School Leadership Institute curriculum

The School Leadership Institute offers programs to develop school leaders at every stage of their career. Participants in our programs receive tailored, focused and relevant professional learning that makes a tangible difference in schools.

About the SLI Development Continuum

The School Leadership Institute's programs are based on our vision and mission statement.

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.

The SLI Development Continuum underpins all our programs. It articulates opportunities for leadership learning through interrelated career stages. At each stage the learning focus is on developing skills, capabilities and mindsets to enhance leadership impact.

This enables leaders to expand their sphere of leadership influence on the learning of teachers and students within and across NSW public schools. The continuum also identifies key transition points for teachers and school leaders into broader leadership roles.

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

The SLI Overview of Programs 2022 sets out the focus areas and learning outcomes for each of our offerings.

Leadership identification

The School Leadership Identification Framework (SLIF) supports the identification of teacher leaders who demonstrate capabilities and behaviours, which signal potential for leadership development. The SLIF is a research-based tool developed following extensive input, rigorous review and validation by a school-based teaching staff and leaders in NSW. The SLIF aligns with Performance and Development Plan (PDP) requirements and processes.

FASTstream is a program designed to identify and support teachers and teaching graduates to fast track their careers as school leaders. Participants receive support, mentoring and professional development opportunities from the SLI, guiding them to become skilled educational leaders and ready for principalship within 10 years (via the normal merit selection process).

Middle leaders

Middle school leaders - assistant principals and head teachers - play a significant role to enact the school vision and lead excellence in teaching practices. They help to translate and implement the vision of the school to impact student learning outcomes.

The Middle Leadership Development Program (MLDP) supports formal middle leaders to continue to develop their leadership skills and capabilities.

Senior leadership development

Our Senior Leadership - Aspiring Principals Leadership Program (SL-APLP) is a rigorous professional learning program for aspiring principals and/or those seeking to enhance their leadership impact. It supports school leaders to be confident and ready to become a principal.

An Alumni program encourages and supports participants to continue to learn together through a range of rich experiences that build the foundation of strong collaborative networks between colleagues across the system.

Principal development

Newly appointed principals

As part of their induction, principals are invited to attend a 3-day residential conference provided by the SLI, where they engage with world recognised educational leaders to build their understanding of the complex work of school improvement.

Our Growing Great Leaders (GGL) program offered to newly appointed principals, supports the development of deep knowledge about the theoretical components of leading teaching and learning. Principals strengthen their practice by learning key leadership skills, and applying them to current leadership challenges.


We offer opportunities to engage with national and international academics on high level leadership concepts through our Principal Leadership Learning Program and our Learning Resource for Principals.

The Scholarship for School Leaders program supports principals, Directors Educational Leadership (DELs) and SL-APLP Alumni to undertake postgraduate or higher degree study to lead improvement in student learning.

Leadership induction

The SLI hosts leadership induction conferences and online courses to support newly appointed, first time school leaders in the roles of principal, deputy principal and middle leader (assistant principal and head teacher).

Further reading

Additional information is available on our Leadership Resources pages (staff only).

More information

For more information, contact the School Leadership Institute at

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