School Leadership Institute curriculum

The School Leadership Institute offers a range of 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.

Our 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

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 will enable 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.

Leadership identification

We are developing a new School Leadership Identification Framework (SLIF) to support the identification of teacher leaders who demonstrate capabilities and behaviours which signal potential for leadership development.

The SLIF is a research-based tool that has been developed as a result of extensive input, rigorous review and validation by a range of school-based teaching staff and leaders in NSW. A pilot program will be delivered in 2021, with the framework rolled out to schools in 2022. The SLIF will align with Performance and Development Plan (PDP) requirements and processes.

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.

We are developing a new program to support formal middle leaders to continue to develop their leadership skills and capabilities. This program will complement the learning of the Aspiring Principals Leadership Program. It is planned to begin in Term 1, 2021.

Senior leadership development

Our Aspiring Principals Leadership Program is a rigorous program for deputy principals and assistant principals who are willing to commit to a challenging program to enhance their leadership impact. It also 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

Following induction, principals are invited to attend a three 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 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.

The Principal Scholarship Program provides opportunities for current principals to undertake further tertiary learning to enhance their leadership impact. Scholarships are also offered to Directors Educational Leadership (DEL).

Leadership induction

The SLI holds leadership induction conferences and online courses to support newly appointed, first time school leaders in the roles of principal, deputy principal, assistant principal and head teacher. The content of each course covers four key leadership domains.

Leading learning

This module covers the role of the leadership position and the key responsibilities in driving improvement in learning and teaching. It examines how leaders drive professional learning across their sphere of influence with support around what to lead and how to lead.

Leading self

This module explores key leadership requirements that draw on a repertoire of practices performed by school leaders. Leaders will review their current practices, recognise their strengths and focus on further opportunities for development.

Leading others

This module examines the significance of relational trust and its correlation to student success. The work of Bryk and Schneider (2003) is used to explore four attributes of trust: respect; competence, integrity and personal regard.

Leading inquiry

This module examines the process of deep inquiry to enable collaborative examination of what is happening for student, teacher and leader learning in the participant’s school. The process will support the analysis of current practice, the development of new learnings and reflection on the impact of leadership actions. The process is designed to support leadership with a student-centred focus.

Learn more about leadership induction (staff only).
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