A number of aspiring Illawarra principals went back to school this week looking to develop their leadership skills.
They were part of more than 50 experienced school executives who took part in the first Aspiring Principals Leadership program.
The program, which focuses on educational leadership rather than school administration as the heart of a principal’s role, was designed by the University of Wollongong and the NSW Government’s new School Leadership Institute.
Professor Sue Bennett, the head of UOW’s School of Education said the year-long preparation program was designed to help aspiring principals develop their leadership skills.
“It is basically designed so participants can go back into their school and design and kind of pursue a project which will develop their leadership capacity,” Prof Bennett said.
The first two-days of the program were held at the UOW Sydney Business School on Monday and Tuesday this week.
“Participants have made connections with each other and are now part of this network which have been given resources to help them develop their leadership capabilities over the next year.”
Education Minister Rob Stokes said the program will equip educators with leadership skills in core duties such as curriculum planning, student progress, teaching quality and student wellbeing.
“We know that the best school principals are those who are constantly working to lift student outcomes through improved teaching quality,” Mr Stokes said.
“This program will inspire and equip future principals to focus on the teaching capacity and strength of the schools they lead.”
The program comprises eight seminars over 12 months with one-on-one coaching, support from a trained facilitator and online learning throughout the year.
A total of 106 applicants have been identified in the first two cohorts to undertake the program.
Highly regarded principals Chris Presland and Karen Maraga will support participants in their role as principal facilitators.
The program will receive significant credit towards prior learning as a pathway towards a Master of Education (Educational Leadership) at UOW.
“I think this is a great thing for UOW to be involved in,” Prof Bennett said.
“It was great to be part of the design team which customised the program for this particular group. That has been the thing that stood out for me in this project.
“We obviously bring our educational leadership expertise to this project.
“Our team have that in depth knowledge on the ground to create this really unique program. We are excited to have started it.”