About the School Leadership Institute

The School Leadership Institute (SLI) provides leadership development programs, resources, and support for current and future NSW public school leaders.

Our work promotes and supports the DoE Plan for Public Education focus areas, in particular strengthening trust and respect for the teaching profession and delivering outstanding leadership, teaching and learning.

Department of Education staff can access the SLI intranet pages for information about our programs, links to our resources and registration details for events.

A video snapshot of the School Leadership Institute.

I'd highly recommend this to people that want to get in touch with the kind of leaders they are, who they want to be, and to do it in the very safest and best hands.

I applied for the FASTstream program because I have an unwavering belief in the power of public education.

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

I applied for the program essentially because I want to become a better leader. I've spoken to a couple of colleagues that have been through the program. They spoke so highly of it and they've actually both become permanent principals now as a result.

I would really encourage my colleagues to become, you know, heavily involved with the School Leadership Institute. It can be done in so many effective ways, as has been my experience. Whether it be through conferences, professional learning, network meetings, or simply the individuals in which you help encourage, take up some of the leadership opportunities that, from beginning teacher through to experienced principal, help to further their skills and help them to become more effective in what they do.

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.

Vision and mission

Our vision is to enhance the capabilities of all educational leaders in NSW public schools, so they have the greatest impact on teacher and student learning.

Our mission is to provide world-class, evidence-informed, future-focused leadership development programs and resources to support school leaders at every stage of their career.

Why supporting school leaders is important

Every parent wants to know their child’s school has a great leader. The SLI works to ensure all school leaders can continue to lead their school communities with confidence and strong moral purpose. 

Excellence in principalship is the second biggest in-school influence on student achievement after excellence in teaching. Having a great school leader inspires better, more effective teaching and in turn improves student outcomes in each school and across the system. 

All our programs are evolving, responsive to the needs of the profession, and delivered through a mix of in-person and online learning.

Our work has lasting impact in every classroom and across the system.

Teacher leaders

Teacher leaders are classroom teachers whose sphere of influence has expanded to impact positively on the learning of students beyond their classroom, and on colleagues within their school.

They increase the leadership capacity of our school system by improving the quality of teaching and learning practices, and by building positive cultures in schools. Importantly, teacher leaders are the formal leaders of tomorrow in NSW public schools.

The SLI plays a vital role in identifying and developing future leaders through our range of resources, professional learning opportunities and systemwide support.

Our School Leadership Identification Framework (SLIF) helps identify teacher leaders who may be ready to move into a formal leadership role, and includes a suite of resources and professional learning opportunities to guide teacher leaders and their mentors through a development cycle.

This work ensures that schools and students will continue to benefit from effective and impactful school leadership into the future.

Find out more about our support for teacher leaders (staff only.)

Middle leaders

Middle leaders – assistant principals and head teachers – play a crucial role in teaching and learning in NSW public schools. They have a direct impact on teaching and learning, manage teams and influence student outcomes within and beyond their classrooms.

Middle leaders support the principal and school staff in preparing young people for rewarding lives, by maximising the learning, wellbeing and progress of every student, every year. They inspire and motivate children and young people, staff and the wider school community.

We support middle leaders in every school through a range of resources and programs including:

  • the Middle Leader Induction program (MLI)
  • the Middle Leadership Development Program (MLDP)
  • our suite of Middle Leader Resources available to all assistant principals and head teachers.

Find out more about our support for middle leaders (staff only)

Senior leaders

Senior leaders - including deputy principals and experienced assistant principals - promote a school’s strategic vision, aligned to the department’s priorities, and develop a positive school culture in partnership with the principal, staff and the school community.

Our support includes:

  • an annual Deputy Principal Induction Conference (DPIC) to provide newly-appointed deputy principals with an orientation into their role
  • the Deputy Principal Role Description and accompanying Companion Resource
  • the Senior Leadership - Aspiring Principals Leadership Program (SL-APLP) for leaders who are already having an impact and are ready to expand their influence or aspire to be a principal.

Find out more about our support for senior leaders (staff only)


Principals play a vital role in leading their schools. They guide staff development, support student improvement, and lead engagement with the community.

The SLI offers a range of world-class professional development opportunities, and support for all NSW public school principals, at every stage of their career, to help them successfully enact their role.

These include an induction conference for new principals so they can start their new role with confidence. We also offer longer development programs for new principals, and a range of learning opportunities and on-demand resources for all principals throughout the year.

We offer:

  • a Principal Induction Conference (PIC) held twice a year to give newly-appointed principals an orientation into the role
  • the Principal Role Description and accompanying Companion Resource
  • Growing Great Leaders (GGL), our program for newly-appointed principals to help them develop their leadership skills
  • the Principal Leadership Learning Program for all principals
  • the Principal Leadership Learning Resource, a world-class on-demand resource that principals can use to strengthen their leadership
  • Scholarships for School Leaders.

Find out more about our support for principals (staff only).

Evaluating our programs

The SLI's evaluation methods measure the outcomes of leadership programs and the impact on the NSW public school system. We are committed to thorough, evidence-informed reviews of our programs to help continually improve them.

Find out more about the SLI Evaluation Strategy (staff only)


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