Recommendations and our response

Develop an operational definition of formal middle leadership in NSW public schools.
  • The SLI has developed a draft role description for middle leaders and will consult with the profession and key stakeholders before it is released
  • The department has recently consulted on a new Assistant Principal Curriculum and Instruction role description.
Design a framework and accompanying guidelines for principals to develop localised role descriptions for formal middle leaders in their schools.

This recommendation is not supported by the department to ensure there is consistency in practice across our schools.

Increased inclusion and support for middle leaders in reform and policy contribution, influence and enactment.

This recommendation will be considered by the department as new policies and practices are introduced in the future.

Identify potential middle leaders and help prepare them for future middle leadership roles.

This work is underway with the SLI’s School Leadership Identification Framework (SLIF), which will provide resources to schools to support this process.

Implement purposeful professional learning strategies to support system, school and individual experiences, contexts and needs.

The new Middle Leadership Development Program (MLDP) will start in 2022 and has been specifically tailored to address the professional learning and development needs of assistant principals and head teachers.

Development and support for the use of evidence informed and student-centred teacher collaborative processes as a vehicle to support teacher development and improvement.
  • The MLDP enables teacher collaborative processes through deliberate design principles that support theory and practice.
  • The SLI middle leader induction program incorporates as one of 4 core themes, the topic of ‘Leading Teams’ where evidence informed, student-centred teacher collaborative processes to support teacher development and improvement are examined through both online learning modules and live workshops.
  • The SLI provides ongoing informal opportunities for collaboration through the Yammer statewide staffroom for middle leaders.
Development and support for personalised and localised induction and mentoring for new formal middle leaders.

The SLI runs 2 Middle Leader Induction programs each year ,which includes self-paced online learning and a 2-day conference.

Provide opportunities for middle leader networking.
  • The new MLDP will provide structured networking opportunities for middle leaders across NSW. Leaders will be connected to others in their network to foster supportive working relationships.
  • All middle leaders who participate in SLI programs are invited to join the Middle Leader Statewide Staffroom Yammer group.
Professional learning for leadership partnerships.
  • The MLDP includes a focus on distributed leadership – enabling middle leaders to directly influence student learning outcomes through increased capacity.
  • A companion resource document will be included alongside the new role description.
Inclusion of social-emotional leadership professional learning support for formal middle leaders.

Understanding and knowledge of Emotional and Social Intelligence are embedded in the MLDP and other SLI programs available to middle leaders.

More information

For more information, contact the School Leadership Institute at


  • Teaching and learning


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  • School Leadership Institute
  • Teaching and learning
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