What is a principal's quality mark? Issues and challenges in leadership progression among primary teachers in Jamaica

Paul Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Perceptions about teacher progression among Jamaica's primary school teachers should force society to stop and ask itself several questions. Are these perceptions accurate? If not, how did these perceptions emerge and what can national leaders and those in positions of authority do to 'manage' if not resolve these perceptions? If there is any truth to them, a different set of questions needs to be asked. How did things come to be like this? How can the perception of corruption and mistrust be minimised? What will be done differently going forward? Either way, there is a more fundamental question: Do the current perceptions among teachers mirror perceptions in other areas of the public service? The answers to these questions are not easy. The findings being reported in this article form part of a small-scale qualitative exploratory study aimed at identifying and understanding the perceptions of primary school teachers in Jamaica as regards progression to the rank of principal. The findings point to a number of perceived barriers including religious affiliation, political affiliation, interference, and social connections. This article proposes that promotion on any basis other than merit is problematic and does not promote trust, openness and transparency; nor does it build confidence in those who are part of the system, but themselves do not have such connections and/or affiliations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Comparative and International Education
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


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