Department of Education

Leadership InstitutePrincipals ‹ Principal's Professional Learning

Principal's Professional Learning

Being a leader of a public school demands particularly sophisticated understandings and skills. Each school leader has a clear responsibility and allegiance to the school they lead; and to maximise opportunities for their students to be successful.

Principals advocate for the school and are expected to respond with local educational solutions to the aspirations and demands of parents and the wider school community. In itself, this is a complex and demanding leadership challenge.

The Leadership Institute provides high level professional learning for principals through all career stages to strengthen school leadership and teacher effectiveness and to ensure high quality school education for every child.

Cover image of female principal and three students in playground

Download the Principal
Programs 2019 booklet

New in 2019

Launch: Newly Appointed Principal Program

Launch mentor and mentees sitting round table

    Multi-faceted program


Launch: Newly Appointed Principal Program is intended for leaders in their first three years of principalship. It has been designed to fast-track the learning curve for newly appointed principals, with significant input from new and experienced principals, as well as the Department’s Leadership Strategy and recommendations from AITSL’s Leading with Impact.

The program contains three distinct parts to reflect the complexity of the role, but also interlink with each other to support all aspects and challenges of the role:

  1. Launch: Newly Appointed Principal Program
  2. Leading the management of your school
  3. Mentoring and coaching support

A core aim of Launch: Newly Appointed Principal Program is to develop participants’ personal and interpersonal skills to more effectively engage with staff and community members in positive ways, that help lead quality instruction and change.  The program is targeted at newly appointed principals in their first principal appointment or with a contract of 6 months or longer.



Leading School Improvement Leading School Improvement
in a Small School

Leading School Improvement
in a Special Education Need Context
Leading School Improvement:
Making It Happen Master Class
Graduate Certficate
of Education Business Leadership

Principal smiling and speaking with three young students

    Four-day spaced program

This program is designed for members of the school leadership team. Participants will gain insights into how to approach whole school planning to achieve the best results possible for students. They will explore their current school environment to help determine a starting point for improvement.

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Teacher looking over shoulders of two students

    Four-day spaced program

Level 3 or 4 principals have the opportunity to develop their skills in leading whole school improvement and building on their current practice in a small school. Participants reflect on their current practice, develop plans for their school context and learn to maximise resources and expertise within their school to have a positive effect in the classroom.

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Teacher and student working together

    Four-day spaced program

This program is designed for principals and the leadership team in a special education need setting. A goal of this program is to help build a cohesive, high-functioning team that will have a positive effect on the school. Attention is paid to planning for improvement in the special education need context with opportunities to consider current practice in identifying and monitoring longitudinal improvement.

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Vic Zbar alongside three participants from his masterclass

    Two-day program

This program is for school leaders who have completed one of the Institute’s Leading School Improvement programs. Participants have the opportunity to learn about the three stages of whole school improvement and complete a self-assessment to fully understand their school’s stage of development, where it needs to head and how.

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     Deakin Uni logo on university wall

     Post-graduate qualification
     $2400 per unit

This qualification is offered in partnership with Deakin University. It is suitable for anyone managing the business of education, including principals, deputy principals and managers corporate services. It is designed to help participants lead diverse teams, adapt to change and work collaboratively to achieve improved governance and business outcomes in the workplace.

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Introduction to Instructional Leadership
Action Research to Support Instruction
Resilience in the Workplace

Introduction to Leadership Coaching
Mindful Leaders

Geoff Mills in Leadership Institute gardens

    Two-day program

This program will give you the opportunity to self-assess your school’s level of collective efficacy and identify how to capitalise on school strengths and lead improvement and change. You will be able to benchmark your school to the McKinsey performance trajectory and develop a strategic plan for improvement and innovation. Dr Geoffrey E Mills, Emeritus Professor of Education, Southern Oregon University, will examine strengths-based leadership and leadership for team learning, leading from your personal why and mindsets and mind frames.

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Teacher working over a desk with students

    Half-day program

Dr. Geoffrey E Mills is a leading expert in the field of action research and is the author of Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher (6th edition, 2018, published by Pearson). Dr Mills will introduce you to reflective practice and how it can be used to drive school-wide he will introduce you to reflective practice and how it can be used to drive school-wide instructional improvement.

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Paul Salmon in a checked shirt

    One-day program

This program encourages you to reflect on your personal practises - where you are currently thriving and where you have opportunities for growth. It is intended that you will come away highly motivated and inspired to apply practical tools to master stress and go beyond coping to thrive. This one-day program includes access to the Resilience Diagnostic tool (with pre-and post-assessments).

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Principal speaking to staff member in his office

    ​Two-day program

A coaching approach can be used in a brief, informal setting or a formal performance management situation. This program provides the skills and confidence to apply coaching approaches to managing others using the GROWTH coaching model.

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Smiling woman with rushed background

    Ten-week program

This program introduces concepts of mindfulness and mental effectiveness for school leaders and explores how simple, but powerful mindfulness techniques can radically transform leadership capabilities. This internationally recognised program explores how leaders can better focus their time and effort on practices that have the biggest impact, ultimately leading to better decision making and improved student outcomes.

