Leading Successfully From the Start

Early Career Principal Program

The Leading Successfully from the Start – Early Career Principal program is designed for principals in the early years of their role to transition with confidence into a new level of leadership with a focus on maximizing their impact from the start.
Australian Professional Standards addressed within the program:

  • Australian Professional Standards for Teachers – Lead Level Standard 6.1, 6.2
  • Australian Professional Standard for Principals – all Professional Practices and leadership requirements


This program will provide participants with the opportunity to:

  • Establish a clear sense of leadership purpose
  • Develop an evidence informed focus on effective school leadership practices
  • Learn about and implement instructional leadership practices
  • Learn about and implement personal and school strategic change and transformation
  • Examine their current role and learning goals through the Australian Professional Standard for Principals
  • Be a part of a vibrant national leadership network


To successfully complete the Leading Successfully from the Start – Early Career Principal Program, participants will:

  • Participate 2 x 2 days of intensive face-to-face workshops
  • Professionally engage in 10 hours with a mentor/coach focusing on your growth as a school leader
  • Implement a Leadership Challenge within your school


Principals in the early stage (first three years) of their role are invited to apply for the twelve-month program. Successful candidates will be members of a targeted cohort of 16-30 professionals, keen to be challenged and supported through personalised professional learning.


    1. Designed specifically for principals in the early stages (first three years) of their role
    2. Membership to a network of early career principals and established educational leaders
    3. Content with a foundation on the Australian Professional Standard for Principals developed from extensive academic sources
    4. Ten hours of one-on-one support provided by Learning and Development Partners (experts and experienced leaders in education)
    5. Opportunity to address key leadership requirements and professional practices of the Australian Professional Standard for Principals
    6. Post workshop support provided to implement learning and skills


    1. Engages participants in principal leadership skills in a challenging but supportive environment
    2. Enables participants to develop skills in leading strategically
    3. Develops better understanding self and strategies to applying this knowledge to the new work context
    4. Provides strategies and processes to lead the learning environment through building the person and team capacity
    5. Challenges participants to facilitate positive change through action learning
    6. Encourages participants to develop a positive leadership identity
    7. Introduces participants to the AITSL Australian Professional Standard for Principals, Leadership Profiles and 360 Reflection Tool


Participants will develop

    1. An evidence informed and practical understanding of successful school leadership
    2. Leadership skills to enable productive collaborative teams to transform school practices
    3. A strong theory of action to guide the implementation effective school change
    4. Increased confidence and understanding of themselves as educational leaders


  1. Self reflection tools (including AITSL 360 Reflection Tool)
  2. Practical approaches to applying current educational research and theory
  3. Action planning to apply workshop learning
  4. Blended mode of delivery including conferencing, coaching/mentoring and online sessions to support implementation of learning in the workplace




Barbara is the Director of Watterston Consulting specialising in facilitation and research focused on the design and delivery of professional learning programs to develop, enhance and promote the work of the profession, and in particular, school and system leadership.

Barbara has over 30 years’ experience in education and has held a number of school and executive leadership positions within the education and not-for-profit community sectors. She was a contributor and co-editor of Women in School Leadership: Journeys to Success (2010); is a recipient of the Women of Achievement Award (WA DET 2005); is an accredited coach; a member of a number of university, departmental, school and professional boards; and is an ACEL National Fellow.  

Her national consultancy and research focuses on leadership development based on identified standards, linked to a cohesive and effective approach to professional learning. Barbara’s most recent research report, Environment Scan: Principal Preparation Programs (AITSL, 2015) contributed five major recommendations for preparing future leaders.

Her current projects include the design and delivery of emerging, executive and system leadership programs. She has a special interest in the links between leadership sustainability, wellbeing and impact on performance.


Ann is an honorary in education at the University of Sydney and is the Australian national researcher for the International Teacher Policy Study with the University of Stanford in California.

As the Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development in NSW she has designed and led evidence based system innovations, reforms and professional learning that significantly influenced the impact of teachers, leaders and schools. As director, superintendent of schools and school principal she received numerous excellence awards and while principal received a school quality assurance report stating “this school is on the leading edge of best practices in teaching and learning.”

Ann McIntyre is recognised for her work in effective teaching and leadership and school and system improvement. Her skills in system reform, professional learning, leadership development and school improvement inform her educational research and provision of professional learning. Ann’s work is known internationally as a result of its rigour and innovation and efficacy.


KEY DATES Intensive face-to-face workshops:
Iteration 2 Residential 2 – Thursday 2 and Friday 3 March, 2017
Iteration 3 Residential 1 – Thursday 9 and Friday 10 March, 2017
Iteration 3 Residential 2 – Thursday 10 and Friday 11 August, 2017
VENUE: TBC, Sydney (Travel costs not included)

To find out more email leadership@acel.org.au or phone +61 2 8396 0805