NESLI’s programs recognised as pathway to postgraduate study for school leaders in USA

Australian education provider signs significant agreement with American university.

Associate Professor Janet Smith

Director of Associates, Paul Larkin awarded Dean's and ACEL awards

NESLI Head of School and Director of Associates, Paul Larkin has just been awarded both the Dean’s and ACEL awards as part of his graduation in the Master of Leadership in Organisational Learning. Paul was awarded the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence from Monash University for his academic excellence, which recognised the fact that Paul was the top graduating student in 2017. Along with getting the highest score in his class throughout the program, Paul was also awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) award, which is presented to the top graduating student across Monash’s leadership courses within the Faculty of Education.Victorian Branch ACEL President Coralee Pratt presented Paul with the awards at a ceremony dinner. Massive congratulations to Paul for his hard work and dedication in achieving such great academic results, matched only by the rave reviews he regularly receives from our clients (both individual and organisational). Connect with Paul on LinkedIn and get in touch with us if you want to find out how Paul can help you and your school in it's approach to leadership.

Almost 1 in 2 women teachers experience discrimination at their school

Important survey points to widespread biases, boys club culture and bullying.

The pathway to the ‘sweet spot’

A participant in NESLI’s Advanced Leadership Program shares her thoughts on integrity, authenticity and communication as a female educator.

EQ vs IQ: Clash of the Titans

Are EQ and IQ destined to be at war? Darwin-based education leader Paul Drewitt investigates.


Why educational leadership development can fail and what to about it​

It is undeniable that quality educational leadership is vital for a school’s future, and it is exciting to see more schools investing in staff development in this area. But what does a leadership program need in order to succeed? And why do so many fall short of the mark?

Aside from the obvious need for quality, research based content, there are two important elements needed for an educational leadership development program to be truly successful: it must be holistic and more than anything, it must be contextualised. Without careful consideration and application of these two elements, there is no point to it at all.  

A holistic model

School hierarchies have changed substantially since the administrative top-down styles of yesteryear. They no longer rely on principals and their respective assistants to manage changes like they used to. This means that many more people within a school need to have leadership qualities, including middle-band staff, heads of departments and so on. And we are not talking about your run-of-the-mill delegation responsibilities either.

A holistic approach to leadership development means understanding that no amount of comprehension of leadership theory can make you a leader.  Leadership is a process. Like anything, it takes time and significant focus to get right. Outside of understanding leadership concepts, it also requires emotional courage and self-reflection.

In essence, learning to lead holistically in a school is about three key areas:

  • Your work skills and your knowledge of the job
  • Your inter-personal skills and how you communicate with others
  • Your ability to understand yourself.

Self-knowledge is the single most important ingredient to developing yourself as an educational leader. It must be a key focus in leadership development, alongside sound pedagogy.


Schools are complex beings. They each have their own social ecosystem that can take considerable time and preparation to understand. Although reforms to education policy and standardised testing methods are a reality for all of us, how these changes are discussed, navigated and implemented can change drastically from school to school, for so many different reasons. Therefore, it is important that any leadership development is made relevant to individual teachers and their own professional environment.  

A simple and effective way of keeping leadership development practical and relevant is having teacher-led discussions that contextualise learning. Participants framing leadership pedagogy around real, practical experiences is hugely beneficial.

By integrating leadership theory into your working life, you are also much more likely to make real behavioural change. Which is the most important thing.

A primary school classroom
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