J. Zikhali, J. Perumal

University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
This study investigated the experiences of female school heads in Zimbabwe who have been appointed to positions of school leadership. The aim of the study was to explore their levels of readiness to assume leadership positions. A multiple case study was adopted and views on preparation for school leadership as outlined by Rhodes, Brundrett, and Nevill (2009) provided theoretical support for the study. Individual in-depth interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of twelve female school heads. The data were presented using narrative vignettes and the vignettes were analysed using critical discourse analysis. The study revealed that all the heads were appointed to leadership positions on the strength of their teaching experience as senior teachers. On appointment, only a few were psychologically ready to take up posts as school leaders. The study recommends that Zimbabwe adopts a national qualification programme for the preparation of prospective school leaders; and provide in-service training to practicing teachers before they are appointed to leadership positions.