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Victoria bypasses other providers to create its own Principal Certification

Posted on 30 July 2018
Victoria bypasses other providers to create its own Principal Certification

For some time now, CaSPA has questioned the expensive options some private groups are proposing to create Principal Certification.

In the light of this, the decision by the Victorian Government, through its own Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership, to provide its own accreditation process for Principals - based on the AITSL standards - is a very interesting development as the following story shows:

Making a mark: the new tests for would-be state principals

Julian Growcott knows he'll never be the perfect principal. But the 43-year-old now knows he's ready for the tough and rewarding role.

He recently trialled a new test that every aspiring Victorian state school principal will soon have to sit if they want the top job.

"It's provided an opportunity to reflect on where I'm at and what I might need to do to improve," he said.

The Victorian Aspirant Principal Assessment will become compulsory for all would-be state school principals within three G years, with a larger trial to be rolled out in September.

The scheme is designed to ensure teachers are prepared for the challenges of running a school in an increasingly complex environment where stress and burnout is common.

It's an all-encompassing job, with principals expected to deliver good academic results, oversee multi million dollar budgets, wade through red tape, respond to legislative changes and deal with vexatious and abusive parents.

There are three parts to the assessment; aspiring principals must complete an extensive survey, compile a portfolio of their work and then respond to questions from a panel of principals during a 90-minute behavioural interview.

During this final hurdle, they must explain how they've improved student outcomes, adjusted to change and responded to challenges in the schoolyard.

Principals will then receive a report outlining whether they are ready for the job.

Mr Growcott, who is currently the acting principal of Rosewood Downs Primary School in Dandenong North, said the fourmonth process was affirming.

While he was told his people and "big-picture thinking" skills were strong, he was urged to improve the way he rolled out change. "I have some skills and also some things that I can improve on," he said. "I will work as hard as I can." It's been 20 years since Mr Growcott left his demanding job in Hawthorn Football Club's marketing department to study teaching. He hasn't looked back.

"I saw teaching as an opportunity to make a difference.

The longer I stayed, the more I realised what a privileged position I'm in."

Over the past few years, he's started striving for the top job.

"When you are in a job you love, you want to get better. The further you move up, the more impact you have. I want to improve the outcomes for kids." The Andrews government has invested $4.4 million in the scheme, which is being developed by the Merlino said the initiative would identify and prepare the next generation of Victoria's educational leaders.

"We want to prepare every aspiring principal for the challenges that the role brings and that means we need to give them the support they deserve," he said.

The assessment is tied to standards for principals developed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

University of Melbourne associate professor Lawrie Drysdale, who was involved in overseeing the trial, said principals had to prove they had reached these standards.

"The aim is to provide quality principals," he said. "Principals are a key factor in determining student outcomes. We want to become more competitive internationally.

We want to make sure they are ready."

Tags: Leadership Catholic Secondary Principals Australia Professional Development Principals Australia

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