Welcome to June 2020 newsletter.

It’s been an eventful time for everyone in the education community. At the School Leadership Institute we’ve been supporting our colleagues through the Department’s new Bushfire Relief Strategy, helping 189 school communities in the aftermath of the summer’s devastating bushfire event. We’ve also responded to the COVID-19 crisis by rolling out a series of professional learning webinars to help school leaders navigate these exceptional circumstances.

The events of 2020 are a reminder of how important effective school leadership is for students and teaching staff. Our team at the SLI is hard at work developing more high-quality learning programs and professional resources to support school leaders, and through them their students and staff.

Bushfire relief strategy

School leaders in bushfire affected communities are being offered individual coaching and professional development from the School Leadership Institute, as part of the Department of Education’s Bushfire Relief Strategy.

The SLI has teamed with BTS Spark to offer Principals and DELs at 189 schools one-to-one support through the ‘Thriving for Tomorrow’ program, which is starting this Term and will continue throughout the year. Course content includes:

  • Learning from experience
  • Building the skills to lead in uncertainty
  • Supporting others to cope with change
  • How to tailor the learning to their own school context

The one-on-one sessions will be followed up with two leadership development webinars presented by the department’s School Leadership Institute to further enhance Principals’ skills to lead their schools. Trained Principal facilitators will work with small groups to help build connections between principals facing similar circumstances.

School Principals play a leading role in our communities and have been on the ground helping rebuild after the unprecedented bushfire season. Our program will help affected Principals and DELs recover, think about the future and guide their staff and students forward.

The Department’s Bushfire Relief Strategy includes 32 initiatives to provide immediate help and long-term support for impacted schools.


The COVID-19 situation presented huge challenges to school leaders as schools pivoted rapidly and successfully to an online learning model. Principals and school leaders are continuing to navigate the public health challenges and respond to the concerns of students, parents and staff.

The SLI is supporting staff in adapting to these circumstances through a series of webinar programs held throughout Term 2.

  • Nearly 20,000 school and corporate staff took part in nine webinars we hosted with Genos International on Emotional Intelligence. Three sessions covered the topics of Boosting Your Psychological Well-being, Remote Control and Leading Remotely. Each session was held three times. These sessions and accompanying booklets are available to view on our website.
  • Our ‘In Conversation’ series hosted by Matt Church and Dr Ben Palmer has helped DELs reflect on and discuss their leadership skills, making use of the SLI’s Learning for Leadership frameworks.
  • Two sessions with Dr Simon Breakspear, ‘Leading with agility through uncertain times’ were tailored for newly appointed principals and alumni of our Aspiring Principals Leadership Program.

The SLI is also rolling out a six-week program for new principals, ‘Communicating to Lead’ with Simon Dowling.

We will continue exploring options to deliver more of our programs and professional learning online so school leaders can access our expertise and resources more flexibly.

DEL and Principal scholarship applications open

Applications are now open for the SLI’s postgraduate scholarships for DELs and Principals.

If you are enrolled, or planning to enrol, in postgraduate study in Education you can now apply for scholarships worth up to $15,000. They will help cover the cost of course fees for substantive DELs and Principals who are undertaking a Masters of Education, as well as study-related expenses for those undertaking a Doctorate degree.

Applications close on Friday 19 June.

Aspiring Principals Leadership Program update

Congratulations to the successful applicants who were recently selected to take part in our next Aspiring Principals Leadership Program. While COVID-19 has caused some delays to the face to face components of program the SLI has been busy preparing for our seminars to commence in Semester 2.

Almost 200 people have completed or are currently taking part in the APLP. The program is for staff who are already in a leadership position and are preparing to take the next step into a Principal role.

Participants take part in seminars and inter-sessional activities, and must commit to a leading a school based Leadership Inquiry.

The new participants will start their first learning experience with the SLI in February 2021. Another opportunity to apply for the 2021 cohort will take place in Semester 2 2020.

Middle leaders induction program

A new online induction program for newly appointed, first time Assistant Principals and Head Teachers will be launched by the SLI in Week 1, Term 3.

The program will comprise an introductory webinar, four e-learning modules, five seminars, and a collegial conversation session to support middle leaders who are new in their role.

This is a fantastic new resource that will deepen middle leaders’ understanding of their role and enhance their confidence and capacity to lead others. The induction will help strengthen understanding of feedback for a professional growth culture, and develop self-awareness to lead with influence.

Previous issues

Return to top of page Back to top