About the School Leadership Institute

The School Leadership Institute (SLI) was established in 2018 to provide leadership development programs and support for current and future school leaders at key points in their career. We offer world-class, evidence-informed and future-focused leadership programs so that our school leaders can focus on the learning of both teachers and students in their schools.

A video snapshot of the School Leadership Institute.

Joanne Jarvis, Director, School Leadership Institute

The School Leadership Institute supports current and aspiring school leaders at every stage of their career.

We have a range of programs and resources that help develop and support school leaders, from those starting their teaching careers, to experienced school principals.

All our programs are informed by the latest research and evidence, are future-focused, and are responsive to the needs of the profession.

Chad Tsakissiris, Principal, Dudley Public School

So the work of SLI, I think, is really around the professional learning and building those systems and networks of support for school leaders.

Joanne Jarvis

Our induction programs support newly appointed middle leaders, deputy principals and principals to gain a greater understanding of their role.

Cathy Archer, Deputy Principal, Rose Bay Secondary College

The work that I've done, certainly, with the Institute has fed back into the school. It's helped my practice, and it means I've got a more refined understanding of how to support the people I work with.

Joanne Jarvis

The FASTstream program helps up to 50 teachers and teaching graduates build their skills and experience to become school principals within 10 years.

Josh Crispin, Teacher, Wallsend South Public School

FASTstream amplifies impact. Impact on students, staff and communities. I believe the program, and all the supports and all the benefits that it entails, will allow me to learn, develop and become the teacher and leader that I aspire to be.

Joanne Jarvis

Our Middle Leadership Development Program is the largest professional learning program for assistant principals and head teachers in Australia.

Our world-class Senior Leadership - Aspiring Principals Leadership Program develops the school leaders of the future through a rigorous and intensive program of leadership seminars and learning activities.

Kelly Bryden, Principal, Hannam Vale Public School

This professional learning is that high impact professional learning that we've all been looking for. It takes you to a place in your own understanding of leadership that I don't think any other professional learning that I've done has ever taken me to.

Joanne Jarvis

We also offer the Growing Great Leaders program for new principals, and a range of other leadership development opportunities and resources for all principals … no matter how many years they’ve been in the role.

And we provide opportunities for experienced school leaders to deepen their leadership practice while contributing to the leadership growth of their peers as facilitators in our programs.

Alison Rourke, Principal Facilitator, Fairy Meadow Demonstration School

It's an interesting role because it's something that I guess we aspire to be as principals, because it's one of those positions where you get to empower other people who are looking into being in the leadership role that you love yourself.

Joanne Jarvis

The School Leadership Institute develops comprehensive packages of online resources that all NSW teachers and school leaders can access on demand.

This includes our Leadership in Focus podcast, our e-learning modules for different leadership roles, our collection of video and written resources, and our leadership frameworks.

The School Leadership Institute team is really passionate about supporting all current and future school leaders, because we know that having skilled leaders in our schools is crucial in helping students to achieve their best. You can find out more on our website.

Vision and mission

Our vision is to shape a future that enables all educational leaders to influence and impact positively on the learning of teachers and students in our public schools.

Our mission is the provision of world-class, evidence-informed, future-focused leadership development programs and initiatives to make the difference we seek in public education.

What we do

Research has shown the direct connection between school leadership, teacher professional learning and improved student outcomes. Excellence in leadership is a crucial factor in determining whether students and schools succeed. It is second only to the in-school effects of high quality teaching.

The SLI develops programs and resources to build school leadership capacity across the NSW public school system.

These include:

We also offer resources for school leaders, and research into leadership practices and drivers of leadership effectiveness.

Joanne Jarvis, Director, School Leadership Institute

Joanne Jarvis standing in front of a painting Joanne Jarvis standing in front of a painting
Image: Joanne Jarvis, Director, School Leadership Institute

Joanne Jarvis has been an active contributor to the professional learning of teachers and school leaders throughout NSW over an extensive period of time. Her leadership of professional learning in effective leadership, curriculum and formative assessment has resulted in positive evaluations across NSW.

Joanne has a strong background in curriculum development and school leadership and has been a NSW secondary school principal for 14 years. Joanne is a member of the executive of the NSW Australian Council of Educational Leadership (ACEL). She is a NSW Fellow of ACEL and in 2017, she was honoured to be conferred as a national Fellow of ACEL.

The SLI Advisory Board discusses the mission of the SLI.

Ann McIntyre

The School Leadership Institute in New South Wales was developed at a really important time.

It was a time when there was a recognition of the value of school leaders in making a difference in schools.

Making a difference in terms of teacher learning and also making a difference in terms of student learning.

And as we set about developing the programs within the School Leadership Institute, we were focused on three things.

The first was that things needed to be world class. And by world class we didn't mean scouring the world to try and find things that we wanted to superimpose on NSW schools, but rather contextually developing something that was going to be responsive to the quite unique needs of NSW public schools.

The second thing that we were mindful of was the importance of having an evidence-informed approach.

We quite intentionally use the term evidence-informed because we were wanting to focus on what we could learn that was focused on the future rather than having something that was evidence-based and focusing on something that had happened in the past and another time.

And the third point was that we needed to be future focused. We needed to make sure that we were actually developing school leaders who were going to carry the moral purpose of NSW schools to make a difference in the hearts and minds of every child in the future, knowing that there were substantial changes that were occurring in terms of the leadership roles within our schools.

Bill Louden

And what was so interesting at the beginning was we came together as a group of people during the initial planning.

Some of us knew each other and some of us didn't. And we had a white board in Bridge Street and we started writing down, what would world-class look like?

And I thought this was pretty interesting because I expected, not knowing these people, that we might have quite different ideas about what we ought to do and what really would count.

But what was very surprising to me is how quickly we settled on the same sort of characteristics. We wanted programs that took people on a journey over some length.

We wanted to select people carefully to make sure that we were working with people who are on the edge of further growth and development.

And we wanted to make sure that being in the program meant they had to do something substantial, so, hard to get into and hard to get out of.

And I think that's what we've achieved. And that's why it's having such a good effect.

Simon Breakspear

I think what was so exciting about the opportunity to have a NSW School Leadership Institute is to build something that was truly for the school leaders of NSW.

And this meant it could be built in deep partnership with the profession, with the professional associations, with the Teachers Federation coming together to say what do we want for our leaders and what do we need them to know, do and understand.

And from the very outset this has been designed in partnership with the profession and with a real focus on NSW school contexts.

Our 2200 or so schools that have unique needs and being able to start with those school needs and what those leaders are navigating within those contexts gave us, I think, a really rich insight into how to design programs that were fit for purpose in NSW.

And lastly, whilst we had learning from international research and international approaches, we needed to make sure our leaders were developing confidence and capabilities in implementing school improvement and developing teacher learning within the context of our policy architecture and our frameworks.

And so, right at the core we've been able to develop programs that allowed leaders to, yes, build their general capabilities, but be able to apply those within the NSW policy context.

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