School Leadership Identification Framework

About the SLIF

The SLI has developed a School Leadership Identification Framework (SLIF) to help to identify and support future school leaders.

The SLIF is currently being piloted in 78 schools across NSW in 2021, and will be made available to all NSW public schools in Term 1, 2022.

It is a resource for teacher leaders who want to enhance their leadership impact or who aspire to move into a formal leadership role such as head teacher or assistant principal.

This framework recognises teacher leaders and provides them with the opportunity for development - through collaboration and professional learning, and by receiving quality feedback on their leadership behaviours and capabilities.

Using the SLIF, teacher leaders can work with their supervisor to develop a leadership profile and set development goals. The process includes mentoring, shadowing, and classroom observation.

The SLIF is based on extensive research, review and feedback. The SLI conducted an in-depth research project with teachers in our schools to help identify the behaviours of teacher leaders, and carried out a review of the available research and evidence on leadership identification.

The 2021 pilot program

The SLIF is being piloted in 78 schools across the state, with around 2000 teachers and school executive staff taking part.

During 2021 the SLI team will be supporting pilot schools by:

  • delivering online professional learning sessions covering key elements of the framework, such as identifying teacher leaders, effective feedback and mentoring
  • visiting some of the pilot schools in Terms 2 and 3 to provide individualised support to staff taking part, as well as begin the evaluation of the program
  • providing a suite of professional development resources that can be used by SLIF pilot schools as well as all other teaching staff in the department.

The SLI will also be conducting a research study in Terms 3 and 4, 2021, on the relative importance of leadership capabilities and behaviours. This study will help identify which capabilities and behaviours are most significant for teacher leaders, allowing the SLI to develop professional learning and resources that are impactful and relevant to the profession.

Resources for staff

As part of the pilot program, the SLI has developed a suite of resources for NSW DoE staff. These include:

  • written resources, including our literature review and research study which supported the development of the SLIF
  • SLIF samples, constructing a leadership profile supports a basis for discussion between supervisors and teacher leaders around their beliefs regarding the teacher leader’s leadership behaviours.
  • video vignettes and discussion guides, which support group and individual professional learning around a range of topics including characteristics of teacher leaders, mentoring and effective feedback.

This video gives an overview of the School Leadership Identification Framework.

Teacher leaders are classroom teachers whose sphere of influence has expanded to impact positively on the learning of students beyond their classroom, and on colleagues within their school.

They increase the leadership capacity of our school system by improving the quality of teaching and learning practices, and by building positive cultures in schools.

Importantly, teacher leaders are the formal leaders of tomorrow in NSW public schools.

That’s why the NSW School Leadership Institute has developed the School Leadership Identification Framework to guide and support teacher leaders in their leadership development.

The framework has been purpose built for NSW public schools as a result of consultation, research, review and validation by teachers and leaders across a range of different schools.

This framework recognises teacher leaders and provides them with the opportunity for development - through collaboration and professional learning, and by receiving quality feedback on their leadership behaviours and capabilities.

A teacher can self identify as a leader, or be designated as one by a supervisor.

They can then choose a mentor, who will work with them to plan their leadership goals and strategies.

Together, the mentor and teacher leader have regular meetings to discuss feedback based on observations of practice and other leadership learning activities, in order to progress towards their leadership goals.

The School Leadership Institute recognises that every school in NSW is unique and busy, so the framework is flexible and adaptable.

It can align and support existing processes, including the Performance and Development Plan, and progress towards higher formal accreditation.

We want our public education system to be one of the best in the world. The School Leadership Identification Framework will help achieve this by developing high quality teacher leaders who will lead our schools into the future.

This video provides a step-by-step explanation of how to use the SLIF.

Developing teacher leaders helps improve teaching and learning in our schools while supporting the school leaders of tomorrow.

The School Leadership Institute has developed a new resource to help identify and guide teacher leaders in their development.

The School Leadership Identification Framework (or the SLIF) can be used by future school leaders and their mentors to plan and implement a developmental process.

The SLIF cycle begins with the identification of potential future leaders. Future school leaders are teachers who are expanding their sphere of influence and show the capabilities and preparedness to become formal school leaders in the future.

A teacher can self-identify as a future school leader or be nominated by a supervisor. Together, they start the cycle by building a leadership profile which sets out teacher’s goals for development.

The next step is to decide on a leadership mentor who agrees on the goals, the timeline of development and the specific approaches to leadership learning.

These approaches can include classroom observations, shadowing and formal leadership learning programs.

Regular meetings contribute to an ongoing cycle of planning, activities, observations and feedback, which helps the teacher reach their development goals.

And it helps them prepare for their role as a future leader in our school system.

The School Leadership Identification Framework will be used in a pilot program in 2021. And it will then be available in all NSW public schools in 2022.

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