New principals prepare for important roles

It's not just students who are busy preparing to return to NSW high schools later this month – a group of newly-appointed principals will also be ‘hitting the books' before starting their new roles.

This year, more than 70 staff members across the state have been appointed as principals for the first time. More than 60 others will be taking up principal duties in a different school to the one in which they led their team in 2012.

Principals' leadership roles are central to improving student learning, engaging parents and the community, and supporting teachers in their professional development. New staff can also add fresh ideas and new perspectives to their schools.

Throughout their careers, principals are supported by the Department in leading change to improve student outcomes and enhance teaching practice.

Next week – in advance of their commencement in their new roles – many of these new principals will undertake an induction that covers all aspects of their role, from assessing students to implementing appropriate classroom techniques, managing school finances and property, and forming and nurturing community partnerships.

They will also receive advice on providing professional learning opportunities for their staff, planning, reporting and accountability.

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, who will address the induction conference along with Director-General Dr Michele Bruniges, said this is the start of a new era for NSW public school principals.

"Local Schools, Local Decisions is a major improvement to how schools are run, with principals being given greater authority to make decisions about the selection of their staff and the way their budgets are spent.

"We have freed principals to make the decisions required to better support their students at the time support is needed, instead of having to wait for an answer from State Office.

"This means schools can now break free from the one-size-fits-all approach that has previously made it hard for schools to innovate and adapt to meet the needs of their students and communities," he said.

The forum will also provide valuable opportunities for the contingent of new principals to network with other dedicated educators from around NSW who will be facing similar challenges and opportunities.



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