Based on the online survey conducted among school principals, the paper demonstrates the main problems when making management decisions in an extreme situation caused by the war in Ukraine. The author identified social risks and unforeseen challenges faced by principals of the Ukrainian general secondary education institutions (GSEI) when performing their functional duties during the war. It was revealed that in the current situation, the school principals fulfil not only traditional functions oforganizing the educational process but also new ones, determined by the current situation, i.e., guaranteeing the safety of all process participants; ensuring their all-round support, legally accurate registration of educational activities in wartime conditions, etc. It is shown that the change in the functionality of the general secondary education institutions principal under the influence of certain events and public requests is not an accidental phenomenon caused by the current war situation but is more a historical regularity inherent in the development of Ukrainian education from the very origins of its creation. The paper demonstrates that the list of functions and competencies defined by the professional standard “Principal of a general secondary education institution” did not cover the entire scope of processes provided by the head of the general secondary education institutions, their managerial actions in extreme situations, that is, the implementation of the crisis-resolving function, which requires appropriate training. In this regard, the results of the conducted research allow us to see that in the current situation of a full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation on the territory of sovereign Ukraine, school leaders need enhanced legal training, deepening of financial literacy, psychological and other types of support. Recommendations have been developed for bringing the training in the system of advanced training of the heads of the general secondary education institutions to new demands, caused by the need to deepen knowledge for making effective management decisions in war conditions, in particular, regarding the strengthening of the legal component of training plans; introduction of training courses with working out cases of sharing one’s own experience in solving non-intersecting issues in particular situations; preparation for work in extreme situations as a core component of the block of psychological disciplines; deepening of financial awareness in conditions of funding uncertainty; familiarization with fundraising, the need for which became acute during the war and will remain relevant in the post-war conditions of recovery of the country’s economy; the expediency of developing an innovative course to strengthen the formation of national identity, national stability, loyalty and the value field of the Ukrainian people not through the traditional transfer of knowledge about historical facts and the literary works, but through awareness of the historical mission of Ukrainians in the struggle for their right to life in an independent state.
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