Date of Submission



The ageing demographic of school leaders has created opportunities for teachers to take up school leadership positions as principals, deputy principals and middle leaders (Preston, 2003). Shortages of suitable applicants for the position of principal have led to the study of the many factors that influence teachers’ decisions to become school leaders (Dorman & d’Arbon, 2003; Lacey, 2004). There is a significant gap in the educational literature on aspirants to middle leadership positions, as the predominant focus of research on leadership in schools has been on principals (Anderson et al., 2007). This study addresses this gap by exploring the personal and professional experiences and interactions that form leadership aspirations, providing insights into the career decisions of teachers and the ways in which teachers may be encouraged to apply for middle leadership positions. The study also aims to identify the sources that discourage leadership aspirations.


School of Education

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


233 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Faculty of Education