School Leadership Development Strategy

School leaders play a vital role in providing every student in NSW public schools with a great education and the best start in life. They have a significant impact on classroom results, guide teacher development, and lead engagement with their school community.

About the strategy

The School Leadership Development Strategy (SLDS) was released in December 2021 and outlines how we will continue to build great leadership across the NSW public system.

The strategy sets out how the School Leadership Institute (SLI) will invest in school leaders and support their growth at every stage of their career through a range of professional development programs and resources.

We know how important leadership is in improving results. We are committed to giving our current and future leaders the world-class, future-focused leadership development programs and tools they need to continue their great work in our schools.

The strategy builds on the work already achieved by the SLI under the previous School Leadership Strategy, and increases the number of leadership development offerings available to DoE staff.

The strategy builds on the success of the SLI since it was established in 2018 and commits the department to continuing our range of leadership development programs and resources already in place, including:

  • The Senior Leadership – Aspiring Principals Leadership Program
  • Induction for school leaders
  • Growing Great Leaders
  • Scholarships for School Leaders
  • The NSW Public School Leadership and Management Credential.

Key elements of the strategy

A range of new offerings will be delivered by the SLI to build on the success of the former strategy and increase the level of support available to current and future leaders in our schools.

A range of new offerings is being delivered by the SLI under the strategy to increase the level of support available to current and future leaders in our schools.

Identifying leaders

Our FASTstream program identifies and supports up to 50 teachers each year to accelerate their careers as school leaders.

Participants receive support, mentoring and professional development opportunities from the SLI, helping them to become skilled educational leaders and ready for principalship within 10 years.

The School Leadership Identification Framework (SLIF) helps identify and develop future school leaders through mentoring, career planning and tailored professional learning. It includes a comprehensive set of resources as well as tailored professional learning opportunities for teacher leaders.

Supporting middle leaders

As part of the SLDS we have developed a comprehensive range of programs and resource to support assistant principals and head teachers. These include the Middle Leadership Development Program, the Middle Leader Induction program, the first Middle Leader Role Description, and a new range of online self-paced professional learning resources through the Middle Leadership Hub.


Current school principals, from early career to experienced, now have access to a world-class professional development tool through the Principal Leadership Learning Resource (PLL Resource), which was released in 2022.

The SLI has also developed a Principal Leadership Learning program featuring webinars and guided discussion sessions with educational and leadership experts.

Other elements of the strategy

The SLI’s Development Continuum and Leadership for Learning Frameworks are also central to the strategy.

The continuum sets out the development pathway and key stages for school leaders. The 3 frameworks provide a tool for current and aspiring school leaders to help them develop their leadership behaviours and actions.

Other elements of the strategy include:

  • a commitment to continue to build system leadership by offering opportunities for experienced school leaders to collaborate and influence the learning of others by contributing to our key programs and initiatives.
  • ongoing research into leadership practices with the SLI continuing to work with key educational researchers to commission formal research
  • building the SLI’s current suite of resources available for all Education staff.

Further reading

Additional information on the School Leadership Development Strategy is available on our Leadership Resources pages (available to staff only).

More information

For more information, contact the School Leadership Institute at

Return to top of page Back to top