The strategy builds on our previous 2015 School Leadership Strategy (PDF 127KB), where we introduced elements such as the school leadership and management credential.

Research findings – instructional leadership

Research shows that school leaders who focus on instructional leadership have the biggest impact on student learning. The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) Learning Curve article on effective leadership found the following:

  • The most effective school leaders have a strong instructional focus – they are constantly seeking to improve teacher quality and student learning.
  • The leadership practice with the greatest impact on student outcomes is promoting and participating in teacher learning and development. This can reduce variation in teacher effectiveness within a school, reduce staff turnover and support succession planning.

Research findings – principal workload

In 2017, the department commissioned Deloitte to undertake an independent study to investigate principal workload and time use. The study found the following:

  • Principals spend a significant amount of time on activities related to management and administration, which reduces the time they have to be an instructional leader.
  • Although principals support having more authority to make decisions for their school, it increases their workload.
  • The main barriers to managing principal workload include:
    • limited training and preparation for leadership roles
    • insufficient administrative support
    • lack of access to quality support services, tools and systems.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all model of great leadership. Leadership practices are contextualised to the school.
  • Principals could better manage their workloads if department support tools and communications were better coordinated, streamlined and aligned.

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