Australian Primary Principals Association - Connected Leader: The APPA e-journal for Australian primary school leaders


August 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Let me start by thanking principals’ associations and schools for celebrating National Primary Principals Day on Friday 3 August.


As we know, a number of budget announcements were made by state and territory governments on education funding and priorities. The Federal Government will be working with state and territory governments on the National Education Reform agreements. Hopefully this will be finalised in September. Education is on the agenda and more importantly the role of leaders in primary schools. Employers are now well aware they need to do more to attract, train and support primary school leaders. We can also see movement in support for principal health and wellbeing space, with many initiatives being rolled out in jurisdictions. I believe education will be in the top three topics for the next federal election. APPA is well placed to influence the education debate and provide sound advice to government. I know that a strong collaborative voice across states and territories can lead to change.

The APPA National Advisory Council (NAC) met recently in Adelaide. We welcomed new member Sally Ruston, IPSHA NSW and proxy members Heather Ablett IPSHA VIC (Brad Nelson) and Keryl Caird WAPPA (Ian Anderson) to our meeting.

We acknowledged the excellent appointment of Norm Hart as Deputy Chair of ACARA. Norm was the past president of APPA. We also welcomed the appointment of Mark Mowbray to the AITSL Board. Mark was past president of ACPPA and an APPA Board member. These appointments required the support of many stakeholders across Australia and so reflect the strong influence and recognition of APPA in the education community.

At the meeting we held a roundtable discussion with Minister for Education, Hon Simon Birmingham on key recommendations from the Through Growth to Achievement Report. APPA NAC welcomed the opportunity to share ideas and a way forward for implementing the recommendations.


The Conference is on track and we are looking forward to joining WA colleagues in Perth. The APPA National Forum, on the Tuesday 17 September (1pm-3.30pm) will focus on school leadership development with guest speaker AITSL CEO Lisa Rodgers. We will look at the Through Growth to Achievement report’s recommendations on leadership and provide a position on aspiring leaders. At the Forum we will release the APPA’s National Professional Charter for Primary School Leaders. The Charter establishes a common understanding of the professional practice for primary school leaders. I invite all delegates to attend the forum and provide your voice and input to the work of APPA.


The School Leadership Expert Standing Committee met recently. I am a member of this committee. The key focus was on the Australian Professional Standard for Principals (APSP) and feedback was sought on how leadership of learning could be prioritised within the APSP, and how the APSP could further support career pathways for school leaders. The committee also looked at professional learning for school leaders and received an update on the progress of the High Quality Professional Learning project.


This project is progressing and will be strongly support by the Teacher Registration Review. We have asked for more communication with principals about the project and benefits to schools. We also stressed the importance of not adding to principal workload in providing data that should already be collected by the system or employer.


The Education Council, made up of state and territory education ministers, met in June. The key topics for the meeting included TEMAG, Terms of Reference for the Review of NAPLAN data presentation, Bullying and Cyberbullying, Early Childhood Education Reform, National Review of Teacher Registration, ITE reform, National School Reform Agreement and NAPLAN Online. The Education Council Communique can be found here.


APPA is a bronze partner with SchoolAid and I am a board director. This Board has appointed Warren Bingham as the new chair. A new strategic plan is being developed. This will include a roll out to all schools an invitation to sign up to SchoolAid’s network of School Social Action Teams. We are planning to have a launch of the School Social Action Teams kit at the APPA National Conference in Perth.

‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ campaign.

With our farmers suffering through what many are calling the ‘worst drought in living memory’ SchoolAid has launched a campaign calling on 10,000 schools around Australia to donate $100 each, and in doing so raise $1 million to go towards hay for drought-affected livestock and hampers for farming families that are struggling with meeting their living expenses.

SchoolAid founder and CEO Sean Gordon said: “Farming families are often the last to ask for help and the first to lend a hand. ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ is about harnessing the collective power of Australia’s youth to help those who have given us so much, both economically and culturally. If you’re a young person and you’re distressed by these images on the news of starving sheep and farmers doing it tough, get involved because there’s now something you can do about it.”

Donations of any amount to the “Hay and Hampers for Hope” campaign are welcome from anyone. This will send our farmers a strong message of hope, knowing that students, teachers & families everywhere really do care about the hard times they are experiencing. Go to:


Principal Australia Institute (PAI) will be undertaking changes to the structure and role in supporting principals’ associations.

Statement from PAI: ‘During the last 12 months The Board of Principals Australia Institute (PAI) has been exploring a range of options for the future sustainability of the organisation in the context of the current professional learning environment for school leaders. This has occurred in consultation with its members, the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) and the Australian Secondary Principals Association (ASPA).

