School leadership now rightly holds centre stage in discussions about student learning, schools and their performance. 

This is within the context of the establishment of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) 
which was formed to promote ‘excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership’ .

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Rapid and ongoing change

Rapid and ongoing change provides a particular context for Catholic schooling at this time and a number of elements have particular significance for leadership. Some of these include:

  • increased levels of complexity and diversity within school communities
  • presence of poverty and disadvantage
  • new models of ministry emerging from changes in Church
  • national curriculum
  • rapid technological advances
  • unprecedented levels of accountability from the community and from various jurisdictions
  • focus on standards as a quality measure for student, teacher and principal performance
  • increased emphasis on the professionalism of teachers and school leaders
  • value of evidence-based decision making
  • environmental imperatives
  • emphasis on early childhood learning
  • evolving vocational training
  • a renewed commitment to aligning research knowledge and practice
  • the need for schools and leaders to develop partnerships for things such as innovation, research and funding
  • increasing commitment to Reconciliation

Shaping context

Sandhurst school leaders see themselves as shapers of the contexts in which they operate, rather than seeing themselves as victims of changing circumstances. They engage with their local communities, and with the broader educational community to influence the way others see and describe schools.

They guide their communities to understand the context
in which the school operates and together they respond
to the environment in ways that assist the students
flourish so that: