Strategic plan 2016 ‐ 2019

AHISA is the leading national association for principals of independent schools. 

With responsibility for some 430,000 students in the primary and secondary education sector in Australia AHISA Principals have a profound impact on the educational and wellbeing outcomes for young people. The achievements in our schools demonstrate the outstanding educational experience offered to students and the contribution this makes to Australia’s social and intellectual capital. 

Our members' competitive advantage is found in the excellence of teaching and school leadership and their ability to determine the character and culture of their school.

AHISA supports every member by preserving the collaborative, respectful and collegiate nature of independent school leadership and facilitating innovative directions in leadership, management, pedagogy and policy. AHISA also seeks to influence the development of educational policy and  practice in Australia. 

Importantly, the reputation of independent schools rests upon what our members do individually to promote this philosophy of education, school leadership and student learning. It is what we do in support of this work that is essential to ensuring the highest quality education for young Australians. 

Constitutional object 

The primary object of AHISA is to optimise the opportunities for the education and welfare of Australia's young people through the maintenance of collegiality, high standards of professional  practice and conduct amongst its Members. 


Excellence and autonomy in independent school leadership that creates and sustains exceptional  learning opportunities, outcomes and choices for young people in Australia. 


AHISA, in an environment of cooperative endeavour and collegiality, develops excellence in  autonomous school leadership through professional learning and support services to members, development of the next generation of school leaders, strong strategic partnerships and being an  influential voice in the community and to government.

Strategic priorities and strategies 

Priority 1 ‐ Leadership excellence ‐ building the capacity and sustainability of our members  through their leadership journey

  • Develop a member services segmentation model that reflects the distinctive stages of the  school leadership journey – beginning, mid‐career, transitioning (to another school) and  career progression beyond the school environment.
  • Within this model:
  • Provide relevant and accessible professional learning programs.
  • Facilitate the sharing of best practice, professional knowledge and expertise within  the network.
  • Support newly appointed Principals in assuming leadership of their schools through targeted and personalised services.
  • Assist Principals in sustaining positive relationships with their Board and optimising  the potential of their senior staff.
  • Promote the use of new technologies to serve members and facilitate innovation in learning and leadership.
  • Provide access to a range of specialist external service providers to support  Principals at each stage in their leadership journey, including contract advice, remuneration, mentoring and executive and career management coaching.
  • Establish strategic partnerships to participate in educational research that builds the  capacity of leaders to innovate within their school context.
  • Consistently review our services to respond to the evolving needs of our members.

Priority 2 ‐ Aspirant Leadership ‐ Identify and develop the future generation of autonomous school  leaders

  • Establish a professional learning and development program for aspiring leaders.
  • Support current members in identifying and nurturing emerging leadership talent within their schools.
  • Build the network of aspirant leaders, providing opportunities for connection, engagement and shared professional learning. 

Priority 3 ‐ In the interests of autonomous leaders and their communities, influence the shape and  direction of educational policy and practice in Australia.

  • Promote the value of independent schools and the rights of parents and students to choice in education.
  • Construct strategic partnerships with government, non‐government and representative  organisation in education to increase our influence at all levels.
  • Advocate and provide a strong and coherent voice for members, informed by their views and values on matters of:
  • School leadership autonomy
  • School autonomy
  • Quality teaching
  • Student wellbeing, welfare, disability and care
  • Quality learning and curriculum
  • Assessment and academic achievement
  • Compliance
  • Optimise contemporary communications and technology platforms/social media to influence and shape opinion in education.

AHISA value proposition

For educational leaders who make a difference.

A leading professional association for autonomous school leaders that is personal, relational, professional and influential.

AHISA exists to:

  • Build your leadership capacity and effectiveness through access to professional learning and the shared knowledge and experiences of colleagues.
  • Sustain you personally in your leadership journey through connections to an authentic and generous network of school leaders and skilled external service providers.
  • Apply the individual and collective expertise of members to influence and shape educational thinking, policy and practice in Australia.


‘Educational leaders who make a difference’ 

'Our members' competitive advantage is found in the excellence of teaching and school leadership and their ability to determine the character and culture of their school.'