APPA and ASPA as the members of PAI have decided to investigate an alternative direction to support principal associations and their members and therefore, have advised the PAI board to undertake the following actions;
i. Transfer the professional development offerings and resources where possible, to other similar organisations,
ii. Transfer Australian Principal Certification to another relevant organisation,
iii. Transfer the John Laing Awards for Professional Development to another organisation,
iv. Support PAI staff during the transition period and in the transfer of PAI PD services

Upon completion of the changes the current PAI Board will resign on September 27th and the members, APPA and ASPA will appoint a new board of directors.

The organisation has valued the support received by school leaders and their staff during its history and we thank you for working with us over the last 25 years.’

APPA will provide further information on the future once the new board has met and decided on the new direction.


I have been discussing this concept with people and I get very positive responses. The identification as a profession requires a document that articulates the practice as a professional leader. This document aligns to the Australian Professional Standard for Principals and identifies professional behaviour that would be expected by all primary school leaders. The NAC recently agreed to the document and that we take it to the National Forum and Conference for endorsement.

APPA and Stronger Smarter Institute School Leadership Course was held 25 – 28 June (Part 1) in Sydney. I can strongly recommend to any current leader or aspiring leader to enroll in this course. I am looking forward to catching up with fellow learners in September, when we report on our leadership action plans. The course certainly challenged beliefs, assumptions and views on education and how we see learning in school. It also asks a leader to rethink their approach have in communication, conversations and family engagement. The course takes you to another level of how you lead High-Expectation Relationships in your school community. For future course go to:


A national conversation was held in June to hear of the progress. I was a member of the panel: Perspectives on partnerships and implementation. My key points were:

A puzzle is best put tighter with the picture in view to guide. At this point we have some schools and ITE providers with a clear picture of the partnership. They have agreements that set out roles and expectations. The principal can plan ahead and ensure they have the best people working with ITE students. They can also manage the workload for supervising teachers and balance the school projects with when students are in the school. The feedback loop works because the principal can have direct contact with the ITE provider coordinator. However, this is not consistent across Australia. We hear of many late calls seeking placements, inconsistent expectations and poor communication. This haphazard approach will result in the wrong picture being completed.

The idea of cords coming together to be stronger as one, is probably better to pursue. Each brings strengths to the partnership and when shared and identified, results in a clear strong bond that builds a better partnership for all.

The challenge is to know how many placements possible, not what schools need to provide. We need to have better workforce data that identifies the shortages and gaps. We want people coming to schools for a practicum who want to be a teacher. Supervising teachers will lose faith in the system if they are just seen as a part of a process line.

We were asked to provoke some innovative thinking on partnerships.

A partnership with primary schools, employer and ITE provider. A primary school would become the host site for a person wishing to become a teacher. The school could provide the ongoing link to practice and a mentor, with the access to online support from an ITE provider. There could be a tendering process for ITE providers, in collaboration with schools to provide the program. This would be attractive to people in regional and rural areas.

The summary report, as well as the second qualitative TEMAG evaluation on school-university partnerships, are now available on our website:


Principals as STEM Leaders. Building the Evidence Base for Improved STEM Learning (PASL). PASL will support principals to effectively drive whole-of-school collaborative effort in STEM engagement and STEM teaching and learning for STEM capability. This will involve participation in professional learning programs and engagement with tailored mentoring programs. Led by the University of Tasmania in partnership with the Australian Catholic University and with the support of four additional universities and two peak principals' associations (APPA & ASPA), PASL will deliver a set of three high quality and accessible programs of professional learning (PL) for developing the capabilities of principals for leading school-wide ongoing enhancement of STEM teaching and learning. The project is due for launch in September and school principals/leaders will be invited to join the project for commencement in semester 1 2019.

ASIC Money Smart Program and school project. This exciting project will be launched at the APPA National Conference in Perth. APPA and ASIC Money Smart team will work with primary school leaders on school-based innovative learning projects that build the capability of their teachers, students and/or school communities in financial literacy. Sophie deCorpo and Dale Symons conducted a workshop with APPA NAC on how principals can access the project.

CREATE. This project is about building the data linkages between community agencies and government services for a community. It will involve the rollout of a wellbeing assessment tool called Rumble’s Quest. This tool is an online App type game. Students work through a series of challenges at the same time answering questions that relate to wellbeing.


Dennis Yarrington
President, Australian Primary Principals Association


SchoolAid launches ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ national campaign

With farmers suffering through what many are calling the ‘worst drought in living memory’ SchoolAid has today launched its ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ campaign.

