Fast-tracking aspiring future school leaders

Fast-tracking aspiring future school leaders

The next cohort of aspiring future school leaders has been selected to participate in an intensive mentoring and accelerated leadership pathway.

The FASTstream program accepts a small number of outstanding candidates each year and places them in a diverse range of different school settings to give them a broad range of experience, including regional and remote schools.

Read more: Why the future is bright for aspiring principals

NSW Education Minister, Sarah Mitchell, said 41 teachers and teaching graduates had been chosen for the second cohort of the program from a strong field of candidates in this round.

“Our second group of FASTstream participants demonstrate a commitment to public education as well as the potential to become future school principals. The program helps bring our best teachers and future leaders to regional and rural communities, encouraging participants to consider a career in the bush,” Mitchell said.

“We know great school leadership is crucial in lifting student and school outcomes and providing all our students with opportunities to succeed. That's why it’s so important to identify and support our school leaders at every stage of their career.”

FASTstream supports up to 30 teachers and 20 teaching graduates each year to fast track their careers as school leaders. Participants are required to maintain rigorous standards and receive support, mentoring and professional development opportunities to become ready for principalship within 10 years.

This year, six exceptional teachers from interstate, overseas and other educational systems in NSW have been successful in gaining a place in the FASTstream program for 2023.

Isaac Keenan previously worked as a senior analytical chemist in the steel industry and will join the FASTstream program after switching careers. He is currently completing his Masters of Teaching while working as a science teacher at Airds High School, a Connected Communities school, in south-west Sydney.

“I applied to the FASTstream program because I want to be developed into a leader in public education who strongly advocates for all students, equipping teachers and schools for student success,” Keenan said.

“I want to learn how to build teams and school cultures which are conducive to high achievement for all. Public education provided the means for my success as a young person, so I strongly value the delivery of excellence in public education to ensure that every student has a brighter future ahead of them.”

Program participants will take part in an induction process this term before beginning placement in their first school in Term 1, 2023. Applications for the third FASTstream cohort will open in December 2022.

Further proving the NSW Government’s track record in innovative teaching and leadership programs, the Senior Leadership – Aspiring Principal Leadership Program, a 12-month professional learning program for aspiring principals, is proving successful.

A recent report found that more than half of the first cohort participants secured a substantive principal role within 18 months of completing the program. For the second cohort, 40 per cent had secured a principal role within 12 months, while 30.5 per cent of the third cohort and 33.3 per cent of the fourth cohort participants were in a principal role six months after completing the program.

“This report again shows that our investment in school leadership development is working, with even more schools benefitting from principals who are ready to lead and able to make a positive impact on student results,” Mitchell said.

This story originally appeared as a media release from the NSW Education Department.