This policy is current as at 20/02/2018 12:30pm, AEDT. Please refer to policy library website (https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library) for an updated version.

Leading and Managing the School

A statement of key accountabilities for principals in the effective educational leadership and management of NSW government schools.

Introduction

This document provides direction to all officers of the New South Wales Department of Education and Training on the key accountabilities of the principal in leading and managing the school. It is based on the Role of the Principal statement and sets out accountabilities in the areas of:

  • educational leadership.
  • educational programs.
  • learning.
  • outcomes.
  • student welfare.
  • staff welfare.
  • development and management.
  • physical and financial resource management and school and community partnerships.

NSW government schools operate in a culturally diverse and changing society which has high expectations of its schools and the learning outcomes of students. Each school is part of a system committed to the principles of inclusiveness, equity, social justice, ethical practice and excellence.

The principal occupies the pivotal position in the school and is accountable for leadership and management consistent with relevant State legislation and the policies and priorities of the NSW Government. The task is complex and requires the principal to be the leading learner in the school, and a role model to staff and the community.

The principal is accountable to the Director-General for the quality of outcomes achieved by students. The principal’s accountability is exercised within the context of the community in which the school is located and the total resources allocated to the school.

Members of the school executive have special responsibilities and duties as determined by the principal for the development, implementation and evaluation of school policies and programs. Each teacher is accountable to the in-school supervisor and the principal for translating school policies and programs into suitable learning experiences for students.

The authority of the principal and responsibilities of all staff derive from the Teaching Services (Education Teaching Service) Regulation 1994 under the Teaching Services Act 1980. Of particular relevance are Section 11 Management of Schools and Section 7 Scope of Duties.

In satisfying these accountabilities the principal will have the support of the Department of Education and Training, school executive and staff as required by Section 7 of the Teaching Services (Education Teaching Service) Regulation 1994.

Educational leadership

The principal is accountable for:

  • the education and welfare of all students.
  • providing quality education for all students in accordance with the policies and
  • priorities of the NSW Government and the curriculum requirements of the Board of Studies.
  • effective teaching and learning practices throughout the school.
  • developing the school’s vision, priorities and targets which are reflected in the annual school plan.
  • translating the school’s vision, priorities and targets into explicit policies and practices.
  • developing a culture which demonstrates that learning is valued.
  • developing a culture of collaboration, in which all members of the school community contribute to the achievement of shared goals.

Educational programs

The principal is accountable for:

  • the relevance of the total school curriculum to meet individual and group needs.
  • the implementation of syllabus documents consistent with current Board of Studies and Department of Education and Training requirements in the context of the local school environment.
  • the development and implementation by all teaching staff of sequenced teaching and learning programs relevant to the current needs of all students and including anticipated learning outcomes.
  • the implementation of varied teaching and learning strategies which take into account the learning styles and needs of students.
  • evaluation of teaching and learning programs including the assessment of student outcomes.

Learning outcomes

The principal is accountable for:

  • teachers identifying the individual learning needs of students and assisting each student to maximise his or her learning outcomes.
  • evaluating student learning outcomes consistent with a documented school assessment policy.
  • reporting student achievement to parents, students, teachers and the school community.
  • analysing school-based and system-wide student assessment data which impacts upon school priorities, targets and teaching and learning programs to improve student outcomes.
  • targeting available financial, physical, human and technological resources to achieve quality learning outcomes.

Student welfare

The principal is accountable for:

  • a comprehensive student welfare and discipline policy which is regularly reviewed and which includes the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.
  • policies, programs and practices which are regularly reviewed and which promote the protection, safety, self-esteem and welfare of students.
  • addressing the welfare needs of each student in a safe, responsive and harmonious teaching and learning environment.
  • providing staff training that will promote the consistent implementation of student welfare and discipline procedures - in particular child protection.
  • practices that ensure all students are treated in accord with their special needs.

Staff welfare, development and management

The principal is accountable for:

  • promoting a collegial and co-operative culture to support team effectiveness and to encourage individual development.
  • effective communication and decision-making processes within the school.
  • informing staff of their responsibilities under Departmental procedures and guidelines including the Code of Conduct.
  • clarifying the duties of school staff and ensuring staff appropriately exercise their delegated responsibilities.
  • facilitating the professional growth of staff through the promotion of teacher efficiency in student welfare and assessment, curriculum development and evaluation, planning, classroom management and teaching skills.
  • implementing specific programs for the development of staff who experience difficulties in the performance of their duties.
  • the maintenance by all staff of documentation required in the completion of their duties
  • supervising and evaluating the implementation of teaching and learning programs and associated teaching strategies.
  • inducting staff in the requirements of policies and mandatory training procedures.

Physical and financial resource management

The principal is accountable for:

  • an annual budget and annual school financial statement.
  • plans to maximise the operation of the school within available physical and financial resources.
  • appropriate application of existing resources to identified areas of need including school buildings and grounds.
  • financial management practices which meet Departmental and legislative requirements.
  • identifying occupational health and safety issues.
  • maintaining appropriate records in accordance with Audit requirements.

