, 
administration, leadership, and education planning, were 
mostly not employed. 

In the 1997-1998 academic year, with the provision that 
it is possible to become a teacher for people who graduated 
from many areas (veterinary, agricultural, engineering 
faculties, fisheries, law, political, economy and 
administrative sciences etc.), Most candidates who have 
graduated from the Department of Education Management 
and Planning (in some universities, in the name of 
Education Management, Planning, Inspection and Economy) 
have also been employed as teachers. In other words, school 
leaders training programs are closed at the undergraduate 
level with the reason that no training is needed. Today, 
graduate programs in education management in Turkey are 
continuing their education and training activities, but 
graduates from this department are not employed as an 
education administrator. However, some of the graduates 
continue to work as teachers or academicians while some of 
them are employed in irrelevant areas. In this context, it is 
seen that the administration training period has been 
abolished and the conditions for being a teacher and being 
able to exceed the managerial examination threshold are 
sufficient to be able to work as a principal in a school. Over 
the past ten years, more than thirty regulations have been 
issued in Turkey concerning the selection and appointment 
of administrators, and the time spent in teaching has been 
gradually reduced in each regulation change. It is 

noteworthy that with the new legislation introduced in 2015 
and with the regulation on appointment according to the 
results of the oral examinations, the conditions of merit are 
totally ignored. At the same time, it is a constantly spoken 
issue that the decisions of the political authority are 
overtaken in the process of the appointment of school 
principals, change of office or termination of office. 

When there is a comparison between developed and 
developing countries, there is not a process called 
"administrator training" in Turkey, which is the first to 
attract attention. Although programs at the master's and 
doctoral levels. These are not required in the appointment of 
administrators as in Bulgaria. In developed countries, it is 
noteworthy that managerial training and appointment 
processes are clearly defined and there is stability in this 
issue. Looking at the developing countries in the scope of 
the research, it is seen that others except Bulgaria have a 
process of training and appointing a principal. Another 
point to note is that in the developed countries, the 
designation of the merit is in the process of appointment 
and that there are no problems in this regard. Yet, Political 
weight is seen in the process of appointment in Turkey 
Poland and Bulgaria. Particularly, in Turkey in the last 
decade, the non-objective appointment process and the 
complete obfuscation of the training period have brought 
many objections. Many lawsuits are still continuing with the 
alleged lack of merit and favoritism due to the termination 
of the duties of many of the examiners and the appointment 
of those close to the political power with interview exams. 
It can be said that the process of raising and appointing 
school principals in Turkey should be done more diligently 
after attempted coup on July 15th. After July 15th, 
thousands of people were dismissed in all sectors, especially 
in the education sector. This process is still going on. 
Education is the area where the majority of the employees 
are fired. Thousands of employees have been removed from 
their jobs at every level from basic education to university. 

It is a fact that educational institutions are known to be 
important to educating people with a certain mind that has 
an impact on the future of the country. It is possible with the 
people of a country that is equipped with good citizenship 
and good human characteristics depending on the values of 
the management understanding of the future country. For 
this reason, the training, selection and appointment of 
education leaders who will be responsible for the 
management of this process seems to be very important. In 
the light of this information, it can be said that Turkey is 
behind the developed and developing countries in the 
process of training, selection and appointment of the 
education leaders and these processes are mostly carried out 
according to political decisions. In this context, in order to 
solve many problems in the field of education, it is 
necessary to make an objective and stable arrangement 
which is far from political pressures in the process of 
raising, selecting and appointing an education administrator 
for the bright future of the country. 


Training and Appointing Processes of School Leaders in Developed 
and Developing Countries: How is the Situation in Turkey? 


Comparison of Assigning of School Leaders 


Master in Education 

In-Service Training 

Presenting a Project about 
Target School 


at least 5 years 

not compulsory 


not compulsory 


at least 2 years for primary 
and 5 years for secondary 

not compulsory 


not compulsory 



1-3 years 

compulsory (in any field) 


not compulsory 


not compulsory 

not compulsory 


not compulsory 


at least 2 years 

not compulsory 

not compulsory 

Compulsory (but political 
view influental according 
to EU reports) 


a tleast 5 years 

compulsory (master in education 

not compulsory 

not compulsory 


at least 5 years 

compulsory (management - esp. 
education management) 

provides upper positions and 
salary increase 



at least 5 years 

compulsory (education management 
and leadership) 

not compulsory to be 
assigned but attendance 
compulsory incareer 

not compulsory 


at least 3 years 

not compulsory 

not compulsory 

not compulsory 


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