Principal For A Day®

Victoria’s Principal For A Day® (PFAD) program, now in its 15th year, operates in Victorian government primary, secondary and special schools and is a collaboration between the Department of Education and Training (through the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership) and ACER.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The event date for 2016 was Thursday 8 September, and the theme for 2016 was ‘Leadership and Collaboration: connecting school communities’.​

The program brings business and community leaders together with school leaders, with the aims of:

  • increasing understanding and awareness between schools, business and the wider community
  • promoting the great work that schools do
  • enabling participants to develop ongoing relationships, partnerships and programs.

Principal For A Day® School principals benefit from insights on leadership from successful leaders in other spheres, the opportunity to showcase the school to business and community leaders, and the potential for developing ongoing and mutually beneficial relationships for the school and its students.

Business and community leaders benefit from an insight into the issues facing schools and the work they do, opportunities to share ideas and perspectives on organisational leadership and skills sharing, and a chance to make a contribution to the community.

Involvement with Principal For A Day® can be as a one-off, one-day event, an introduction to exploring the potential for ongoing partnership, or as a consolidation of an existing relationship.

The two components of the event each year are:

  • The event day for Principal For A Day® ​- The principal for a day ‘shadows’ the school principal, and participates in normal day-to-day activities in a primary, special or secondary school. The principal and the ‘principal for a day’ discuss the challenges and current issues each is facing in their leadership role. Other activities on the day usually include a tour of the school buildings and discussions with students and teachers. In 2016 the official event day was Thursday 8 September.
  • The forum component - Following the event day, all ‘principals for a day’ and their host principals are invited to a forum to network and share their leadership experiences and observations from the event day. The 2016 forum was facilitated by Nelly Thomas at Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership on Wednesday 26 October 2016.

To submit an EOI for 2017 or for more information, go to or contact Leanne Eames on 03 9277 5543,