Middle Leaders

Middle leaders – assistant principals and head teachers – play a crucial role in teaching and learning in NSW public schools. They have a direct impact on teaching and learning, manage teams and influence student outcomes within and beyond their classrooms.

Middle leaders support the principal and school staff in preparing young people for rewarding lives, by maximising the learning, wellbeing and progress of every student, every year. They inspire and motivate children and young people, staff and the wider school community.

Assistant principals and head teachers are part of the school executive team. Their responsibilities vary between schools and within schools across NSW, reflecting local contexts.

Programs and resources

The department is committed to supporting the identification, development and leadership growth of assistant principals and head teachers. There are a range of opportunities and resources available for middle leaders. These include:

  • Middle Leader Induction, which is offered twice a year for newly appointed assistant principals and head teachers.
  • The Middle Leadership Development Program is the largest professional learning program in Australia for assistant principals and head teachers. The program builds leadership excellence and helps lift learning outcomes across NSW public schools.

The School Leadership Institute has released a comprehensive research report into the role of middle leaders in NSW public schools. This is the largest research project into the professional development needs of assistant principals and head teachers in Australia.


  • Professional learning
  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • School Leadership Institute
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