Providing public education

Building the capability of our principals, our teachers and our allied professionals

Building the capability of our principals, our teachers and our allied professionals

We supported our school leaders to lead improvement in their schools through our leadership strategy, professional development programs, and accountability mechanisms. We supported teachers to develop their expertise to improve teaching practices in their schools.

Guided by our Western Australian Public School Leadership Strategy 2018–2021, we continued to support and develop emerging, new and experienced leaders.

In 2020, we began a new induction program for principals in their first six months in the role, who have not previously held a substantive principal position. The Newly Appointed Principal Induction Program aims to increase understanding of the key operational aspects of being a principal and provide the opportunity to forge important connections to leaders. Forty-five participants attended the inaugural two‑day induction in March 2020.

Launch: New Principal Program, designed to fast track the learning curve for leaders in their first three years of principalship, continued with 50 participants in 2019–20.

We supported 146 schools in 2019–20 to identify and develop future leaders in Western Australian Future Leaders Framework trials. Teachers identified as potential leaders were supported to pursue their aspirations through personalised development programs, the support of a mentor and practical leadership experiences in schools.

We continued to develop the Aspirant Aboriginal Leaders Program, with 20 Aboriginal staff participating in workshops to co-design the program. From these workshops participating staff developed and took part in the start of Djiral-ak djinda bidi – North Star Path, a program to support aspirant Aboriginal leaders to identify their career and leadership goals, their ‘North Star’, and the support they require to achieve those goals.

In 2019–20, we provided professional learning for principals and emerging leaders.

Since the Principals’ Fellowship Program began in 2015–16, three groups of principals have completed the fellowship and been inducted as Principal Fellows. The fellows form a pool of experienced leaders to support their colleagues and lead system change initiatives. A fourth group is due to complete the fellowship in the second half of 2020.

Forty managers corporate services and school leaders completed a Graduate Certificate of Education Business Leadership from Deakin University in November 2019.

In 2020, we provided a new suite of programs significantly subsidised by the Department for managers corporate services at every career stage.

We continued to develop resources and provide professional learning to encourage greater interest and competence in STEM.

We are on track to meet the State Government’s election commitment to convert existing classrooms in 200 schools with primary enrolments to science laboratories by the end of 2020–21. One hundred and fifty classroom conversions have been completed and are in use. These schools have received resource grants of $25,000 to purchase science resources.

Across two days in November 2019, we ran the Innovation Showcase, a professional learning event for school leaders and teachers looking to foster innovation in their schools. The Showcase was held concurrently and at the same location as the Resources Technology Showcase, which brought together mining and energy executives to provide insight into how technology is used in the resources industry. Fifty-five of our Innovation Partnership Schools attended, and shared and demonstrated their innovative practices.

Through the STEM Enterprise Schools project, an important initiative in the State STEM skills strategy, we continued to support the delivery of STEM professional learning and mentoring to teachers. In 2020, 58 pioneer schools involved in the project in 2019 established partnerships with 58 new schools. This will support the partner schools to implement the practices and the pioneer schools to refine their practices. Twenty STEM Mentor Schools, with a strong STEM culture, continued to provide practical school-based support to both sets of schools.

In 2019 and 2020, 26 of our Teacher Development Schools provided STEM related professional learning events and support.

In 2019–20, through professional learning we continued to train and support ten nominated teacher trainers to deliver an inquiry-based STEM program called Little Scientists. The teacher trainers provided 28 professional learning workshops in six Little Scientist modules to 399 participants in 2019–20.

The STEM Learning Project delivered 29 curriculum resource modules. Seven workshops with 159 attendances were held in 2019–20, supporting teachers and school leaders to implement the integrated STEM teaching and learning modules.

Across 2018 and 2019, our 110 Teachers Can Code lead teachers delivered 436 professional learning events to 5,349 participants in schools and networks. Teachers Can Code professional learning modules were created by the Department in partnership with the University of Sydney in response to the State Government election commitment to deliver professional learning to support the integration of coding in the curriculum.

An additional State Government election commitment was to engage with the Australian Government to enhance the teaching and learning of coding. In 2019–20, we distributed a total of $230,511 from the Australian Government to schools for:

  • Sponsorship Grants – to sponsor students to participate in conferences, competitions and other STEM-related events
  • Maker Projects grants – to set up dedicated maker spaces that offer students hands-on STEM experiences in design, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2019–20, the first round of 20 teachers commenced an internship program through the Western Australian Centre for Excellence in the Explicit Teaching of Literacy. The internship provides teachers with professional learning, support and mentoring opportunities.

The Centre – an election commitment aimed at increasing the application of evidence-based explicit literacy practices in our public schools – will deliver three rounds of the four-term internship program for up to 60 teachers.

In 2019, 35 Teacher Development Schools and eight Primary Language Support Schools assisted with implementing the Western Australian Curriculum through 398 professional learning events with 4,896 attendances. They also provided tailored professional learning, with 2,592 attendances in response to 314 requests for support.

As the Languages curriculum becomes mandatory for successive year groups (compulsory for students in Years 3, 4 and 5 in 2020), we continue to provide additional support to teachers including professional learning, mentoring and teaching resources.


Explore the story behind the artwork in our strategic directions for public education in Western Australia.

Enhance capability

Build on past progress to create empowered teachers who build better futures for students

The circles leading from small to large show the empowerment and growth of teachers who build better futures for all students.

The black and white lines either side of these circles show how teachers are supported by school leaders and the Department of Education WA to develop high quality practices.

This support ensures that all teachers entwine a culture of high performance with a culture of high care.