Senior Leadership - Aspiring Principals Leadership Program

The Senior Leadership - Aspiring Principals Leadership Program (SL-APLP) develops the leadership capabilities of school and system leaders and helps improve student learning in our schools. Applications for Cohort 11 of the SL-APLP are now open.

About the SL-APLP

The SL-APLP is a 12-month professional learning program for aspiring principals and/or those seeking to enhance their leadership impact in their current senior leadership role.

The program is intensive, evidence-informed and action-oriented. It is for leaders who are already having an impact in schools and seek to expand their influence.

It consists of 9 leadership seminars delivered by international experts and outstanding practitioners through a blended model of face-to-face and online learning.

Participants analyse their current practice, develop new learnings and reflect on the impact of their leadership actions by leading an inquiry in their context guided by the School Leadership Institute Leadership for Learning frameworks.

Learning outcomes

Participants in the program will develop their capacity to lead school improvement by:

  • Enhancing leadership practice that impact on student learning

  • Leading collaborative inquiry to improve teaching and learning

  • Strengthening the personal and interpersonal qualities required to lead with influence


Our world-class program provides an exciting opportunity for established principals to support the leadership development of new and emerging leaders, while also enhancing their own knowledge and understanding.

Find out more about supporting program participants as a Principal Facilitator.

Participant feedback

I have recommended it to other leaders as something where, if you're considering a principalship, it really does prepare you.
It just took me to that whole next level of really knowing that I was on the right path and having the courage to really make decisions that were student-centred.
It has given me the confidence and the toolkit to really ask those questions and drive that deep thinking which is more student-centred.
Hear what some of our participants have to say about the program

ALISON: If you’re not in it, you need to be. I’ve said this to many people along the way. The workload is there, definitely. I wouldn’t deny that. However, the opportunity and the gift that you’re given in being part of this program totally outweighs any of the work that you have to put in yourself.

AVRYL: My personal experience is if you put the effort in, it is so enriching and you do find the thoughts and the ideas and the concepts that we’re covering in the readings that we do creeping into your thinking more than you ever thought possible. You stop yourself in your tracks and go, ‘Hang on a minute. What am I doing here? How am I responding to this? Is there a better way I could be doing this? So it does have that creeping effect into your daily practice and into your psyche, which is the evidence that it’s been learnt, not just taught. So I’d highly recommend this to people that was 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.

ADAM: Look, I think it is something everyone should do. I think it is invaluable. We look at leadership and often particularly I work out in rural and regional remote schools most of my career; and the fact that you don’t always have access to something as good and as high quality as this. The fact that we lead every day, whether we’re a classroom teacher or a deputy or a principal. And the fact you have the time to develop your leadership, I think is key for the future of education.

Hear what our faciliators have to say about the program

LOUISE: I would say it's a great opportunity If you've got anyone in your school who is looking to either enhance the role that they're already in or step into a principal role or a deputy principal role. It's a wonderful learning opportunity. They really get a chance to engage with high quality, you know, presenters, current expertise but most importantly they get a chance to reflect on their own learning, to build some collaborative relationships across our whole state. So you know, people right across NSW who work in very different settings. To them it's a wonderful learning opportunity for anybody as a participant and I would also encourage any principles to be thinking about how they can contribute and what they can also get from being the facilitator to be engaged with this learning.

REBECCA: My dial has gone up from 10, I'm working at about 25 at the moment. I'm enjoying reading the research. I'm feeling invigorated. I know that there's so much more that I can do. Even though that I've been in education for a long time, I am not done.

And the fact that I've actually got this as well, a little bit selfishly, not only for myself but for others just inspires me to do more and be more and to be better for my community and for my students.

PETER: I think the APLP is a really fantastic opportunity to enhance leadership in, you know, highly structured, highly researched and well-resourced framework with the support of the facilitator across a long period of time. It's not just this one off go to an event and come back as a leader. This is guided development and I would suggest it's gold class professional learning, and opportunity. Whether you end up being in a position of formal leadership and principals role or a deputy principal's role or something like that or whether you just want to explore your impact as a leader, I would recommend for anyone to jump in and to apply and to give it a go and take the feedback along the way.

NICHOLE: Amazing. I can't recommend it enough. I let my colleagues know that it is such a great opportunity to become a facilitator, but also encouraging all my aspiring leaders to become participants. Because the quality and the journey that you're on, it's intense, but it's also to the point where the quality is so good that you really get to follow a journey in a very structured way. But it also allows you autonomy to reach your leadership goals through a problem-solving process. And that in itself, with that journey that you're on, enables you to be able to identify the needs in your own leadership through self-reflection, but also have high impact in the role that you're already doing. And it's not something extra.

I think it's an outstanding opportunity for colleagues to engage in. And that notion that it takes many hands, make light work for everybody and if you're engaged in it in a program such as this, it enables us to build a stronger system with greater educational outcomes possible for young people.

Further reading

Additional information about the SL-APLP, including an application form and registration details, is available on our Leadership Resources pages (staff only).

More information

For more information, contact the School Leadership Institute at


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • School Leadership Institute
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