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Pictured L-R: Georgia Heffernan (Deputy Principal, Catholic Ladies’ College); Christopher Short (Principal, Berwick Chase Primary School); Karen Snibson (Principal, Phoenix P-12 Community College); James Taylor (Assistant Principal, Richmond High School); Dr Timothy O’Leary (former Director of Learning, St John’s College)
Pictured L-R: Georgia Heffernan (Deputy Principal, Catholic Ladies’ College); Christopher Short (Principal, Berwick Chase Primary School); Karen Snibson (Principal, Phoenix P-12 Community College); James Taylor (Assistant Principal, Richmond High School); Dr Timothy O’Leary (former Director of Learning, St John’s College) - (c) ACER

Building leadership for collective efficacy in Australian schools

ACER news 3 minute read

Fellows of the Menzies School Leader Fellowship Program (MSLFP) visited ACER’s Melbourne office recently for an interactive workshop on collaboration and collective efficacy for leading teaching and learning. 

The MSLFP is a two-year fellowship through which selected school leaders develop their leadership capabilities and skills. It’s an initiative of the Menzies Foundation’s School Leadership Incubator, a unique, multi-sector collaboration designed to address the question of how to systematically build a pipeline of school leaders capable of leading well in increasingly complex environments. 

The fellowship launched in 2019 with five principals and assistant principals (pictured) of Victorian government, Catholic and independent primary and secondary schools, and in 2021 will welcome five new Fellows into cohort 2. Findings of the MSLFP will inform future fellowship design and broader system level insights related to school leadership.

The workshops are part of an integrated program that includes seminars, leadership coaching and tailored tools and resources for strategic interventions, including funding and school-based action-research. The most recent workshop was facilitated by ACER’s Dr Hilary Hollingsworth, Dr Kerry Elliott and Jonathan Heard with other colleagues from the Incubator.

‘School leadership is challenging and complex and it’s increasingly dependent on the collective efforts of leaders and teams,’ Dr Hollingsworth and Dr Elliott said. ‘A collaborative leadership model focused on building collective efficacy can provide principals working in high-pressure roles much-needed support and help build a pipeline of highly capable future school leaders.

‘The Incubator explores ways to develop collaborative leadership capabilities at the individual, school, network and system levels.’

The Menzies School Leadership Incubator is a consortium initiated by the Menzies Foundation.

Read the Menzies School Leadership Incubator: Impact and Evaluation Report 2019. ■

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