Director's Message - Customising Leadership Development in 2014

Director's Message - Welcome backThe New Year brings with it a lot of expectation, but also a lot of opportunity. The opportunity to grow and to develop, for yourself, your staff and your students.

The launch of the From New Directions to Action (New Directions) plan in 2013 included a raft of initiatives to develop and support leadership throughout the education and early childhood sectors, particularly, ‘to provide strong direction and support: elevate the role of leadership at school system levels’.

New Directions acknowledges the importance of good leadership and the positive effects it has on student outcomes. Last year the team at Bastow developed a research paper looking at career stages in leadership which formed the basis of the Department’s leadership strategy.

To support the strategy Bastow has established a suite of programs that address leadership development at all career stages, from emerging to system leader.

Applications are now open for the Bastow Changemakers program for emerging leaders, a course that equips potential leaders with the skills to drive positive change to help student disadvantage. This course is running in North Melbourne in the first half of the year and will be taken on the road to Gippsland in the second half.

We have several courses open for application that are suitable for leaders at all stages of their career: Leading Literacy assists teachers and school leaders to create and sustain exemplary literacy practice throughout their school; Leading Assessment for Teachers brings together teachers responsible for curriculum design and school principals to develop skills and knowledge in leading professional learning and developing self and others, allowing teachers to become more focused in their teaching and ensuring student learning.

For Early Childhood professionals, Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities develops the participant’s knowledge, understanding and skills required to strengthen their partnerships with families and communities.

Bastow is cognisant of the developments of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, particularly with their work on the Australian Principal Standard. Bastow’s courses and programs align with this work and aim to address the needs of potential and experienced principals across the state.

A new flagship Principal Preparation Program develops school leaders’ confidence, leadership skills and professional knowledge to support the provision of high quality education, and our Professional Support for New Principals, offered to all new principals, provides focused, personalised and explicit support to first-time principals.

As well as continuing the range of courses, programs and seminars in North Melbourne, 2014 will see the expansion of Bastow’s reach into rural and regional Victoria. Bastow has courses running in East Gippsland, Geelong, Bendigo and Benalla, with many more locations planned for the future. Emerging, middle and experienced leaders in schools and early childhood settings across rural and regional Victoria will have access to high quality, contextualised leadership development in situ.

Bastow is establishing a professional services approach with school improvement networks and regions to respond with tailored professional development solutions for schools. This customised approach to leadership development will:

  • Support TVLC and New Directions initiatives

  • Enable greater reach of professional learning opportunities into rural and regional areas

  • Support leaders at all stages of their development.

I, along with the staff at Bastow, look forward to working with you and your community over the year in your learning, growth and development. Bastow is here as your institute and we encourage you to get involved. Start a conversation through our blog site Talking Point, our Facebook page or on Twitter and let us know what you are looking for in your professional learning this year and how we can support you.