The campaign is calling on 10,000 schools around Australia to donate $100 each, and in doing so raise $1 million to go towards hay for drought-affected livestock and hampers for farming families that are struggling with meeting their living expenses.

SchoolAid founder and CEO Sean Gordon said: “Farming families are often the last to ask for help and the first to lend a hand. ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ is about harnessing the collective power of Australia’s youth to help those who have given us so much, both economically and culturally. If you’re a young person and you’re distressed by these images on the news of starving sheep and farmers doing it tough, get involved because there’s now something you can do about it.”

Donations to the Hay and Hampers for Hope campaign can be made here

Dennis Yarrington, SchoolAid Board Member and President of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA), said: “Time and time again at SchoolAid we’ve seen the power of youth philanthropy; whether its helping the community of Tathra recover from bushfires or schools across Queensland overcome the impact of Cyclone Debbie, Australia’s young people are an incredible force for hope and optimism in this world. $1 million is a big number but Australia’s young people have big hearts - I’m convinced once they turn their attention to ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ great things will happen.”

INSPIRING STUDENTS TO READ MORE, and helping them find the books they will love to read, takes a combination of dedication, inspiration and engagement. We know you bring the dedication to work every day and with our ‘Reading Leader’ portal we hope to help with both the inspiration and engagement to get more kids reading and kids reading more.

At Scholastic we encourage the borrowing of brilliance and through our “Reading Leader Award’ we are seeking out the very best for you to borrow from. Scholastic and APPA are providing a platform to recognise Reading Leaders across the country, so that their ideas and efforts can reach more students, and remind us all to help children every day with their reading journey.

Visit our “Reading Leader” portal for reading programs, professional resources, brilliant book suggestions and more. NO COST offerings, all designed to help you be a better reading advocate and connect your students with books they will love to read.

Congratulations to Lesley Gollan of Queensland’s WoodLinks State School, who is the Term 2 Scholastic National Reading Leader Award winner.

Principal Vicki Caldow noted, ‘Lesley is a reading champion who works across the school to develop and implement programs that empower teachers and invites the wider community to support students in practising and enjoying reading.’


Under the spotlight

August 2018

Dianne Farley

The school is the centre of many rural communities and the principal is fully immersed in the joys and challenges of country life. In this story, the principal of Bungwahl Public School, in Queensland, has organised video conferences to support teachers and students directly affected by the 2018 drought.

Craig Barrett

The new principal of Bluff State School, in Queensland, previously held positions of principal and deputy principal within Education Queensland and has also taught at schools overseas in the United States, South Korea, Brunei and Malaysia. He is aims to make his new school ‘the very best it can be.’

Karen Spiller

The principal of John Paul College, in Queensland, has been appointed as the new chair of the board of Independent Schools Queensland. Karen Spiller replaces John Somerset, who held the position for seven years.

Shawn Hutchinson

This South Australia-born educator was recently appointed as principal of ACG Jakarta, in Indonesia. Prior to this, he held senior positions in schools in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, China and Vietnam.

Steven Fouracre

The assistant principal of Wodonga Middle School, in NSW, is to be a contestant in this year’s Stars of the Border Dance for Cancer fundraising event.

Locally made ethical school wear

Through their own procurement policies local schools have the power to support an ethical Australian clothing industry and help prevent the exploitation of workers. There are local school wear manufacturers who are committed to making clothes locally the right way.

Ethical Clothing Australia is responsible for accrediting local clothing and footwear manufacturers to ensure that their workers are receiving their legal wages and entitlements, and working in decent conditions.

To find out more contact Ethical Clothing Australia to ask how we can assist your school to source ethically accredited school wear.

Phone: 03 94190222

Learning curve

August 2018

Early trial of leadership course

Within three years, the Victorian Aspirant Principal Assessment will become compulsory for all aspiring government school principals in that state.

What sets leaders apart?

Do you exhibit the qualities requires for good leadership? According to this article, those unsuited to leadership exhibit ‘responsibility aversion’.

Be ambitious: how to be a powerful woman

The UK's most powerful women share their experiences, advice and philosophy for a successful working life. This video focuses on self-belief and ambition.

How to multiply your time

Rory Vaden, the author of ‘Procrastinate on purpose’, explains why you can't solve today's time-management challenges with yesterday's time-management strategies.

Speak like a leader

Expert speech-writer Simon Lancaster sets out the techniques you can use to speak like a leader. There is a secret language of leadership, he says.

