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Principals work with others to produce and implement clear, evidence-based improvement plans and policies for the development of the school and its facilities. They recognise that a crucial part of the role is to lead and manage innovation and change to ensure the vision and strategic plan is put into action across the school and that its goals and intentions are realised.

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A Profile contains leadership action statements in four sets. The sets increase in proficiency from top to bottom showing the developmental pathway.

Principals identify the need for innovation and improvement that is consistent with the school’s vision and values and is informed by student learning outcomes.

  • Principals identify the need for innovation and improvement that is consistent with the school’s vision and values and is informed by student learning outcomes. View tools

  • They communicate the need for change to the whole-school community in an inspirational and logical way. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • Shaping a vision of academic success for all students

      This video, one of a five-part series based on more than a decade of Wallace-supported research to improve teaching and learning.

      Source: The Wallace Foundation

      Video MP4 11 minutes

    • Leading change, changing leadership

      This paper discusses the challenge to change the culture within the public sector at both a local and system level.

      Source: Pat Collarbone

      Paper PDF 16 pages

    • Change in Action

      This series of videos on change within schools has been developed to improve the conditions in schools for effective performance growth.

      Source: People and Culture Unit

      Multimedia Website

    • Leading in a culture of change

      The author shows how leaders in all types of organizations can accomplish their goals and become exceptional leaders.

      Source: Michael Fullan

      Paper PDF 174 pages

    • Emotion and the art of negotiation

      Detailed account of strategic negotiation skills.

      Source: Alison Wood Brooks

      Article Website

    • John Kotter's 8 steps of leading change

      The author asks the important question for any change leader: How can I make sure that my change project is successful?

      Source: Holger Nauheimer

      Website

    • School Assessment Toolkit Reflection Matrix

      This self-reflection matrix supports schools to self-evaluate the strengths and benefits of school community partnerships, while identifying gaps for further development.

      Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

      Tool PDF 15 pages

    • The benefits of parental involvement: What research has to say

      An overview of studies that show that parent involvement activities that are effectively planned and well implemented result in substantial benefits to children, parents, educators, and the school.

      Source: Olsen, G; Fuller, M L

      Article Website

    • See more
  • They deepen their own knowledge and understanding of improvement strategies, leading change and innovation at a whole-school level. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • Teaching in Focus - School improvement through strong leadership

      This report explores how many school leaders reported a number of obstacles preventing them from taking part in such learning, including a lack of support and opportunities, and personal and professional obstacles.

      Source: OECD

      Report PDF 4 pages

    • Five strategy questions every leader should make time for

      Reflecting and thinking is an important activity when it comes to assessing and developing a strategy as a company leader.

      Source: Frank Vermeulen

      Webpage

    • Curiosity and powerful learning

      This booklet identifies strategies for schools and teachers that will nurture within our students – an abiding curiosity about their world.

      Source: Department of Education and Early Childhood Development VIC

      Booklet PDF 16 pages

    • Schools that achieve extraordinary success: how some disadvantaged Victorian schools punch above their weight

      The authors discuss their findings that students in eight disadvantaged schools achieved higher levels of learning outcomes than those in other schools with similar socioeconomic characteristics.

      Source: Vic Zbar, Ross Kimber, Graham Marshall

      Paper

    • The effective principal

      This paper examines a decade of Wallace Foundation research and finds that five practices of principals are key to effective school leadership.

      Source: P Mendels

      Report PDF 4 pages

    • The nature and dimensions of strategic leadership

      This article draws on the authors' research on strategy undertaken since the late 1990s and aims to provide an understanding of the nature and dimensions of strategic leadership.

      Source: Davies, Brent; Davies, Barbara J.

      Paper

    • Seven strong claims about successful school leadership

      A report summarising the key findings of a literature review to present seven statements, or claims, about successful school leadership.

      Source: National College for School Leadership

      Report PDF 20 pages

    • Ten ideas for 21st century education

      The authors present their view of what 21st century education looks like in practice, and challenge the underlying assumptions of our education systems for centuries.

      Source: Innovation Unit

      Report PDF 17 pages

    • Leading school improvement

      Presentation by Professor Geoff Masters, ACER, at the AITSL Local Leadership Conference, August 2012.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 26 mins

    • Changing education paradigms

      This MP4 adaption is from a talk given at the RSA (UK) by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert.

