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Experienced Principals Program

The principal coach provides an annual professional learning program designed to build on and support the capacity of our current principals as instructional and faith leaders. The once-a-term program is held in a different school setting each term and supports networking and collaborative learning. Programs are customised to respond to the needs of participants.

Based on-site in schools represented in the group, the agenda and format includes:

  1. Personal Reflection on Recent Current Issues and Events
    Provision is given to guided reflection and discussion regarding recent successes and complex problems in each participant’s principalship. Principals are given time and support to reflect on issues in their schools, strategies to lead and/or resolve, and new learning from those experiences in guided reflection and discussion.

    This session encourages colleagues to act as critical friends to each other in providing advice and support in the issues discussed, as well as utilising the experience and wisdom of the principal coach.
  1. Classroom Reflective Rounds and Reflective Debrief
    The session begins with the host principal providing a school contextual overview, including SIP, current challenges, and future hopes. The group undertake visits, reflecting on the principal’s overview. Following the reflective rounds, principals articulate aspects they take away as new personal learning and provide feedback to the host school principal to consider in future directions.
  1. Exploration of Evidence-Based Leadership Theories and Strategies for Principals
    This session explores research and concepts that support high yield instructional leadership practice. After completing the program, principals should be conversant in each of these concepts, while also being well-practised in applying each to their community and own personal contexts.
  1. Personal Exploration of AITSL Principal Standard and Leadership Profiles
    During this session, principals explore aspects of the AISTL Principal Standard and map themselves according to their understanding of the profiles. This includes exercises such as:
    • Self-mapping using the ‘Professional Practices’ Lens on the Leadership Profiles Summary Table (leadership-profiles-summary-table.pdf (
    • Setting personal goals for improvement in one Leadership Profile (this is usually linked with the diocesan PP&D Process)
    • Exploring the AITSL Leadership Reflection Tool (Leadership Reflection Tool (, discussing relative strengths and needs as determined by the tool.
    • Exploring the myriad of online resources associated with the AITSL Principal Standard and Leadership Profiles.
  1. The final session is a 30-minute practical application and resourcing that supports the broader diocesan Teaching and Learning agenda.
    In 2019 Maitland-Newcastle CSO commenced a three-year initiative leveraging the work from internationally acclaimed researcher Lyn Sharratt, based on her most recent publication, Clarity (2019). A range of high yield strategies, practical resources, dialogue and sharing of ideas are explored with follow-up coaching available in schools to put the theories of the workshop into action.