Plibersek in class of her own on principal academy proposal

Labor’s Tanya Plibersek proposes a school principal academy, “not enough principals are receiving the specialist training they need,” the shadow education minister says, (CMM, yesterday).

Sounds sensible but it did not seem to be top of mind among the teacher education establishment, when CMM searched university submissions to the present House of Representatives committee inquiry on the status of the profession. And it could have, what with a term of reference for the committee including, “increasing the attractiveness of the profession for teachers and principals, including workplace conditions, and career and leadership structures.”

Some submissions to the committee recognise the broad issue. “Career pathways be more explicitly presented through recognised and certified professional development linked to university qualifications, and teachers encouraged and supported in attaining their career aspirations,” Charles Darwin U suggests.

The University of Melbourne recommends, “developing and resourcing processes to identify readiness for leadership roles associated with teachers, middle leaders, senior leaders and principals.”

But that is about it, with no specific proposals  found for a formal body to train principals. But there is one submission which comes closest in calling for resources. “A greater national focus and investment is required to address issues specific to school leaders such as preparation, workload and health and wellbeing, thereby supporting the development of a skilled, effective principal workforce pipeline, the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training argues.

CMM suspects officials will have a brief ready to go if Ms Plibersek is their minister after the election.


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