      Source: Ken Robinson

      Video MP4 12 mins

    • See more
  • They engage and inspire staff to commit to evidence-based improvement, change and innovation that has a positive impact on student learning. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK-12 Teaching and Learning

      This report presents the 'Top 20' principles from psychology which would be of greatest use in the context of preK–12 classroom teaching and learning, as well as the implications of each as applied to classroom practice.

      Source: American Psychological Association

      Report PDF 38 pages

    • The Character Factor: Measures and Impact of Drive and Prudence

      This paper assesses the quality of measures available in US survey data for two specific non-cognitive skills that relate to outcomes important for economic mobility, such as educational attainment.

      Source: Richard V. Reeves, Joanna Venator, and Kimberly Howard

      Report PDF 36 pages

    • Dandenong North Primary School, VIC

      Dandenong North Primary School use observation and feedback as a central component of their performance and development work.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 4 minutes 55 seconds

    • The nature and dimensions of strategic leadership

      This article draws on the authors' research on strategy undertaken since the late 1990s and aims to provide an understanding of the nature and dimensions of strategic leadership.

      Source: Davies, Brent; Davies, Barbara J.

      Paper

    • Innovation Grants: student outcomes

      This MP4 looks at professional learning and development that has a clear focus on student outcomes as part of AITSL’s Innovation Grants Project.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 6 mins

    • Using data to improve learning outcomes

      An Illustration of Practice demonstrating teachers analysing internal and external data to identify specific learning needs students.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 4 mins

    • Performance and development plans, teams, evidence and feedback

      Performance and development within Ringwood Secondary College occurs in the context of a comprehensive strategy for building a professional culture.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 6 mins

    • Leading school improvement

      Presentation by Professor Geoff Masters, ACER, at the AITSL Local Leadership Conference, August 2012.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 26 mins

    • Ten ideas for 21st century education

      The authors present their view of what 21st century education looks like in practice, and challenge the underlying assumptions of our education systems for centuries.

      Source: Innovation Unit

      Report PDF 17 pages

    • Demonstrating impact

      The series encourages teachers to continually reflect on their practice by guiding teachers’ self-reflection, self-inquiry and discussion with colleagues.

      Source: AITSL

      Workbook Website

    • Guided professional learning

      In this Illustration of Practice the teacher describes the contributive leadership model that is used in her school.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 5 mins

    • My Standards

      The free My Standards app makes the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers accessible anywhere, anytime.

      Source: AITSL

      App

    • Recognising exemplary teachers

      This workbook is part of a series designed to encourage teachers to continually reflect on their practice by developing a deliberate inquiry mindset.

      Source: AITSL

      Workbook PDF 18 pages

    • See more

Principals develop a process and common language for change, which supports the implementation of the vision and strategic plan.

  • Principals develop a process and common language for change, which supports the implementation of the vision and strategic plan. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • High Value Add Schools: Key Drivers of School Improvement

      This study aims to examine the key drivers of improvement in NSW government schools that have shown high growth in student outcomes over time.

      Source: Department of Education and Communities NSW

      Report PDF 20 pages

    • High-Performing Primary Schools: what do they have in common

      This report focuses on exploring similarities and differences among high-performing Western Australian Government primary schools.

      Source: William Louden for Department of Education WA

      Report PDF 34 pages

    • Shaping a vision of academic success for all students

      This video, one of a five-part series based on more than a decade of Wallace-supported research to improve teaching and learning.

      Source: The Wallace Foundation

      Video MP4 11 minutes

    • Leading in a culture of change

      The author shows how leaders in all types of organizations can accomplish their goals and become exceptional leaders.

      Source: Michael Fullan

      Paper PDF 174 pages

    • Change in Action

      This series of videos on change within schools has been developed to improve the conditions in schools for effective performance growth.

      Source: People and Culture Unit

      Multimedia Website

    • The six secrets of change

      This summary document outlines six important measures for ensuring successful change within a school.

      Source: M Fullan

      Paper PDF 18 pages

    • See more
  • They evaluate outcomes and refine actions as change is implemented, paying attention to social, political and local circumstances. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • An exceptional schooling outcomes project

      Part of the Exceptional Schooling Outcomes Project, this research identifies and analyses processes in Years 7–10 schooling and exceptional outcomes to assist national renewal in junior secondary school education.