Written by internationally recognised school and early education experts, Your Child's First Year at School: Getting off to a good start, is highly valued as a home and school resource which provides excellent advice to parents, teachers and all interested in giving childrenthe best possible start at school. Order at:

Legal eagles

August 2018

Ban on all ‘connected’ devices

France will ban mobile phones in schools across the country from next month. A new law bans students up to the age of 15 from using ‘all connected objects’, including phones, tablets and smartwatches. Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has previously said the ban is a matter of public health because children are not playing during breaks anymore.

The anti-cottonwool approach

A number of government schools in Western Australia have decided to absorb more risk in the play policies of their schools. ‘If we cocoon them too much then they never know what's a safe risk and what's an unsafe risk,’ says Maria Cook, the principal of Perth’s Honeywood Primary School.

Exemption from discrimination laws

This 3AW radio interview (see second item), discusses the reason why Carey Baptist Grammar School, in Melbourne, has been granted another exception from discrimination laws, thereby allowing it to enrol fewer boys and achieve a more gender-balanced student population.

Suspended sentence

Former South Australian principal Angela Puhle recently received a suspended sentence for the manslaughter of her disabled adult daughter in March 2011.

Security lapse

Teachers and principals in Tasmania who have made legally mandatory reports on alleged child abuse will not be pleased by the revelation that, until recently, sensitive personal data may not have been fully secure.

PR1ME Mathematics—based on the world’s best practice used in Singapore PR1ME has been developed by Scholastic in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Singapore.

How does it work? PR1ME: explicitly and systematically teaches the problem solving processes and strategies; uses consistent and carefully structured pedagogy; takes a carefully scaffolded, deep-dive into conceptual development; actively involves students in metacognition; and provides professional learning for teachers.

Challenge your thinking

August 2018

International anomaly

Why is it that Australia is one of the few countries in the world where students of migrant families (i.e. children who are born in Australia but have parents born elsewhere) achieve at significantly higher levels than non-immigrant students?

Fast track teacher training schemes

Education stakeholders express diverse opinions about a proposed teacher training program for ‘high achievers’ without university degrees. The article includes some interesting statistics on the long-term retention of Teach for Australia graduates.

Education and salary: the gender difference

More women than men now hold a university degree but the gender pay gap and share of housework and childcare has barely moved, the latest release of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey reveals.

Bonsai parenting

Clinical psychologist and researcher Judith Locke has identified a new breed of ‘therapised’ children, created by their parents' desire to make them happy.

Positive Education

What is the research base for Positive Education? This useful article provides an excellent commentary on the popular program.

For 40 years, Scholastic Australia has been partnering with schools across the country to give kids access to books they want to read through Clubs and Fairs. In 2012, Scholastic gave Australian schools over $11 million worth of Scholastic Rewards. To find out how you can spend Scholastic Rewards on resources and save your budget, visit

Balancing act

August 2018

Managing emotion and stress

How do the best leaders manage emotion and stress?

Five habits to build emotional intelligence

Success or failure can hinge on a person's level of emotional intelligence, according to a study co-authored by Myeong-Gu Seo and Kathryn Bartol at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. Their research suggests five tips for developing emotional intelligence.

How fit are you?

The Chair Test is used around the world to determine the strength element of fitness. How well do you fare?

Building a happy and healthy workplace

How do you make sure your company is empowering your employees and providing a work environment where they feel cared about?

Are you getting enough sleep?

A simple test with a spoon and a metal tray will let you know whether or not you are getting enough sleep.

Camp Australia delivers after school care solutions, building on the educational experience of school communities. As the nation’s leading after school care provider Camp Australia has partnered with school communities for 25 years, adding value by delivering high quality care, well-trained staff, systems and support. Find out how Camp Australia will add value to your school community at

Something different

August 2018

Call for homelessness education

Noel Mundy, the South Australian chair of Mission Australia, has called for education about homelessness to begin as early as years 5 and 6.

Quality Teaching Rounds (QTR)

A large-scale teacher enhancement program involving 30,000 educators will be rolled out in thousands of New South Wales schools, in a bid to bolster teacher quality, retention and morale.

Acknowledging a traumatic history

The students of Shiroyama Elementary School, in Japan, gather together on the ninth day of every month to sing a unique school anthem. ‘Dear children’s souls’ deals with the most traumatic chapter in the school’s long history: the moment 1,400 students and 28 staff members died when the USA dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, in the closing stages of the Second World War.

Parenting seminars

The WA Education Department has made a world-renowned parenting program more accessible for parents of kindergarten-aged children, in a bid to address early behavioural issues.

Tap for Teacher

More than 50 representatives from the education, business and technology sectors attended the launch of a new app that will help schools to find temporary relief teachers.

