School leadership program finalist in Premier’s Awards

Western Sydney University has partnered with the NSW Department of Education on a school leadership program, which has been announced as a finalist in the Highest Quality Education category of this year’s NSW Premier’s Awards.

Associate Professor Catherine Attard, from the University’s School of Education and Deputy Director of the Centre for Educational Research, is the research lead for the Practice Changing Practice program — an initiative designed to increase the leadership capacity of teachers and foster the cultures of our schools.

Associate Professor Attard said the program — which included a successful pilot run with the Blacktown Learning Community drawing teachers from Bungarribee, Quakers Hills and The Ponds — was a collaborative effort.

“This evidence-informed program supports experienced and early career teachers by giving them access to effective professional development,” said Associate Professor Attard.

“Teachers are able to build their leadership skills, grow their networks, and to critically reflect on the cultures of the schools they are part of.”

As highlighted in an evaluation report, the Practice Changing Practice program delivered a significant shift in leadership that resulted in improved student outcomes. Following this success, the program was rolled out across three additional directorates.

Professor Michele Simons, Dean of the School of Education, welcomed the recognition and the expansion of the program.

“The School of Education is pleased to contribute its research expertise to this important initiative. Giving teachers the tools to grow their leadership skills, and connecting them with educational experts at the University, benefits the whole school community,” said Professor Simons.

The NSW Premier’s Awards celebrates excellence in the delivery of public services to the NSW community by the public sector, not-for-profit organisations and private businesses. The winners, including from the Highest Quality Education category, will be announced at an awards ceremony on 4 November.


29 October 2020

Ali Sardyga, Media Officer