      Source: SiMERR National Centre

      Report PDF 3 pages

    • Dedicated support

      Adelaide principal Meredith Edwards helps give students and communities what they need to succeed.

      Source: Madeleine Regan

      Article PDF 2 pages

    • Leading change, changing leadership

      This paper discusses the challenge to change the culture within the public sector at both a local and system level.

      Source: Pat Collarbone

      Paper PDF 16 pages

    • Learning Futures, Part 1: The global case for change

      Valerie argues that our education system must design new learning systems in response to the fundamental global changes impacting students in the future.

      Source: AITSL

      Multimedia Website 8 mins

    • The six secrets of change

      This summary document outlines six important measures for ensuring successful change within a school.

      Source: M Fullan

      Paper PDF 18 pages

    • Leading in a culture of change

      The author shows how leaders in all types of organizations can accomplish their goals and become exceptional leaders.

      Source: Michael Fullan

      Paper PDF 174 pages

    • See more
  • They take account of the impact of change on others, providing opportunities for regular feedback so that change is owned by the school community. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • The six secrets of change

      This summary document outlines six important measures for ensuring successful change within a school.

      Source: M Fullan

      Paper PDF 18 pages

    • Leading in a culture of change

      The author shows how leaders in all types of organizations can accomplish their goals and become exceptional leaders.

      Source: Michael Fullan

      Paper PDF 174 pages

    • Leading professional learning

      This Illustration of Practice explains the alignment of a school’s existing peer and classroom observational tool to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 5 mins

    • See more
  • They distribute leadership and encourage staff to build consensus across the school community and to take individual responsibility for implementing change. View tools

Principals maintain their values whilst adapting flexibly and strategically to changes in the environment, in order to secure the ongoing improvement of the school.

  • Principals maintain their values whilst adapting flexibly and strategically to changes in the environment, in order to secure the ongoing improvement of the school. View tools

  • They lead and implement the appropriate use of new technologies in all aspects of the school’s development. View tools

  • They build a culture of trust and collaboration where change and innovation based on research and evidence can flourish. View tools

  • They embed collaborative and creative practices in the school allowing everyone to contribute to improvement and innovation. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • Transforming Schools: how distributed leadership can create more high-performing schools

      This report focuses on an in-depth study conducted two years ago, on how school systems could develop more school leaders with the capabilities required to transform their schools.

      Source: Chris Bierly, Betsy Doyle and Abigail Smith

      Report PDF 60 pages

    • The Educators

      Sarah Montague interviews the people whose ideas are challenging the future of education.

      Source: BBC Radio 4

      Multimedia Video Various

    • School leadership in action: Principal Practices

      This video series follows 10 principals in four metropolitan areas through their workdays, showing how they use five practices of effective school leadership to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms.

      Source: Wallace Foundation

      Multimedia Video 11 mins 45 secs

    • Curiosity and powerful learning

      This booklet identifies strategies for schools and teachers that will nurture within our students – an abiding curiosity about their world.

      Source: Department of Education and Early Childhood Development VIC

      Booklet PDF 16 pages

    • Work together: but only if you want to

      This article explores the real problem in many schools which are home to teachers who work in isolation, preferring to be left alone rather than engaging with their colleagues or principals.

      Source: R DuFour

      Article PDF 15 pages

    • ACSP Conference 2012 - Patrick Duigan

      This video shows Patrick Duignan speaking at the ACSP Conference 2012, on how we sustain shared, distributed or collective leadership, to ensure it survives staff change and dependence on individuals.

      Source: Patrick Duignan

      Video MP4 31 minutes 53 seconds

    • Developing creative professional learning communities within and between schools

      A short MP4 series exploring how to develop creative professional learning communities with Professor Louise Stoll.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 17 mins

    • Ten ideas for 21st century education

      The authors present their view of what 21st century education looks like in practice, and challenge the underlying assumptions of our education systems for centuries.

      Source: Innovation Unit

      Report PDF 17 pages

    • Changing education paradigms

      This MP4 adaption is from a talk given at the RSA (UK) by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert.

