Small school, big impact

Innovation; News

​​Participating in Bastow’s Coaching for Principals and Assistant Principals program ignited a passion for coaching in principal Trish Perry and helped her invigorate the region’s school cluster.

‘This has been one of the best professional development programs I’ve ever done in my many years of teaching,’ Trish says of her Bastow experience. ‘It ignited my passion for coaching and revitalised my thinking.’


Bastow’s Coaching for Principals and Assistant Principals program provides professional coaching for school leaders as individuals or in collegiate groups of three to six people.

Trish believes the benefits of being coached as a member of a group cannot be overstated, particularly for principals of smaller schools, which Trish says can be isolating and make it difficult to keep up with developments in teaching and leadership.

‘Working with peers from other schools can provide that missing support. You can bounce ideas off each other, rather than trying to do everything on your own.’

In 2014, Trish joined forces with two principals from other small schools in her region for collegiate coaching. Through this process, the team revitalised the cluster and nine small schools jointly pursued funding opportunities, including start-up grants for language programs; bargained collectively for resources and professional development; and purchased video conferencing units to help overcome their relative isolation.

Every aspect of the collegiate coaching experience resonated with Trish. She now applies a structured coaching model that focuses on how teachers learn and teach professionally, how students learn, how the community can be engaged and how to build a positive climate in the school.

Since completing the course, Trish has become an accredited coach herself and continues to apply her coaching skills to support her teaching team, students and other principals, clearly demonstrating how the principal of a small school can still have a big impact.

Apply now for Bastow’s Coaching for Principals and Assistant Principals program. This program is fully subsidised by DET.

​Read more about Trish’s experience: Coaching for Principals and Assistant Principals - Impact Case Study.