DAY 2: 13:45 - 14:35
ACELQ Pivotal People: Professional learning for dynamic and thriving middle leaders

Presented by: Liz Benson, Adam Kuss, Sarah Gunn
Organisations: Pivotal Leadership (QLD), The University of Queensland (QLD), St Peters Lutheran College Springfield (QLD)

The word is out. Middle leaders are important! The impact they have on teaching and learning is profound. Join us to hear the story of Pivotal People, professional learning created by and for middle leaders. Over the last five years, ACELQ Pivotal People has engaged over 400 middle leaders from all sectors of education. Our brief is simple: create intellectually stimulating and engaging professional learning about the challenges of leading from the middle; make sure the professional learning is accessible and relevant; and ensure the leadership of this network builds community and leadership agency. We will share with you our story, our impact and what we believe system and school leaders need to know about middle leader development to ensure a strong future for education. Our story is one of empowerment, agency, and collaboration across sectors. It is one you—and all senior leaders—must hear if our shared ambition for middle leaders to thrive is to be realised.

DAY 2: 13:45 - 14:35
Catalyst - Transformational Change

Presented by: Patrick Ellis
Organisations: Catholic Education Canberra-Goulburn (ACT)

Transforming lives through learning - this is the purpose of Catalyst, the approach to teaching and learning at Catholic Education Canberra-Goulburn (CECG) that provides professional learning to support and empower teachers to apply evidence-based practice change in the classroom. Catalyst is a significant system-led implementation of the Science of Reading and Science of Learning. Focusing on the teacher as the most important learner, it brings together cognitive science and education, theory and practice, to refine an approach to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment across CECG and improve the outcomes of over 22,000 students. Now in its third year of system wide implementation, Catalyst has evolved over several years from a careful analysis of student outcomes, collective knowledge building of research and a determination to improve teaching practice across our 1000 classrooms. This presentation will explore the Catalyst journey, bringing in considerations of change from the system, school and class level. This presentation will allow Q&As and discussion opportunities. Catalyst website

DAY 2: 13:45 - 14:35
Leading teacher practice improvement, focusing on how students learn best

Presented by: Nuella Flynn, Sarah Richardson
Organisations: The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) VIC

Leading implementation of teaching practices aligned with how students learn improves education outcomes for all students. Evidence from cognitive science, neuroscience and education psychology provides insight to the processes that occur during learning, which helps explain why some teaching practices are more effective than others across diverse schooling contexts. AERO will share research findings that show how widely Australian teachers and leaders currently use evidence to inform and enhance practices, and discuss with participants opportunities for school leaders to support teachers to implement practices that have the greatest impact on student outcomes. AERO has developed accessible and practical guidance materials for teachers to develop their understanding of the most effective practices and make well-informed teaching decisions. Participants will gain insights to processes for leading collaborative use of these materials to enhance practice collectively, and to monitor the development of evidence-based practice across schools.

DAY 2: 13:45 - 14:35
Leading to the North-East - how to be a warm-demander!

Presented by: Claire Amos
Organisation: Albany Senior High School (NZ)

Teaching to the North-East, is all about high relationships and high teaching skills, but what does it mean to lead to the North-East? In this presentation Claire shares her journey through her first five years as principal at one of New Zealand's first Innovative Learning Environment schools, Albany Senior High School. Claire is a warm and demanding leader who is unapologetic about leading the change that is needed for our young people. Leading for complexity and challenge, means having a clear vision and high expectations of her team, Claire explores what it takes to get the best out of your leaders and teachers whilst looking after their wellbeing and always keeping the needs of learners at the centre of any innovation and change. This presentation draws on Dr Russell Bishop's seminal text 'Teaching to the North-East' and will also draw on his brand new text 'Leading to North-East: Ensuring the fidelity of relationship-based learning'.

DAY 2: 13:45 - 14:35
Scaling Indigenous Languages project: Identity, Partnerships and Excellence

Presented by: Sigrund Nilsen, Renee Crilly, Suzie Burford
Organisation: Department of Education Queensland (QLD)

Queensland Department of Education supports schools to collaborate with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples to teach First Nations languages in culturally acceptable ways that empower Language Owners. Teaching and learning materials created in a language program record Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP); primarily languages, but also other ICIP such as stories, songs, artwork, or cultural knowledge. ICIP Rights refers to the rights of Indigenous people to protect and maintain their cultural heritage. While these rights are currently not protected by specific legislation, consideration should be given to ICIP Rights when dealing with existing departmental content or developing new content that includes contributions from First Nations communities. The Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Protocol for the teaching of Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages (ICIP Protocol) is a guide for schools that outlines a process to acknowledge the cultural value in the language knowledge and cultural expression shared by First Nations peoples.

DAY 2: 13:45 - 14:35
School Autonomy and Inclusion: What We Know and Don't Know

Presented by: Associate Professor Jill Duncan, Professor Susan Ledger
Organisation: University of Newcastle (NSW)

It is unlawful under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) for Australian schools to discriminate against students based on disability. Yet there is evidence that discrimination against students with disability has increased in recent years in Australian schools. At the same time, the decentralisation and autonomy of schools have grown in Australia. Across Australia’s eight educational jurisdictions and three education sectors (public, independent and Catholic), there are differences in the interpretation of the federal legislation, in developing inclusive education policies and in identifying and providing support to students with disability. Adopting increased school autonomy is associated with policy shifts as governments change. Australian federal government policy has encouraged increased school autonomy, particularly from 2014, and several states have embraced Independent Public Schools (IPS) initiatives. This presentation will outline what is known and unknown about the association between school autonomy and the inclusion of students with disability.