My word

August 2018

Arne Duncan

Public education in the USA ‘runs on lies’ claims this writer, in his recently released book titled ‘How schools work’.

Steve Rankin

‘Governments have to be super careful - and policy-makers - that we don't get mesmerised by the shiny mirror of STEM and we start thinking about STEAM and put the creativity and the arts back into it.’ Creativity is an important skill for everyone, regardless of whether or not they work in the arts industry, says the 2018 Tasmanian of the Year.

Pasi Sahlberg

Amidst the diverse views expressed in this article, the opinion of Finnish educationist Pasi Sahlberg merits special attention. Mobile phone-related distraction was ‘a main reason’ for Australia sliding down in Pisa rankings, he is reported t0 have said.

Maggie Dent

Author and resilience specialist Maggie Dent says that banning traditional schoolyard games was ‘a sad indictment of the modern world.’ Many schools are caught in the middle of wanting to protect the physical and emotional safety of their students, avoid legal risk and still provide a healthy play experience.

Matt Cunningham

‘It’s depressing to think that indigenous education in the Northern Territory has been tracking backwards for four decades,’ says this ‘NT News’ journalist.

Academy Photography are proud sponsors of the Australian Primary Principals Association. Academy Photography services include school photography, yearbooks, complete printing and educational solutions using latest technologies.

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Money matters

August 2018

Review of school finances

The principal of Kimberley College, in Queensland, has been stood down after a school board review of financial and administrative practices.

Concerns over Gonski 2.0

As consultations continue around the reduced funding growth in its Gonski 2.0 funding package, independent schools bodies in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have expressed alarm that the Federal Government is preparing to ‘appease’ the Catholic sector at their expense.

Determined fundraising

Four years of fundraising has resulted in a playground upgrade for Hamilton Island State School, in Queensland.

Expenditure on capital works

The not-for-profit requirement of Australia’s education sector means that independent schools are ‘incentivised’ to spend on capital works, especially where they operate in highly competitive urban marketplaces.

Alternative fundraising form

Enjoy the honesty of this entertaining ‘alternative’ donation form, which was successfully used in a school in Kentucky, USA, and reported in the Irish press.

Love the Job

August 2018

The secrets of people who love their jobs

Happiness depends on the goodness of our jobs, and those good jobs are made not found, says Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D., who has been described as the world’s leading researcher on hope. The mission of Dr Lopez is to help people of all ages exercise some control over what their future can become and to teach them how to aim for the future they want in school, work and life. He is also one of the most vocal advocates of psychological reform of the US education system. He helps schools function less like impersonal factories and more like dynamic human development centres that help students achieve the meaningful futures they say they really want – including a good job and a happy family.

The ten principles of loving your career and your job

In a worldwide survey of 25 million workers in 189 different countries, only 13% of the people surveyed actually loved their job. Tony Beshara has interviewed more than 26,000 professionals since 1973, and has discovered 10 principles that people who love their jobs and love their career operate by. Learn what this 13% of the workforce is doing that others aren't. Learn how to love your job and love your career!

Managing Editor, APPA 'Connected Leader'

Debra J. Crouch
Mobile: 0413 009988

Connected Leader

Connected Leader Copyright ©. Australian Primary Principals Association 2016. This whole publication, created as a deliberately selected compilation of internet-based resources, may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA).

Connected Leader is an official publication of the Australian Primary Principals Association. In close collaboration with APPA, Connected Leader is designed, produced and edited, specifically for APPA members, by Debra J. Crouch, Managing Director of straight to the point, to enhance the professional learning of Australian primary school leaders.


The opinions expressed in any of the internet-based resources accessed by links from Connected Leader, belong entirely to those who created those resources, and do not necessarily represent official APPA views and policies. At times, links to some resources may be deliberately selected to reflect the wide range of views held by Australian primary school leaders, and the views therein may be subject to debate in some sections of the education community. Readers are advised that, in the interests of brevity, not all of the available personal opinions or information about a particular event, development, issue or policy direction may be published in resources made available through links in Connected Leader. Interested readers who require more comprehensive information, or who seek the opinions of all stakeholders, are advised to directly contact the institution/s or persons cited in the resource/s or conduct their own private research.

Neither APPA, Debra J. Crouch nor Vivid Word and Image Design can guarantee, or take responsibility for, the accuracy or otherwise of any of the information and/or views contained in any of the internet-based resources accessed by links from Connected Leader, or from subsequent webpages accessed via links within (or in material/text following) those suggested resources. The duration of all links cannot be guaranteed by APPA or VIVID Word and Image Design. Nor do these two parties accept responsibility for any loss or damages arising from statements or opinions contained in any published article or advertisement.