Thursday, 30 Aug 2007

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release 30 August 2007 Leaders exchange expertise through Principal for a Day Improved partnerships between schools, businesses and the community are expected to be key outcomes of the Principal for a Day event to be held on 31 August. This year’s program will involve 84 “Principals for a Day” matched with school leaders in primary, secondary and special schools in metropolitan and regional Victoria. Honorary principals new to the program include Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike, Victorian Treasurer John Lenders, his Federal counterpart Peter Costello and President of the Western Bulldogs Football Club David Smorgon. Repeat participants include ABC radio presenter Jon Faine, celebrity chef Gabriel Gate, Australian Television Foundation CEO Jenny Buckland, and Australian Council for Educational Research CEO Professor Geoff Masters. The program, which is delivered by the ACER Leadership Centre in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, builds relationships between government schools and the corporate world by enabling business and community leaders to spend a day running local government schools, where they meet with students, staff and the wider communities, and are able to experience first hand the issues facing schools. For schools, the program provides an opportunity to showcase the successes of state education, and opens doors for principals into business and community networks. For business and community leaders, the program provides insight into and better understanding of the young people who represent the future of Victoria. Principals for a Day report that the program is fun and opens their eyes to the sophistication of students’ attitudes, knowledge, and engagement in current affairs. “Research points to the importance of strong leadership in schools, and the Principal for a Day program tackles this issue head on,” says ACER CEO Professor Geoff Masters. “The Principal for a Day program allows schools to benefit from the expertise of business leaders who in turn learn what government schools are all about. The program assists in building relationships between business and educational leaders based on mutual respect and shared knowledge.” The links forged through the Principal for a Day program last more than a day: 93 per cent of business and community leaders and principals maintain ongoing partnerships following the event, according to an independent evaluation of the program conducted by Deakin University. This year, 84 business and community leaders, more than 3,000 school staff members, and approximately 50,000 students will benefit from involvement in the program. For a full list of participating schools and Principals for a Day, visit www.principalforaday.com.au ****************ENDS*************