DAY 2: 14:45 - 15:35
If we don’t change direction, we’re likely to end up where we are headed

Presented by: Dr Paul Kidson
Organisation: Australian Catholic University (NSW)

Knowing where we’ve come from is helpful for knowing our current challenge, and it might give us some insights to our possible and preferred futures. What we know is that leading looks and feels different to what it was in the past. This workshop draws from the longest running project in school leadership in Australia – the Australian Principal Occupational Health and Wellbeing Survey – to identify critical forces shaping the future for educational leaders. The voices of over 7,000 participants who have completed the survey since 2011 engage in a conversation with voices of students and teachers layered through some of the less talked about PISA and TALIS findings. Connections between literacy rates and the mental health and wellbeing of students, and increasingly teachers, asks new questions of emerging, middle, and senior educational leaders.

DAY 2: 14:45 - 15:35
Future leaders: What got us here won’t get us there

Presented by: Ellen Moffatt
Organisation: Wesley College Melbourne (Elsternwick Campus) VIC

The journey of a future school leader can be difficult to envisage. With change as the only constant on which we can rely, we can be certain of the fact that “what got us here won’t get us there” (Goldsmith, 2007). In other words, the knowledge and skills developed in a school leader’s journey to date will be a springboard for ongoing success; however, the future school leader will need to undertake a continual process of unlearning and relearning if they are to ensure optimal impact on the ever-evolving education industry. In this presentation, Ellen Moffatt, an emerging leader new to a Senior Leadership role in 2022, will present a synthesis of learnings: from leadership experts and thought leaders, observations of skilled mentors, and lived experiences. Underpinned by a series of provocations, this presentation is designed to generate discussion and elicit new imaginings among emerging school leaders, and those seeking to positively influence the future of school leadership praxis.

DAY 2: 14:45 - 15:35
Leading Adaptive Change in Schools

Presented by: Penny Brown
Organisation: The Association of Independent Schools, NSW

In an ever increasingly complex system, our practice of leadership must change. We can no longer rely on clear and tight plans, or a few key people to chart the way forward. Instead, we need purposeful and bolder leadership at every level of our schools that includes a wide range of voices and perspectives. This will require us to no longer think of leadership as being linked to a role or ‘person in charge’ or even characteristics like charisma. Instead, this workshop will explore how to strengthen leadership capacity by shifting our thinking and speech to understand and enact, leadership as action. This workshop will draw from an Adaptive Leadership framework as it provides insights, practical strategies, tools to help people lead and navigate change in complex times when there are no easy answers and the status quo will no longer suffice.

DAY 2: 14:45 - 15:35
Overcoming complexity and challenge through early childhood pedagogical leadership

Presented by: Dr Amie Fabry
Organisation: Edith Cowan University (WA)

Quality early childhood programs positively influence children’s learning and development, with particular benefit for children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage. Internationally recognised from birth to age 8, the early years are a pivotal time in a child’s life that have implications on their future learning, engagement, and well-being. The quality of early years programs in schools however, are often challenged by demands for academic achievement. Primary school principals often bear the responsibility of ensuring early years programs are of high quality, however they usually have limited experience and knowledge teaching young children. Data collected from 135 survey responses, 25 interviews and three case studies, revealed the critical role early childhood pedagogical leaders play in driving ongoing improvement in the early years of school. This presentation will provide a practical model of early childhood leadership that outlines how the role assists teachers to overcome complexity and challenge to enable quality provision in the early years of school.

DAY 2: 14:45 - 15:35
Creating a Whole School Approach to AI

Presented by: Michelle Dennis
Organisation: Haileybury (VIC)

How can you lead a school with confidence when the future is changing dramatically quickly in ways that even most experts can’t predict? In this session, Michelle Dennis will discuss AI and its impact on education. She’ll talk about how this has led Haileybury to craft a strategy that goes beyond the immediate apps like ChatGPT and instead focuses on core principles, allowing for quick decision making when technology changes. She'll demonstrate how schools can balance the risks and ethical concerns with our underlying duty to prepare a generation to engage with AI and the tough decisions that relate to it. Attendees will learn how to bring the whole school along on the journey, engaging with staff, students and parents in discussions and opportunities to learn.

DAY 2: 14:45 - 15:35
One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Supporting All Students and Staff Through Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

Presented by: Natalie Swayn, Lorna Hepburn
Organisation: Department of Education (QLD)

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is an educational framework for improving student social, behavioural and academic outcomes. Using MTSS, staff have a consistent decision-making model to inform selection and implementation of resources, interventions and supports that are evidence-based. An MTSS framework allows schools to address the needs of all students by providing a continuum of evidence-based supports matched to identified needs of students, staff and the learning environment. A focus on prevention and early-intervention means that resources are available to address any remaining more intensive and complex support, and offers staff greater certainty on how they will be assisted to meet all student needs.  This presentation will introduce the core features of MTSS in a Queensland state schooling context and describe the systems required at the organisation, area and school levels to support effective implementation. Leadership actions will be identified, tools for implementation will be provided and participants will have the opportunity to share experiences and provide local examples.