Strengthening all levels of school leadership

The disruption of schooling in 2020 and in subsequent COVID-19 lockdowns made evident not only the complexity of the work of teachers and teachers’ professionalism, it revealed the importance of school leadership structures in effecting the fast ‘pivots’ to online delivery and in ensuring the ongoing health and wellbeing of both staff and students. In particular, it highlighted the role of the middle management tier of school leadership in implementing and embedding change.

Strengthening school leaders strengthens schools. To this end, the Australian Government should task AITSL to undertake a rapid literature review of effective professional learning for middle and upper school management and to scope current professional learning options for Australian school leaders. These projects could support extension of the Australian Professional Teaching Standards and Australian Professional Standard for Principals to create a map of excellence in school leadership to support leadership progression and would also inform the creation of resources and/or short courses to support that progression.