Readers of Education Matters would know that today’s schools are complex places, with leaders facing a wide range of issues and pressures on top of the demands of leading teaching and learning. The Australian Professional Standard for Principals sets out what principals are expected to know, understand and do to achieve in their work. Principals are doing a great job carrying out a complex role in an industry critical to the future of the nation. Quality education is essential to future national growth, with the OECD recently noting that “The quality of schooling in a country is a powerful predictor of the wealth that countries will produce in the long run” (OECD, 2015).
Quality schools depend on recognising the strategic importance of principal leadership: great schools have great leaders. Our ability to recognise and value quality professional work depends on our ability to assess it, which is where Australian Principal Certification comes in. Certification will provide a sound evidential basis on which to identify accomplished performance. Australian Principal Certification affirms the importance of quality educational leadership and strengthens the unique role pf principals to improve the quality of learning and teaching in schools. It is recognition of the Australian Principal standard in action.
Certification represents the intersection of professional, personal and moral purpose. It provides public and peer endorsed recognition for an individual’s commitment to the Australian Principal Standard and to its operation in Australian schools. Certification recognises a principal’s individual status within the profession, as well as raising the status of the profession collectively. It provides a significant reference point for principals and school leaders in their professional learning and ongoing development.
Principals Australia Institute is leading the process for principals of all Australian schools to develop a form of certification which is referenced to the Australian Principal Standard, able to be individualised to take account of a given principal’s context and is manageable in its scope. The 2015 field test of a prototype established that the Institute’s model of assessment of principals’ work is both valid and reliable, critical for any certification system and achieves the goals of being customisable and manageable. Our recent independent market research affirms Principals support for certification with 70 per cent of principals supporting PAIs model. For more information about Certification visit the Principals Australia Institute website or email us.
Written by Jill de Araugo, Manager, Principal Certification for Principals Australia Institute.
OECD, 2015 Universal Basic Skills: What Countries Stand to Gain. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/edu/universal-basic-skills-9789264234833-en.htm