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.

The Western Australian Public School Leadership Strategy 2018–2021 came to an end and will guide work going forward to further enhance the quality and capacity of our school leaders. Programs and initiatives introduced under the strategy have:

  • created a strong pool of potential school leaders
  • ensured current and future school leaders are continually supported to grow professionally
  • supported principals to continually and effectively monitor and improve their performance
  • built opportunities for school leaders to inform, support and lead system improvement.

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

  • made clear the expectations and responsibilities of the school and the Department in regard 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.

As at June 2022, nearly 40% (315) of public schools are implementing the Western Australian Future Leaders Framework, either as an individual school or as part of a network-wide approach, to identify, develop and support staff with a high potential for leadership. 

In 2021, 12 school psychologists completed our Development Program for Aspiring School Psychology Leaders. The program, designed to build skills and competencies towards this role, supports replenishing our lead school psychologist workforce. A further 12 school psychologists are undertaking the program in 2022.

In 2021–22: 

  • 59 staff completed Explore: A Career in School Leadership, an online program for teachers and classroom leaders to better understand the role of the school leader.
  • 88 leaders completed the Aspirant Principal Preparation program. The program provided targeted leadership development for effective leaders who are recognised to have the aptitude, performance and readiness to prepare for the principal role.
  • 42 principals completed the Newly Appointed Principal Induction program, which aims to increase understanding of the key operational aspects of being a principal and provides opportunities to forge connections to system leaders.
  • 16 principals completed the Launch: New Principal Program, designed to fast-track learning for principals in their first 3 years or with a fixed-term contract of 6 months or longer. The program supports the transition to principal and includes one-on-one coaching and mentoring with an accomplished principal for 12 months. 

We continued to develop Djiraly-ak djinda bidi ‘North Star’ program based on participant feedback. The program is for aspirant Aboriginal leaders to identify their career and leadership goals and the support they require to achieve those goals. In 2022, 28 aspirant Aboriginal leaders began participating in the program.

In 2021–22, we provided professional learning for principals and emerging leaders.

The Leading School Improvement suite of programs, deferred for part of 2021–22 due to COVID-19, had 306 participants. The programs are designed to strengthen schools’ approaches to whole-school improvement and build cohesive, high-functioning leadership teams.

Collegiate principals provide feedback and personalised support to increase the instructional leadership capacity of principals across Western Australia and their impact on student learning. Since the service was launched in 2021, 485 principals have worked with a collegiate principal, 261 (54%) from regional locations and 224 (46%) from metropolitan schools.

We fund enrolments in a Graduate Certificate of Education Business Leadership from Deakin University for managers corporate services and school leaders. Fifty places were offered in 2021, and 30 places in 2022.

In 2021–22, 335 staff completed a professional learning program in the career pathway suite for managers corporate services. We significantly subsidised the programs to support and develop business leaders.

In 2022, we provided flexible learning for corporate services staff in schools by increasing online learning opportunities and introducing virtual presentations.

In 2022, the Rising Leaders Program: Emerging Women in Leadership for women in the initial stages of their leadership journey had 23 participants. The partially funded program is 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.

Building on the previous program that converted 200 classrooms into science laboratories, a 2021 election commitment will ensure all primary schools that did not receive funding in the previous program receive funding. The new program will see classrooms at more than 130 schools converted into science laboratories. In addition, these schools will receive a resource grant of $25,000 to purchase science equipment and resources. In 2021–22, 30 primary school classrooms were converted and planning on the next 53 commenced. Planning also commenced on delivering secondary science laboratories at 9 district high schools and new or refurbished STEM laboratories at 16 regional and metropolitan secondary schools.

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 supported 20 mentor schools, 58 pioneer schools and 58 partner schools to increase student participation, engagement, capability and aspirations in STEM.

Schools developed networks with industry and community where over 160 partnerships came together to create new STEM learning opportunities for students and highlight future STEM career pathways. The partnerships consisted of a diverse combination of providers, including schools, universities, training providers, businesses and community organisations.

The Two-way Science Initiative supports schools to build partnerships with Aboriginal communities to connect local Aboriginal knowledge with the science curriculum in an integrated teaching and learning program. In 2021–22, 21 schools in the Kimberley, Goldfields and metropolitan regions were formally engaged in the initiative. Participating schools demonstrated strong relationships with local Aboriginal communities; high levels of teacher confidence and capacity to connect local Aboriginal knowledge with the curriculum; and improved capacity to engage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students through meaningful pedagogies, resources and curriculum.

The PRIMED project is an initiative of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, the Department of Training and Workforce Development, and the Department of Education, and is delivered in partnership with the primary industries sector. PRIMED aims to prepare students in Years 7 to 10 for careers in primary industries in Western Australia. In 2021–22, PRIMED:

  • published 203 resources aligned to the Western Australian curriculum
  • trained 28 teacher leaders to deliver related professional learning.

In 2021, 35 Teacher Development Schools assisted with implementing the Western Australian curriculum through 302 online and face-to-face professional learning events with 7,054 attendances. They also provided targeted professional learning, with 2,426 attendances in response to 337 requests for support. 

In 2021, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority produced Kindergarten to Year 10 curriculum, planning and moderation support materials across all 8 learning areas of the Western Australian curriculum. 

  • We provided teachers with a range of professional learning opportunities to support them to implement these materials in the context of their own classrooms. Seventy curriculum support teachers were identified and provided 381 professional learning events for 6,617 teachers.
  • Funding of $7.1 million was provided to schools to enable teachers to participate in professional learning around these new materials.

In 2022, a third round of teachers completed internships through the Western Australian Centre for Excellence in the Explicit Teaching of Literacy. The 4-term program aims to strengthen evidence‑based explicit literacy practices in public schools with primary-aged students. It provides teachers with professional learning, support and mentoring opportunities. Further consolidation of explicit literacy practices in their schools and provision of support to a partner school are required in the year following their participation in the program.