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Verbal Judo for Individuals
Verbal Judo for Leaders Growing Effective Teams
Peer Coaching:
Positive Conversations About Teaching Practice
Instructional Coaching:
Leading the Impact Cycle

Verbal Judo facilitator in front of class

    One-day program

This program is for anyone who has direct contact with students, parents, work colleagues and the community in emotionally charged and difficult situations. It gives participants the advantage of knowing what to say, how to say it and why it works.

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Verbal Judo facilitator in front of class

    Two-day program

This program includes all of the one-day Verbal Judo for Individuals content, as well as advanced material that will assist in the often difficult role of overseeing the performance of others. The program shows participants how to get the best from their team by the effective use of their professional presence and words.

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Three work colleagues in discussion

    Two-day program

This program is for leaders who need to develop a common purpose among team members. It uses a questioning approach and is designed to help encourage team members to take ownership of the shared priorities and explores how leaders can have the rigorous, open dialogue with different personality types.

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Two teachers working together at a desk

    Online module and one-day program

Peer coaching is a learning conversation between two or more colleagues. This confidential process enables participants to reflect on current practice, share ideas, set professional goals, teach one another, build new skills and solve problems. The program provides an introduction to peer coaching and the GROWTH coaching model.

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group shot of school leadership team

    Two-day program

This two-day program is designed around the key themes of Dr Jim Knight’s 2018 book, The Impact Cycle: What Instructional Coaches Should Do to Foster Powerful Improvements in Teaching. Dr Knight has spent more than two decades studying instructional coaching and professional learning. The aim of this program is to support educators in establishing coaching cycles that are targeted and aligned to identified pedagogical practices in schools.


Leading Classroom Observation and Feedback Leading a Culture of
Whole School Self-Assessment

Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework:
Leading a Culturally Responsive School
Coaching on Demand Interview with Impact:
First Impressions Count

Female principal smiling and meeting with school physical education teacher

    One-day program

This program is for school leaders focused on improving teaching and learning at a whole school level. It explores models for classroom observation and puts emphasis on the importance of leadership to drive whole school improvement. Participants will examine the characteristics of effective feedback and learn how to utilise feedback to drive improved practice. 

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Group of teachers talking together in staff room

    One-day program

The program supports school leadership teams to develop and foster a culture of whole school self-assessment to support the school improvement cycle.  You will have the opportunity to investigate effective whole school self-assessment processes, strengthen capacity to systematically and continuously reflect on efforts to improve student achievement. 

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School principal and Aboriginal students and staff member in WA's north

    One-day program

This program aims to provide an increased appreciation and understanding of the key messages of the Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your approaches and gain practical insights into how to lead implementation of the Framework. School leaders have an important role in driving change and supporting all staff to understand and reflect on the Framework and to use the Framework for whole school improvement planning.

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Principal in front of his school

    Institute service

The Institute offers professional coaching that supports, challenges and empowers. It seeks to raise standards of performance, enabling you to become an effective leader in a time of change. The Leadership Institute has established a Buyers Guide: Provision of Coaching and Training Services to offer you access to a coach on demand.

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 Presenter with hands on hips in front of slide show presentation

    Two-hour workshop

This workshop teaches participants about what happens to their body and brain as they feel interview stress, and provides the opportunity to learn and practice simple techniques to quell the physiological effects of stress that affects their performance.

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Application Writing and Interview Skills
for School Leaders

Email and Workflow Mastery

Leading the Management of Critical Incidents

Scholarship opportunity
The Mind of the Leader

Woman working at a laptop

    One-day program

This program provides the opportunity to refine written application skills and build on that foundation to shape and improve interview performance in the range of situations job candidates can experience. This workshop is for principals and current school leaders applying for principal positions.

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 Laptop with coffee cup being held close by

    One-hour video presentation
    No cost

This one-hour video presentation provides participants with easy-to-follow systems for taming their inbox, enabling them to focus on the right work at the right time. The program outlines, in a practical, no-nonsense way, how to set up an integrated workflow management system that takes the stress out of managing email and workload. The program is suitable for users of Microsoft Outlook™.

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    One-day workshop

Through scenario-based learning, this program provides participants with the foundations for leading the management of critical incidents, increasing their understanding of supporting policies and processes, and the communication and leadership skills that underpin good management.

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   Anika Logo with two hands

    The Anika Foundation Youth Depression
    Awareness Scholarship for WA 2019 

Principals, deputy principals, school psychologists, teachers, student services staff and school chaplains working with secondary school-aged students at risk of depression are eligible to apply for this $15 000 scholarship.

Applications have now closed.

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    One-day program

Challenge and provoke your current thinking about leadership. This program emphasises mindful practice by allowing you, as a leader, to explore how to lead yourself before successfully leading others. You will explore the three core qualities of mindfulness, selflessness and compassion including practical solutions to increase the engagement of your teams and unleash improved performance.

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Principal's Professional Learning

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