School and community partnerships

The principal is accountable for:

  • providing opportunities for and promoting school community participation in developing the school’s vision statement, priorities, targets and school policies
  • maintaining open communication throughout the school community and with other government agencies
  • acknowledging the views and expectations of, and working with parents for the personal, social and educational welfare of their children
  • supporting the operation of school-based parent organisations which may involve community members
  • providing opportunities for and promoting participation of the school community in the annual school self-evaluation process and production of an annual school report
  • forming effective partnerships with the school community, business and industry where appropriate
  • promoting public education and training.

The role of the principal

Schools are established under legislation to provide education for students. The principal occupies the pivotal position in the school and must be an educational leader whose major focus is the provision of quality educational experiences and outcomes for students.

These outcomes will be realised through the effective and efficient management of the school as a total educational enterprise within the New South Wales state system of school education.

The authority, responsibility and accountability of school principals are derived from the relevant state educational and financial legislation and the stated policies and priorities of the Government.  Principals are accountable through the cluster director and assistant director- general, to the Director-General of School Education.

Major areas of accountability

Ensure that the education and welfare of all students have the highest priority in the operation of the school.

Provide high quality education for all students in accordance with the priorities of the NSW Department of School Education and the curriculum m c requirements of the Board of Studies.

The accountabilities will be realised by:

  • developing procedures for the review and improvement of quality educational outcomes for students.
  • managing the curriculum and organisation of the school to provide for the needs of all students.
  • addressing the welfare needs of students and staff including the establishment of a safe and harmonious work environment.
  • establishing effective decision-making and communication procedures with the school.
  • promoting effective parent, staff, student and community participation in the school including the establishment and support of a school council.
  • developing management and strategic plans for the school in consultation wit the school community.
  • establishing effective personnel practices incorporating appropriate EEO principals and performance management.
  • managing the school resources effectively and efficiently.
  • promoting the work and achievements of the school to the wider community.

Author - Ken Boston, Director-General of School Education. July, 1992

Provide educational leadership and develop

  • a vision for the school.
  • in consultation with the school community.
  • provide effective communication.

APPENDIX 1

The role of the principal between the school and support of a school.

Schools are established under legislation to provide education for students. The principal occupies the pivotal position in school community and must be an educational leader whose major focus is the provision of quality educational experiences outcomes for students.

These outcomes will be realised  through the effective and and efficient management of the school as a total enterprise within the New South Wales state system of school education.

The authority, responsibility and accountability of school principals are derived from the relevant state educational and financial legislation and the stated policies and priorities of  the Government. Principals are accountable through the cluster director and assistant director-general, to the Director-General of School Education. educational outcomes Education

Major areas of accountability

  • ensure that the education and welfare of all students have the highest priority in the operation of the school.
  • provide high quality education for all students in accordance with the priorities of the NSW Department of School Education and the curriculum establishing requirements of the Board of Studies.
  • provide educational leadership and develop a vision for the school in consultation with the school community.
  • provide effective communication  between the school and the community and
  • manage the school in an effective, efficient and equitable way within available resources and with the relevant legal and policy framework.

The accountabilities will be realised by

  • developing procedures for the review and improvement of quality education outcomes for students.
  • managing the curriculum and organisation of the school to provide for the needs of all students.
  • addressing the welfare needs of students and staff including the establishment of a safe and harmonious work environment.
  • establishing effective decision-marking and communication procedures with the school.
  • promoting effective parent, staff, student and community participation in the school including the establishment and support of a school council.
  • developing management and strategic plans for the school in consultation with the school council and school community.
  • establishing effective personnel practices incorporating appropriate EEO principles and performance management.
  • managing the school resources effectively and efficiently.
  • promoting the work and achievements of the school to the wider community.

APPENDIX 2

Excerpts from the Teaching Services (Education Teaching Service) Regulation 1994 under the Teaching Services Act 1980.

Section 7 Scope of duties

In addition to performing the specific duties attached to the position to which a member of staff is appointed, a member of staff:

(a) must participate actively in all of the corporate interests of the school, school department or establishment in which the member is employed; and

(b) must undertake such other duties as may be assigned to the member by the person in charge of that school, school department or establishment.

Section 11 Management of Schools

(1) A member of staff who is in charge of a school, school department or establishment must manage the school, school department or establishment in a proper, efficient and economic manner.

(2) The obligations imposed by subclause (1) include the following:

(a) having well-stated policies and plans of action, clearly defined goals, a balanced, sequential and appropriate curriculum and suitable mechanisms for supervision, evaluation and documentation that ensure co-ordination of all school activities, continuity of policy and good communication;

(b) encouraging and assisting the professional development of members of staff without discrimination, as required by the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977;

(c) making effective and economic use of resources;

(d) ensuring discipline;

(e) encouraging members of staff to submit suggestions for increasing the efficiency of staff;

(f) training members of staff and providing opportunities and facilities for them to improve themselves in matters connected with their official duties:

(i) by attendance at courses organised by or for the school, school department or establishment; and (ii) by attendance at suitable lectures and courses at tertiary institutions.

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