School Leadership Strategy

School leaders are critical to shaping the future of our children and young people for a world that is rapidly changing. The School Leadership Strategy is a long-term strategic priority for public education in NSW. It will significantly increase the department's support for school leaders so they can focus on leading teaching and learning in their schools.

The strategy responds to research that clearly shows school leaders who focus on instructional leadership have the biggest impact on student learning – and to the findings of an independent study commissioned by the department into principals' workload.

The strategy builds on the previous School Leadership Strategy 2015-2017, which established clear leadership pathways and a leadership and management credential for new principals.

This School Leadership Strategy focuses on:

  • Quality leadership preparation and development
  • Stronger collegial support for school leaders
  • Improved services and support to schools.

Key actions

  • Establish our own Leadership Institute so school leaders at all stages of their careers can access quality development programs.
  • Strengthen induction for new principals.
  • International scholarships for principals.
  • New role statements for principals and Directors Educational Leadership (previously Directors Public Schools NSW).
  • Additional Directors to provide better support for principals.
  • An extra $50 million in flexible funding to free up principals from administrative tasks.
  • New teacher performance and improvement support teams to assist principals.
  • Centrally managed compliance inspections for tree audits, emergency management equipment and bushfire management.
  • Better coordinated, streamlined and aligned support services.


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