When duties are not enough: Principal leadership and public or private school management in Chile1

José Weinstein, Gonzalo Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Chilean education system is an emblematic case of school management privatization, with the majority of schools operating under government funding, but private administration. This article addresses the incidence of this dimension on school leadership, showing the differences and continuities established among primary school principals in the subsidized private and municipal sectors. The conclusion is that private school administrators do not recruit principals on a competitive basis, as a result of which these principals do not present a more developed professional profile, and that merely having more duties for executing the principal position - as happens in subsidized private schools - is not enough for an effective development of practices evidencing improved school leadership. These conclusions challenge the statement frequently expressed, but lacking sufficient empirical evidence, that the greater autonomy in school management encompassed by privatization will positively impact on school leadership and, therefore, on educational improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-670
Number of pages20
JournalSchool Effectiveness and School Improvement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • principal leadership
  • privatization
  • school management


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