New education program to shape next generation of school principals

UOW collaborates with Department of Education on groundbreaking leadership initiative

The University of Wollongong (UOW) will help to shape the next generation of school principals as part of a new collaboration with the NSW Government.

On Monday (12 November), Minister for Education Rob Stokes announced that UOW will be the only University in the state to host the Aspiring Principals Leadership Program, a unique initiative designed to create world-class leaders in the classroom.

The first cohort of principals began the program on Monday, for two days of intensive learning at UOW’s Sydney Business School.

Working with the Department of Education’s School Leadership Institute, UOW has begun to roll out the program, which works with teachers who are on the cusp of leadership positions to ensure they have the support and tools they need to take the next step in their careers.

Professor Sue Bennett, Head of the School of Education at UOW, said the University was thrilled to be able to play a role in guiding the goals of the emerging education leaders.

“We are really excited to be involved in this initiative and to be able to work with the incredible teachers that comprise our public school system,” Professor Bennett said.

“This program is innovative and takes a real collaborative approach. We are not telling the participants what to do. Each program is tailored to the individual’s strengths and aims to ensure they are receiving the support they need to become the leaders they want to be.

“The Aspiring Principals Leadership Program is evidence-based and draws on the research and expertise of academics at UOW, led by Dr Kylie Lipscombe, and leaders in the classroom.”

The program will work with up to 150 participants over the course of 18 months. It will be based out of UOW’s Sydney Business School, providing a central base for teachers from across the state.

The program has been developed in collaboration with the Department of Education, drawing on the expertise of current NSW principals.

Professor Bennett said the relationship with the Department of Education and with the professional associations was essential to jointly designing and developing a program that reflects the needs of the modern classroom and the future educational requirements of students.

“We know that great school leaders have a huge impact on a student’s education. Investing in leadership at every stage of a school leader’s career will improve the quality of teaching and therefore, the quality of learning taking place in the classroom,” Professor Bennett said.

“We want to ensure that school leaders have the knowledge, skills, tools, and support they need to become great leaders, to create educational environments in which both teachers and students learn and thrive.

“There is a generation of school principals who are on the verge of retirement. UOW is thrilled and excited to be part of a groundbreaking initiative that will shape the next generation of school leaders.”

In the 2018 Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching, UOW was named first in Australia for Teaching Education.

Aspiring Principals Program Launch Collage

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