COVID-19 update for Bastow participants

Unlocking Potential: Principal Preparation

  • Audience
    Teacher leader
    Principal class
  • Next Intake
    Not scheduled
  • Location
  • Duration
    12 months
  • Mode
  • Fees
    DET Fully Subsidised

Essential learning to realise your potential to lead a school and drive improvement. 

Unlocking Potential: Principal Preparation (UP) is our flagship principal preparation program, a unique opportunity to develop your leadership philosophy, set your educational vision and fully understand principal accountability.

Delve into essential theory and practices and learn first-hand from experienced principals, and gain support through a professional coach.

You'll leave knowing what it takes to lead a school where everyone can realise their potential.

UP supports the 'Professional leadership' priority area of the Victorian Education State Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO).

UP is an ideal opportunity for formal learning in the Development Stage of the Talent Management Framework – a structured process to identify, develop and support people with high potential for leadership.


UP is designed for aspiring principals who are working towards their first principal appointment. You must have a minimum of 5 years' teaching experience.

To participate in UP, you must have the full support and approval of your principal and commit to the significant time and effort required.

Over a school year, you're expected to actively engage in and contribute to:

  • face-to-face workshops including a 2-day Open-to-Learning™ Leadership course
  • an internship
  • coaching
  • assessments and online learning activities.


You'll attend 6 workshops:

  • Workshop 1: Developing self and others
  • Workshop 2: Student-centred leadership for a changing world
  • Workshop 3: Leading learning and teaching
  • Workshop 4: Leading improvement, innovation and change
  • Workshop 5: Leading management of the school
  • Workshop 6: Engaging and working with the community

Open-to-Learning™ Leadership course

This practical 2-day course is based on the work of Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson. Learn how to build a culture of open and effective communication, a strong team culture and an environment of professional and relational trust.

For more information, see Open-to-Learning™ Leadership.


A full-day internship induction workshop provides a structured opportunity for participants to meet their mentors.

The internship itself is a 20–30 day placement in another school, working alongside an experienced mentor principal. Work on the practical aspects of the principal role and test new techniques and approaches developed through UP.


During the course, you'll receive up to 4 hours of coaching with a skilled professional coach. Coaching is specific to your learning needs, determined via a 360-degree emotional intelligence diagnostic tool.

Assessment and learning activities

Assessment and learning activities include:

  • team leadership project
  • individual leadership project
  • pre-workshop reading and tasks
  • problem-based learning activities
  • internship planning and debriefs
  • digital learning portfolio
  • capstone interview.

You'll extend your understanding of the five areas of Professional Practice aligned with the Australian Professional Standard for Principals:

  • leading teaching and learning
  • developing self and others
  • leading improvement, innovation and change
  • leading the management of the school
  • engaging and working with the community.

You'll gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • frameworks and practices to drive improvements in leadership and culture
  • the role of the principal and its relationship to improving teaching and learning
  • conditions that support teacher professional learning
  • how to use data and other evidence to drive improvement
  • the latest school leadership research and approaches to improvement.

You'll develop the skills to:

  • analyse and synthesise data and evidence
  • develop and communicate a school vision and strategic plan
  • initiate, support and evaluate strategies for change and improvement
  • lead the development of an adult learning environment and collaborative culture
  • build and maintain trust with staff, students and parents
  • manage resources strategically
  • strengthen performance and giving and receiving feedback.

Recognition of prior learning 

Graduates receive a Graduate Certificate of Principal Preparation (Victoria) from Monash University.

If you choose to do your Master of Education degree or Master of International Education degree at Charles Sturt University, you can apply for subject credits.

See Recognition of Bastow professional learning for more information.

Fully subsidised by the Department of Education and Training for Victorian government school participants.

Government school participants can claim CRT funding.

Travel and accommodation subsidies are available for eligible schools.

See Fees and financial support for more information. 

Acceptance into UP is dependent on a selection process. Applicants will need to respond to the key selection criteria. Those who are shortlisted will be invited to an interview.  It is a requirement that you discuss your participation in the UP program with your principal and seek their endorsement before applying.

Successful applicants also need to meet the selection requirements for the Graduate Certificate of Principal Preparation (Victoria).

Learn more about the application and selection process (PDF 423KB). 

Refer to our frequently asked questions (PDF 385KB) for more information on eligibility and key selection criteria.  

Camille Ruiz
Senior Course Provision Adviser
03 7022 2768

Expression of interest