Growing Great Leaders

Growing Great Leaders (GGL) is a school leadership program delivered by the SLI in partnership with the University of Auckland. The program is for newly appointed, first time principals once they have attended their Principal Induction conference.

GGL helps new principals develop student-centred leadership by embedding evidence-informed theory into practice. The leadership capabilities of applying relevant knowledge, solving complex problems and building relational trust are covered over six modules.

The online program is a leadership development program based on the Student-Centred Leadership model developed by Distinguished Professor Emeritus Viviane Robinson. It focuses on the development of the professional skills and capabilities of new principals, enabling them to work effectively in their unique contexts, alongside their colleagues and communities, to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

GGL uses real-life problems from schools or communities of schools, and guides participants through the process of improvement while developing competence and skills in particular aspects of the improvement puzzle. Sessions guide teams through the cycle of inquiry, learning and action, involve everyone in reporting on the steps they have taken in-between sessions and provides the opportunity for group critique and advice.

Program details

An orientation to the theory and critical content of six modules:

  • Introduction to student-centred leadership: participants explore their understanding of the SCL model and its applicability within the everyday world of the school leader
  • Relational trust: introduces participants to, and enables participants to interrogate seminal research into relational trust, its determinants and its impact on school outcomes
  • Establishing goals and expectations: allows participants to engage in goal theory and understand the impact of effective goal setting on school improvement
  • Resourcing strategically: enables participants to understand the importance of resourcing strategically, and and how this is critically linked to the achievement of priority goals
  • Solving complex problems: participants investigate the nature of problems and consider the implied understandings that underlie the typical leader’s approach to problem solving, and the impact of these beliefs.
  • Ensuring quality teaching: participants will understand the importance of a shared theory of quality teaching, and the principles that underpin that theory

The GGL program uses an online delivery approach including ZOOM and other technologies. Participants will work in both large seminar groups as well as small professional learning groups (PLG) based on school size and school type.

The pedagogy used by UACEL facilitators provides considerable time for working with the content of the six modules, opportunities to contribute to collegial discussion and the application of constructive feedback to demonstrate an understanding of professional knowledge and application in practice.

150 newly appointed, first-time principals were offered registration for 2020. The current iteration of GGL will run during Semester 2, 2020, concluding in Semester 1, 2021. The GGL program is supported by experienced principals currently working in the NSW public school system. Principal Facilitators participate in a rigorous training with the UACEL, receiving accreditation to facilitate in this program.

More information

For more information on how to apply or email the School Leadership Institute at

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