Yesterday in NSW, 172 of the state’s top educators celebrated a major academic accomplishment – officially being recognised as NSW public school principals.
NSW Education Minister, Rob Stokes, was on hand in Sydney to congratulate the 130 new and 42 long standing relief principals who have now been commissioned into permanent positions as the head of a NSW public school.
“It is a great honour and immense responsibility to become the leader of your school community. As principals, you are critical to shaping the future of our students,” Stokes said.
The newly minted principals are in Sydney attending a three-day conference as part of the NSW Government’s new school leadership strategy.
Key elements of the new strategy include $50m in flexible support funding to free up principals from administrative work, a leadership institute for new principals, coaching and mentoring programs and 20 scholarships in globally-renowned leadership programs.
Stokes said that in NSW, all first-time principals receive mentoring by an experienced principal throughout their first year at the helm.
“For decades we have seen schools adopt a student buddy strategy to great success. Having principals benefit from a similar system is great,” Stokes said.
The principal’s induction conference is designed to help develop their leadership capability. Over the next three days, the principals will attend 33 lectures and workshops designed to assist in a seamless shift from teaching into school leadership.
“By properly preparing principals with the right knowledge, they can spend more time focusing on improving educational standards at their schools,” Stokes said.
While this program focuses on new principals, there is also an additional $50m allocated this year on the new principals support package, which was developed in consultation with the NSW Primary Principals Association (NSWPPA) and the NSW Secondary Principals Council (NSWSPC).
The package will enable principals to focus on core duties such as curriculum planning, student progress, teaching quality, and student well-being.
The need for the pioneering package stemmed from an independent study, commissioned by the NSW Government that found school principals are spending too much time on management and administration tasks and not enough time focused on improving teaching and learning.
The study involving principals at 119 NSW government schools found principals’ workload had increased in recent years with responsibilities in areas like planning, policy, finance, compliance, risk and work health and safety.