      Source: Ken Robinson

      Video MP4 12 mins

    • Schools performing beyond expectations

      Former AITSL Chair Anthony Mackay talks to Dr Alma Harris at AITSL’s Local Leadership Conference in August 2012

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 36 mins

    • See more

Principals embed a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring research, innovation and creativity are core characteristics of the school.

  • Principals embed a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring research, innovation and creativity are core characteristics of the school. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • The Educators

      Sarah Montague interviews the people whose ideas are challenging the future of education.

      Source: BBC Radio 4

      Multimedia Video Various

    • Innovation grants: future-focused professional learning

      This MP4 explores a school's future-focused professional learning and development practices as part of AITSL's Innovation Grants Project.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 5 mins

    • Leading school improvement

      Presentation by Professor Geoff Masters, ACER, at the AITSL Local Leadership Conference, August 2012.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 26 mins

    • Cultivating diverse, creative and entrepreneurial talents

      Dr Yong Zhao, College of Education, University of Oregon, presents at AITSL’s Local Leadership Conference, 2012.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 43 mins

    • Ten ideas for 21st century education

      The authors present their view of what 21st century education looks like in practice, and challenge the underlying assumptions of our education systems for centuries.

      Source: Innovation Unit

      Report PDF 17 pages

    • Changing education paradigms

      This MP4 adaption is from a talk given at the RSA (UK) by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert.

      Source: Ken Robinson

      Video MP4 12 mins

    • Guided professional learning

      In this Illustration of Practice the teacher describes the contributive leadership model that is used in her school.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 5 mins

    • See more
  • They lead educational networks by trialling and exploring new ideas for the system, acting as a guide, coach and mentor to staff and colleagues. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • Powerful allies

      From communicating with parents, to leadership training for teachers to collaborations with surrounding schools, Glenorchy Primary principal Wendy Potter believes in strength from unity.

      Source: Madeleine Regan

      Article PDF 2 pages

    • Innovation grants: future-focused professional learning

      This MP4 explores a school's future-focused professional learning and development practices as part of AITSL's Innovation Grants Project.

      Source: AITSL

      Video MP4 5 mins

    • Professional capital dialogue

      In this webcast discussion Michael Fullan and David Hamlett discuss the key role of the principal in driving cooperation and collaboration within a community.

      Source: Ontario Principals' Council

      Video MP4 54 mins

    • Ten ideas for 21st century education

      The authors present their view of what 21st century education looks like in practice, and challenge the underlying assumptions of our education systems for centuries.

      Source: Innovation Unit

      Report PDF 17 pages

    • Changing education paradigms

      This MP4 adaption is from a talk given at the RSA (UK) by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert.

      Source: Ken Robinson

      Video MP4 12 mins

    • Leading a self-improving school system

      This report examines the opportunities and hazards that lie ahead as teaching schools and their strategic alliances come on stream.

      Source: National College for School Leadership

      Report PDF 34 pages

    • See more
  • They evaluate the personal and organisational effects of change through regular feedback from stakeholders and evidence of impact on student outcomes. View tools

  • They develop an innovative and outward-focused role as a leader influencing school excellence across the system. View tools

    • Recommended tools and resources

      My folder
    • Powerful allies

      From communicating with parents, to leadership training for teachers to collaborations with surrounding schools, Glenorchy Primary principal Wendy Potter believes in strength from unity.

      Source: Madeleine Regan

      Article PDF 2 pages

    • Professional capital dialogue

      In this webcast discussion Michael Fullan and David Hamlett discuss the key role of the principal in driving cooperation and collaboration within a community.

      Source: Ontario Principals' Council

      Video MP4 54 mins

    • Learning Futures, Part 1: The global case for change

      Valerie argues that our education system must design new learning systems in response to the fundamental global changes impacting students in the future.

      Source: AITSL

      Multimedia Website 8 mins

    • Ten ideas for 21st century education

      The authors present their view of what 21st century education looks like in practice, and challenge the underlying assumptions of our education systems for centuries.

      Source: Innovation Unit

      Report PDF 17 pages

    • Changing education paradigms

      This MP4 adaption is from a talk given at the RSA (UK) by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert.

      Source: Ken Robinson

      Video MP4 12 mins

    • Leading a self-improving school system

      This report examines the opportunities and hazards that lie ahead as teaching schools and their strategic alliances come on stream.

      Source: National College for School Leadership

      Report PDF 34 pages

    • See more