Uni partnership to deliver leadership program in public schools

Tuesday, 19 January, 2021

Uni partnership to deliver leadership program in public schools

NSW Department of Education has selected the winning tender for development and delivery of a professional learning program for middle leaders in NSW public schools. The successful bid was from the University of Newcastle (UON), in partnership with the University of Wollongong (UOW).

Researchers from both universities will work with the NSW School Leadership Institute to co-design and deliver an evidence-based program, according to the UON website. The tender was highly competitive and required submissions to deliver a world-class program that is accessible for up to 500 schools across different geographical locations and that meets the needs of diverse schools and middle leaders.

UOW’s Dr Kylie Lipscombe, Academic Co-Lead of the program, said the partnership approach is a powerful one.

“Partnerships between school systems and teacher educators at universities is such a powerful approach to working together on the moral purpose agenda of teacher and leadership support and development and ultimately improved student learning in schools.

“Such partnerships serve to build capacity at both university and school levels as researchers and practitioners learn from each other,” Dr Lipscombe said.

University of Newcastle Associate Professor Jess Harris said the strength of the research collaboration was the broad expertise across both research teams.

“We are excited to share our specific areas of expertise to build the knowledge base of school middle leaders,” she said.

Middle leadership is a complex and increasingly important position — generally filled by teachers in positions including Assistant Principal and Heads of Curriculum.

“They face many challenges including increased workloads and managing areas such as the performance of staff, because they are literally leading from the middle, positioned between the principal and their teacher colleagues.

“This dual relationship can prove very challenging,” Dr Lipscombe said.

Researchers say the program will be designed to value the teaching profession and will seek to understand the current and future needs of middle leaders, while simultaneously using evidence-based cutting-edge research. The first program will commence in 2021.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/gunmanza

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