Frequently asked questions

Below are questions and answers pertaining to the 'Aspiring Principals Leadership Program'.

Who can apply?

Applications were open for educators who meet the criteria, as outlined in the application, and are currently in an educational leadership position, preparing for principalship.

Was the program open to part-time executives or only full-time?

The program was open to all aspiring school leaders. However, each applicant must demonstrate their capacity to lead in accordance with the criteria laid out in the application form.

Can teaching principals apply?

Yes. Their applications were assessed in the same manner as other applications.

Could State Office staff considering principalship as their next step apply?

Yes. Their applications were assessed in the same manner as all other applications.

What form should the digital story should take? Is it a video of me talking or a series of slides, Powerpoint or photo story?

The digital story needs to speak to the core beliefs that motivate you to want to lead a public school and evidence of those beliefs. Your physical presence in the digital story would strengthen the conviction in which you articulate the moral purpose of your message. The way core beliefs are evidenced can be done in a range of ways. For more details about Digital Stories, please visit our Selection Process page.

I do not know how to upload my digital story. Where do I find out how?

For a step by step guide on uploading your digital story visit How to submit your digital story. If you require additional help, please email the School Leadership Institute at

Does the application have to be signed by the current Director, Educational Leadership?

Yes. Directors may also choose to speak with their predecessor to clarify any information.

When will the next selection process take place?

The next selection process will take place 12-22 May 2020. Applications are now open and close 28 April 2020.

How are applications assessed?

Panels of two, consisting of current and/or retired principals/directors, made recommendations to proceed to a phone or video leadership conversation interview based on written applications, digital story and referee comments. These panels conducted the leadership conversations and made recommendations to the A/Director, School Leadership Institute, regarding who should be chosen for the program.

When will I be notified if I have been accepted into the program?

Successful candidates for each cohort are notified of the outcome one week after the conclusion of the selection process.

Can I have details of the program?

The application provides you with a broad idea of what will be included in the program design together with the intended outcomes of the program. The School Leadership Institute, together with representatives of school leaders and in partnership with the University of Wollongong, co-designed the program in Term 3, 2018.

How many days will I be required to be out of my school?

The Leadership Seminar component of the program will involve participants being absent from their school for approximately 9 days over 12 months.

What form will the School Improvement Challenge take?

Participants will identify a key area they are seeking to improve in their school or educational setting. It is not expected that all projects will be conceived and completed during the lifetime of the program. However, participants will need to demonstrate that they have begun significant conceptual work and data analysis and provide a report that demonstrates impact or potential impact on student learning outcomes.

Will I be guaranteed a principal's position as a result of completing this course?

No. It is expected that a participant?s involvement in this program will build their capacity to confidently lead a school. The key outcomes of the program are identified in the application.

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