Western Australian Catholic school and system leaders must be capable of leading in three ways. Third, they must strive to create reflective, values-centered organisations through the use of genuine, collaborative dialogue.
When a leader is able to move between these three ways of leading as required by real-time situations, highly-motivated, happy people and a flourishing system will be the result.
Many researchers explain that traditional successors (assistant and deputy principals) are themselves an ageing group and that many avoid the principalship because of a range of disincentives associated with the role.
It seems prudent, therefore, that as a system, we begin the process of identifying our future school and system leaders and forming them well as opposed to relying on our traditional “apprenticeship” model of development. Likewise, many of these beginning principals encounter a role that is far more complex than initially perceived and may witness the demise of idealistic notions when confronted with the tensions and dilemmas associated with executive-level decision making.
This cross-sectoral, competency-based leadership program targets Catholic school and CEWA administration staff interested in attaining a Certificate IV in Business or a Diploma of Management. It is anticipated that this seven-day, compulsory leadership program will target all Catholic school graduate teachers during their first two years of service. This five-day leadership program targets first-time Catholic school and CEWA leaders who feel that development of their leadership capabilities is required to enhance effectiveness.
This 17-day leadership program targets Catholic school and CEWA staff, employed in a leadership role for at least two years, who seek opportunities to further develop their leadership capabilities. This two-year, 23-day leadership program targets staff currently employed as an assistant or deputy principal in a Catholic school or members of the CEWA employed in leadership positions who desire future appointment as the principal of a Catholic school. This 12-day leadership program targets first-time Western Australian Catholic school principals. This leadership program targets established principals and members of their leadership teams who seek leadership capability enrichment through one and two day Leadership Enrichment Courses (LECs).


This eight day, cross-sectoral leadership program targets primary and secondary principals with a minimum of ten years of experience in at least two schools with an excellent track record of review. At present, prospective participants may apply for direct entry into the Emerging Leaders, Beginning Leaders, Established Leaders or Aspiring Principals Programs before choosing to complete the program as a stand-alone experience or applying for entry to the next program.
With regard to the development of participant leadership capabilities, it is envisaged that engagement with leadership program content and activities will assist participants to develop their capabilities in four areas: personal, professional, relational and organisational.
Professional capabilities are reflected by the manner in which leaders leverage their academic qualifications, professional learning and career experiences to benefit all members of the school: staff, students, their parents and members of the broader community. First, they must be capable of effectively managing their environmental, physical and human resources.
This way of leading is especially challenging because it requires the leader to have a deep understanding of self, the absence of the need to manipulate, a sense of wholeness, harmony and well-being produced through care, concern, appreciation of both self and others and authentic selfless concern for people.
Specifically, by 2020, these statistics indicate that 57 of the current cohort of 159 principals (36%) will reach or exceed retirement age. These disincentives include the intense nature of the role that demands leadership of the curriculum, pedagogical, financial, capital development and human resource management dimensions of the school. That is, staff moving through the ranks from teacher to a middle-level leadership position to an assistant or deputy role and, finally, principalship.
This program will be piloted in 2013 and may form part of the permanent suite of Catholic Education leadership programs from January 2014. The program is designed to support the transition of graduates from university environments into the teaching profession.
There are two cohorts for this program: the General cohort and the Women in Leadership (WIL) cohort. The program consists of a staged induction over the course of a principal’s first three years of service.


LECs are professional learning opportunities organised by CEWA Team Leaders in consultation with the Catholic Primary Principals’ Association (CPPA), the Catholic Secondary Principals’ Association (CSPA), the Catholic Assistant Principals’ Association (CAPA) and the Catholic Secondary Deputy Principals’ Association (CSDPA).
This program is due to be piloted in 2013 and will become part of the permanent suite of Catholic Education leadership programs from January 2014. However, in the future, it will be possible for a graduate teacher to begin their leadership journey in the Early Career Teachers Program before progressing, over the course of their career, through the Emerging Leaders, Beginning Leaders, Established Leaders and Aspiring Principals Programs to the principalship. The four domains of the Leadership Framework (Catholic Identity, Community, Education and Stewardship) represent the significant action areas of Western Australian Catholic school leaders when promoting the educational mission of the Catholic Church and describe all activity that occurs within Catholic schools.
Put simply, personal capabilities are defined by the capacity of a Catholic school leader to learn from personal and professional experiences, both positive and negative, and appropriately change behaviours. The retirement of members of this group in the same proportion and at the same rate as principals, in addition to those who are unwilling to apply, seriously dilutes an already dwindling aspirant pool.
Designed as a two year program, a pilot program for graduate teachers in their first year of service will be trialed throughout 2013 with a subsequent pilot for the program’s second year taking place in 2014. After completing principal induction through the Beginning Principals Program, a principal will be able to attain further enrichment by participating in LECs that make up the Established Principals Program before eventually participating in the Experienced Principals Program. Finally, organisational capabilities refer to the capacity of a leader to understand where their school is at, where it needs to be and how to get there.
It is anticipated that the inaugural year of the program will commence in 2015 for all graduate teachers joining Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Perth and the diocese of Bunbury and Geraldton. Of concern in this regard is a body of research concluding that the aspirant pool in many countries, including Australia, is shrinking.



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