New principals on course for leadership success

More than 100 newly appointed principals from public schools across the state are attending an intensive three-day induction conference in Sydney this week.

24 February 2020
James Nobbs with group of students
Image: James Nobbs with Taren Point Public School students. . . natural progression from classroom to leadership.

Mark Scott, Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, congratulated the principals on their appointment as the head of a NSW public school.

"It takes a lot of commitment, hard work and dedication to be a principal and I congratulate them on attaining this honourable position," Mr Scott said.

The induction conference, run by the Department's School Leadership Institute, aims to give principals the tools they need to make a positive impact on their school.

"They will participate in 60 presentations and workshops covering everything from leadership mindsets, management skills, financial planning and the improvement of teaching quality," Mr Scott said.

"The first time principals will also have the opportunity to meet the coaches who will mentor them throughout their early years as a principal.

"It's about equipping our new principals with the tools, skills and confidence needed to lead their school community on a journey of continued improvement," he said.

Meet the principals

James Nobbs from Sydney's Sutherland Shire stepped into the role as principal at Taren Point Public School after working towards this position for the past five years.

"It's that natural progression of going from being in charge of a classroom, then looking after a stage as assistant principal and now having the chance to make a bigger impact across the whole school," Mr Nobbs said.

"However, as much as I think I've got my head around this, I'm sure there are going to be a lot of surprises.

"I've had a lot of mentors along the way who have been fantastic in working with me and developing my skills - I feel good about having them in my corner."

Beck Halls is the new principal at Holman Place School in Cowra and says working with students with special needs brought her "so much joy" and allowed her to be an advocate for students who might not otherwise have a voice.

She said the school had begun introducing some changes throughout last year and now as the full-time principal she was looking forward to implementing them.

"We've got very passionate people here and everyone has high expectations of not only themselves, but in delivering opportunities for our kids," she said.

Mrs Halls said taking on a principal's role was a big responsibility but "I enjoy what I do so it never feels onerous".

Group of people standing in front of a swimming pool
Image: Kirsty Kelly, far left, with staff and students . . . I love teaching others what I learn.

Kirsty Kelly, the principal-teacher at Afterlee Public School, travelled from northern NSW to attend the induction.

With just 10 students at the school, including her youngest daughter, Mrs Kelly said she was looking forward to developing a close connection to the community and understanding what the school's and students' need were.

"I've always been very interested in learning and I love teaching others what I learn," Mrs Kelly said.

"Being able to drive change, in consultation with the community, where I think it's needed is an exciting prospect."

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