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 schools through the leadership strategy, professional development and public school review.

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

For the 2021 school year, the Director General provided all public school leaders with a Statement of Expectations. The statement:

  • made clear the expectations and responsibilities of the school and the Department in regards to student achievement and progress
  • sets out the expectations of Principals in relation to the delivery of our strategic directions
  • underpins each school’s strategic planning and self-assessment, and reflects the expectation on school improvement to ensure every student is successful.

In 2020–21, 77 emerging leaders completed Explore: A Career in School Leadership, an online program for teachers and classroom leaders; and 168 leaders who intend on applying for school principal positions within the next two years attended the Aspirant Principal Preparation Program.

The Newly Appointed Principal Induction Program supported those who have not previously held a substantive principal position with 77 participants attending the two-day induction in 2020–21.

Launch: New Principal Program, designed to fast‑track the learning curve for principals in their first three years, had 48 participants in 2020–21.

A second trial of the Western Australian Future Leaders Framework was evaluated and the framework released for implementation to all public schools. It incorporates both a stand-alone or school network approach, ensuring scalability and sustainability for the long term. In 2020–21, 308 people attended workshops exploring new ways to identify, develop and support people with a high potential for leadership.

We continued to develop the Aspirant Aboriginal Leaders Program, with 27 staff participating in Djiral-ak djinda bidi – North Star Path, a program involving current Aboriginal leaders supporting aspirant Aboriginal leaders.

Linking to this work, the Aboriginal Aspirant Level 3 Classroom Teachers Program began in 2020–21, a program to prepare staff to undertake the process to become a level 3 classroom teacher. Through a collaborative planning process between staff facilitating and participating, it aims to ensure a culturally responsive, tailored experience to meet participants’ needs. Twenty-eight Aboriginal classroom teachers engaged in the program.

We appointed 16 exemplary principals to the new role of collegiate principal to provide support to principals across the State – upon request – to lead school improvement and enhance connectedness across our system.

In 2020–21, we provided professional learning for principals and emerging leaders.

The Leading School Improvement suite of programs continued to attract school leadership teams from across the State with 809 participants in 2020–21. Programs are designed to strengthen schools’ approach to whole‑school improvement and build cohesive, high-functioning leadership teams.

In 2020–21, a fourth cohort completed the Western Australian Public School Principals’ Fellowship Program and were conferred as principal fellows bringing the total to 79. The fellows form a pool of experienced leaders to support their colleagues and lead system change initiatives.

In 2020, 15 school psychologists completed our Development Program for Aspiring School Psychology Leaders. Launched in 2019, this Australian Psychological Society award-winning program has supported the replenishing of our lead school psychologist workforce in regions.

Twenty-eight managers corporate services and school leaders completed a Graduate Certificate of Education Business Leadership from Deakin University in 2020–21.

In 2020–21, 283 staff completed one of the programs in the suite for managers corporate services at every career stage. We significantly subsidised these programs.

Women in the initial stages of their leadership journey were supported by the Rising Leaders Program: Emerging Women in Leadership. Twenty-three participants attended this partially funded program designed to enhance women’s leadership capabilities through personal and professional growth.

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

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

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 136 schools. This initiative is supporting 20 mentor schools, 58 pioneer schools and 58 partner schools to implement, refine and scale innovative STEM practices in their schools and across WA.

In June 2021, 79 STEM Enterprise Schools participated in the STEM Enterprise Showcase, where they showcased engaging, student-focused STEM practices and hands-on activities. The event was again co-located with the Resources Technology Showcase, enabling students to understand how their classroom learning links to innovative technology being developed and used in the mining, resources, defence and space industries in WA. Nearly 11,000 visitors to the event were exposed to innovative work being undertaken in public schools to prepare young people for the jobs of the future.

As part of the STEM Enterprise Schools initiative and the State’s Asian Engagement Strategy, and in partnership with Asia Education Foundation, we presented the online STEMing from Asia: Digital Youth Summit to over 250 secondary students in 2020. Students engaged with STEM expert consultants and generated STEM related prototypes based on technological advances in China, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

In 2020, 26 of our Teacher Development Schools provided STEM‑related professional learning events and support. In 2021, 31 schools, including five DigiTech Schools, provided STEM‑related professional learning events and support.

In 2020–21, our 10 teacher trainers continued to deliver an inquiry-based STEM program called Little Scientists. They provided six professional learning workshops in Little Scientist modules to 56 participants.

In August 2020, the STEM Learning Project concluded having successfully achieved the objectives and outcomes. The curriculum resource modules and professional learning modules developed through the project are available online.

In 2021, a second round of teachers completed internships through the Western Australian Centre for Excellence in the Explicit Teaching of Literacy and a third round of teachers commenced internships. The internship provides teachers with professional learning, support and mentoring opportunities.

The centre – a previous election commitment aimed at strengthening evidence‑based explicit literacy practices in our public schools – is delivering three rounds of the four-term internship program for a total of 60 teachers.

In 2020, 35 Teacher Development Schools and nine Primary Language Support Schools assisted with implementing the Western Australian Curriculum through 267 professional learning events with 7,405 attendances. They also provided targeted professional learning, with 2,410 attendances in response to 323 requests for support. Although the number of professional learning events dropped in 2020 due to COVID‑19 restrictions, increased capability to deliver online enabled more teachers to access professional learning.

In addition:

  • The School Curriculum and Standards Authority is producing Kindergarten to Year 10 curriculum, planning and moderation support materials across all eight learning areas of the Western Australian Curriculum.
  • We are providing teachers with a range of professional learning opportunities to support them to implement these materials in the context of their own classrooms. In 2021, 70 curriculum support teachers were identified and commenced their role to provide professional learning in Semester 2, 2021.


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.