‘Successful leadership can play a highly significant — and frequently underestimated — role in improving student learning. Specifically, the available evidence about the size and nature of the effects of successful leadership on student learning justifies the claim that leadership is second only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school’ (Leithwood, 2004).

High-quality teaching and leadership in every school is essential to Victoria’s success in supporting students’ achievement, wellbeing and engagement. To achieve this, our education system must empower and support teachers, leaders and education support class employees at every career stage to be the best they can.

The whole-of-practice approach to performance and development (the approach) outlined in these Guidelines promotes a consistent process and a common language for the evaluation and support of principal class employee performance and development in Victorian government schools. It is developmentally focused, and is designed to enable individual accountability and collective responsibility, to support collaborative professional learning and to improve the quality of practice. The approach:

  • promotes the development of thriving school cultures where continuous development of professional skills, knowledge and engagement are the norm, and which are based on collaborative and mutually supportive workplaces
  • encourages school leaders to set high expectations and establish clear accountabilities for professional practice in a collaborative environment which values high quality, meaningful, and developmentally focused feedback
  • acknowledges the highly skilled and complex nature of leadership and builds on the excellent practices that already exist in many Victorian government schools and across the profession

The approach incorporates the core accountabilities set out in a principal class employee’s contract of employment. Satisfactory performance in relation to the core accountabilities will therefore be a prerequisite for a satisfactory outcome in any given performance cycle.

These Guidelines describe the whole-of-practice approach to performance and development as it applies to principal class employees. Key elements of the approach and what principal class employees and reviewers need to do at each stage of the performance and development cycle are also described. This includes an outline of the relevant professional standard and advice on goal-setting, collection of evidence and the provision of effective feedback.

To complement the approach, the Department will provide tools and resources to assist practitioners to advance their professional practices.

Introduction for Performance and Development for Principal Class Employees

Reviewed 05 February 2024

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