NSW principals cautiously optimistic about 2018

NSW principals cautiously optimistic about 2018
In 2017 the NSW Education Department commissioned Deloitte to undertake an independent study to investigate principal workload and time use.

The study found that the state’s principals spend a significant amount of time on activities related to management and administration and reduced the amount of time they should be spending on teaching and learning.

It also found that principals could better manage their workloads if there was better coordinated, streamlined and aligned department support tools and communications.

To address this, the Department unveiled the School Leadership Strategy to significantly enhance support for school leaders across the state.

So what will the role of a NSW school leader look like this year?

NSW Secondary Principals Council (NSWSPC) president, Chris Presland, said the main challenges and opportunities for the state’s school leaders will be leading learning in a complex and changing environment.

“We still find a tension between developing the kind of skills and capabilities in our students that will stand them in good stead for the future, and the pressure on producing results in a high stakes testing environment,” Presland told The Educator.

“It's not an either / or proposition, but the political imperatives created by a PISA and NAPLAN focus can get in the way of developing a truly innovative, creative and futuristic education system.”

Presland said beyond that, the whole area of support for the management of mental and emotional health is “a continuing, significant and increasing concern for society as a whole.”

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, Presland said.

“Last year we were able to bring these issues to the fore and we have finally seen a significant support package mapped out for the next 18 months,” he said.

“This includes additional administrative support, additional curriculum support, and the creation of a new Leadership Institute. Apart from that, I am always amazed at the capacity of our principals to keep focused on the needs of their staff and students – and they do a fantastic job.”