John Carroll

Date of Submission



This thesis is centred upon the administrative structure of Catholic primary schools and how they can become more fundamentally Catholic. The problem required an examination of leadership and management and how these applied to Catholic schooling. Having initiated a structure (School Support Team) that set out to respond to Catholic school administration, a focus school was studied in relation to the theoretical principles which emerged from the literature. The study was conducted through an interpretive paradigm using ethnographic and case study research. The following principles of administrative structures in Catholic schools emerged:

  1. Community
  2. Empowerment
  3. Revelation
  4. Responsiveness
  5. Effectiveness

The research concluded that in this experience staff members were enlivened by the challenges that the new structure brought and that it promoted an understanding of leadership and management that was conducive to Catholic schooling. However, the success was strongly linked to the needs of the school setting stressing that similar initiatives should respond to the local situation. The study also warns against concentrating too heavily on collaborative practices with the risk of diminishing the importance of individuality in schools being identified as a major concern. The study concludes that a review of the administrative structure in Catholic primary schools is merited. Models such as the School Support Team are appropriate responses to the administrative needs of these schools and should be encouraged extensively.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


63 pages

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Faculty of Education and Arts


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