Bushfire relief strategy

As part of the Department of Education's Bushfire Relief Strategy, the SLI has developed a program of tailored leadership development professional learning for principals and DELs of bushfire-affected schools.

Principals and DELs have the opportunity to engage in six individual coaching sessions, designed for leaders who have been through a stressful leadership experience. The program helps leaders reflect on their experience, optimise learning and further develop their emotional intelligence skills so they can lead their school communities to recover and thrive.

The SLI also held two leadership development webinars to all principals and DELs of bushfire-affected schools covering leadership thinking and behaviours. in the SLI leadership frameworks. This information will help principals as they lead their communities into the future.

Following these sessions trained Principal Facilitators will be providing support to small groups of principals engaging in conversations about the application of frameworks to their leadership and school planning processes, and strengthening networks between bushfire affected schools.

The DoE Bushfire Relief Strategy is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to help communities devastated by the 2019/20 fires recover and regenerate.

Time to reflect and learn: how Thriving for Tomorrow has helped three school principals

A school Principal standing with eleven students from her school
Image: Wallerawang Public School Principal Jenny Lamborn has found the Thriving for Tomorrow coaching program very helpful in her role as a leader of her school.

The Thriving for Tomorrow coaching program through BTS Spark draws upon principals’ recent experiences and develops their leadership capacities.

Three principals who are taking part in the coaching program share their insights on how it is helping them lead their school communities through such times of crisis.

Wallerawang Public School Principal Jenny Lamborn said she saw the coaching program as an opportunity for her to build on her capacity as a leader and reflect on her leadership during the bushfire disaster.

“A crucial part of this is the time it allows you to reflect,’’ Mrs Lamborn said.

“I believe through the reflection, it will give me insight as a leader to continue to lead and manage the school knowing my own strengths and capabilities, as I work alongside others to build their capacity and improve opportunities and outcomes for students.

“It gives me insight into myself as a leader, what I need to continue to actually do, how I can support others in their capabilities, as I continue to look at our core business which is the students in the school.”

Bilpin Public School Principal Melanie Mackie said it has been great for her as she has been involved in a lot of discussions at her school, and feels that when you are providing a lot of emotional support to others you tend to forget about yourself.

“The sessions being one on one, and being with someone who you don’t know, but is trained in the practice of coaching, has allowed me to speak freely,’’ Mrs Mackie said.

“I think we have developed a good relationship and that has been really helpful to feel comfortable and positive and know that there is no judgement.

“I can share to the point I need, to help me do some things differently or look at things with a different pair of eyes.”

Narooma High School Principal Fiona Jackson said she found the coaching sessions provided her with good tools to use as a school leader.

“It has worked really well around me and my time, but it has worked well for the school because they all know I am using the coaching sessions and they know it is going to benefit them,’’ she said.

“I strongly believe, if I’m in a good place, my staff is in a good place, the kids will be in a good place. It is really important that I am showing students and staff that I need time for my journey as well,’’ Mrs Jackson said.

“I would totally recommend other principals get involved in these sessions.”

Principals and Directors, Educational Leadership are still able to participate in the program of six individual coaching sessions through BTS Spark. Click here to register while signed into your DoE account.

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