Department of Education

School leaders

The quality of teaching and learning in schools is primarily in the hands of those who lead our schools.

There are a range of leadership roles located in our schools.  Commonly, primary and special education schools have principal and deputy principal positions, and secondary schools have principal, deputy principal, head of learning area and/or program co-ordinators.

The Director General’s public school leadership statement sets out the expectations of public school leaders and the commitment of the public education system to develop and support them.

The Leadership Institute offers aspirant school leaders a range of programs to develop their skills and knowledge, and prepare them to apply for school leadership positions.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leaders have developed the Australian Professional Standard for Principals.  This public statement sets out what principals are expected to know, understand and do to achieve in their work.

All appointees to Principal positions, who have not completed six months or more in a WA public school principal role prior to January 2015, are required to satisfactorily complete the Principal Eligibility Modules.  The Principal Eligibility Modules are completed online via the portal (professional learning) and must be finalised within six months of commencement in a principal role.

School leader positions

Classification School Type
Level 3 Principal Primary Schools with less than 100 students
Education Support schools with less than 40 students
Level 4 Principal Primary schools with 100 to 300 students
Education Support schools with 40 to 80 students
Agricultural schools/colleges with 40 to 80 students
Level 5 Principal Primary schools with 301 to 700 students
District High schools with 150 to 450 students
Education Support schools with more than 80 students
Agricultural colleges with more than 80 students
Level 6 Principal Senior High schools and senior colleges
Primary schools with more than 700 students
Distance Education Centres

School principals are responsible for selecting their school staffing profile and can elect to appoint to their profile a range of Level 3 to Level 5 leadership positions.  Leadership positions include:

Deputy Principal
Associate Principal
Vice Principal
Head of Learning Area
Head of Department
Program Co-ordinator

Information on how to apply for a school leadership position can be found here.



School Leaders

All contents copyright Government of Western Australia, unless otherwise stated.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this site may contain images of people who are deceased.

Copyright material available on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence
Exclusions may apply: