The Rural and Remote Leadership Development Program

The Rural and Remote Leadership Development Program is a twelve-month program for aspiring and current school leaders in rural and remote settings. The program will enhance leadership development through the delivery of rural and remote-centric learning opportunities.

The SLI recognises rural and remote schools have their own unique circumstances, which is why our program has been developed with experts in rural and remote education. It is tailored specifically to meet the needs of these school communities.

Through the core concepts of contextual leadership, pedagogical expertise, and cultural humility, participants will engage in evidence-informed leadership frameworks and student-centered leadership inquiry.

The Rural and Remote Leadership Development Program is a significant contributor to the Rural and Remote Education Strategy (2021-24).

Rural and Remote leaders

This program is for current and aspiring leaders from rural and remote schools.

Participation will involve:

  • four Leadership seminars and periodic webinars with the SLI and academic partners
  • working with appointed highly skilled mentors
  • submitting an inquiry project for validation at the conclusion of the program.

Rural and Remote principals

The Rural and Remote principal plays a critical role in the program. They will enable conditions for evidence-informed leadership learning and explore reflective practices to enhance leadership capabilities.

Participation will involve:

  • online engagement in periodic webinars and components of the leadership seminars
  • the provision of support to other program participants.


Mentors from senior leadership positions across NSW will leverage their expertise to work with a number of Rural and Remote leaders and develop relational trust to foster learning and inquiry.

Participation will involve:

  • leadership seminars and periodic webinars
  • supporting assigned Rural and Remote leaders through 1:1 support
  • residential mentoring, observation, and feedback in the school setting of program participants.

Metro leaders

Selected assistant principals, headteachers, and deputy principals from metropolitan schools will undertake professional learning that deepens their understanding of the role of community engagement and cultural humility in leadership.

Participation will involve:

  • three five-day residentials to teach and reside in a rural and remote community
  • periodic online engagement with an academic partner
  • submission of a leadership impact statement relating to the rural and remote residential experience.

Academic partners

Emeritus Professor John Halsey (Flinders University)

Professor Halsey’s expertise in contextual leadership will enhance participant understanding of content and commitment to action that informs leadership in rural and remote settings.

Dr Cam Brooks (University of Queensland)

Dr Brooks’s expertise in effective classroom teaching and learning practices will help build participants capacity to lead learning.

Key dates

July – October 2021: Phase One

  • 3-day Leadership Seminar
  • 2-day Leadership Seminar
  • Periodic webinars

November 2021 – February 2022: Phase Two

  • 3-day Leadership Seminar
  • Periodic webinars

March - June 2022: Phase Three

  • 3-day Leadership Seminar
  • Periodic webinars

June – July 2022: Evaluation

  • Project submissions and evaluations

More information

For more information visit our frequently asked questions page or email the School Leadership Institute at

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