Australian experts put educational leadership on world stage

Here at NESLI we are delgihted to be able to announce that we have been chosen to develop and deliver a ground-breaking national teacher leadership program across the United States.

NESLI has a new website!

The National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative has a new website, where we showcase our new development courses and leadership development opportunities.

NESLI’S PROGRAMS RECOGNISED AS PATHWAY TO POSTGRADUATE STUDY FOR SCHOOL LEADERS IN USA​

The National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI), a leading provider of leadership and wellbeing courses for those working in the schools sector, has entered into an innovative articulation partnership with Lesley University in the USA.Under the agreement, participants who successfully complete a NESLI American program offering, including the Schools Leadership Colloquium and the Advanced Leadership Program, are eligible for credit towards the Master of Education program offered by Lesley.The recognition arrangement is an exciting development in providing high quality online and blended professional learning for school and school district leaders in North America. Founded in Australia in 2014, NESLI’s focus on applicable learning outcomes and their unique blended learning methodologies has created a new global standard in the development of school leaders. NESLI started offering courses to the North American market in 2015, and has quickly established itself as a preferred supplier of leadership and wellbeing programs to the schools market across the continent.   Lesley is a leading university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, specialising in education, expressive therapies, creative writing, counselling and fine arts programs. The Master of Education program is delivered online and can be individually designed to create a personalised and unique learning experience.The agreement formalises the close working relationship that has developed between Lesley University and NESLI. It builds on similar arrangements that NESLI has with Monash University for articulation of NESLI programs into Monash’s Master of Leadership and Master of Education postgraduate offerings. “The growing demand for NESLI programs in North America, especially in the areas of leadership development for current and aspiring school principals and district superintendents, has generated significant interest from participants in pathways to postgraduate study,” explained Professor Mike Gaffney, NESLI’s Academic Director. “Our agreement brings the strengths of each partner organisation to the table. Lesley has a reputation for providing high quality, customised and individualised postgraduate courses that are ideally suited to the learning design and suite of program offerings provided by NESLI.”   Looking ahead, Professor Gaffney emphasised that the agreement provided “…the basis for further cooperation and collaboration in tackling NESLI’s and Lesley’s shared priorities for inspiring school leadership, quality teaching and engaging learning.” ​

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.Almost one in two women teachers in Australian schools have experienced some kind of barrier or discrimination throughout their careers, according to a new survey administered by the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI). The 2018 Australian Schools Gender Survey is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, and points to consistent patterns of severe bias in hiring practices, salaries and professional development plans, a boys club culture in some schools and behavioural prejudices against women leaders within the education sector. When asked ‘As a woman, have you ever experienced barriers or discrimination within a school (can be your current or former school)?’, 46% said yes, 39% said no and 15% were unsure. Respondents were asked to specify what kind of barriers or discrimination they most commonly faced. They reported that women in schools are often undermined in meetings and do not get the same promotional opportunities (especially when of childbearing age), and that women leaders are sometimes seen as weak and ineffective, especially when working in boys schools.  Interestingly, survey respondents reported that these prejudicial behaviours and attitudes don’t only come from within the internal ranks of the school. Parents (particularly fathers) exhibit the same predispositions, whether it’s their preference for speaking with a male member of staff, bullying from male parents on a school council who did not recognise that a women leader was capable of understanding the finances of a school, or just a general perception from parents that women aren't as 'strong' as men and that males are better principals. Dr Janet Smith, Leader of NESLI’s 2018 Year of Women in School Leadership, has said she finds these results extremely disappointing and problematic. She commented that, “It is totally unacceptable that in 2018, nearly half of the women teachers who were surveyed have reported experiencing some form of disadvantage or discrimination because of their gender.”The ‘Education and Training’ sector is officially ‘female-dominated’, with 70.6% of the workforce being women, finds the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Since 1995, this is an increase of 5.2%, when females made up 65.4% of industry employees. However, the picture is much starker when looking at the participation of women in leadership roles – particularly for schools. The Staff in Australia's Schools survey found that 80% and 58.4% of Australia’s primary and secondary school teachers are female respectively, yet only 57.5% and 41.7% of principals in each of those sectors are female. Respondents were also asked what they think would be most helpful or supportive in addressing this issue. The most common sentiments included better support from colleagues, mentoring schemes/arrangements, leadership training and professional development and being offered more opportunities to progress. Other ideas included allowing women to work flexibly in leadership roles and not being penalised for taking maternity leave, identification of institutionalised sexism and gender discrimination and an action plan to remedy, and developing a strong reciprocal network of female trusted leaders. Fortunately, a more positive response was achieved when NESLI asked the survey respondents to rate their current level of personal wellbeing at work. The most common responses were ‘Good’ (46.7%), ‘Fair’ (27.31%) and ‘Excellent’ (20.7%). Only 1 in 20 respondents said that their level of wellbeing was either ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Poor’ (5.29%).    The survey was launched by NESLI as part of their 2018 Year of Women in School Leadership. The 12 month period includes a range of research activities, events and development programs to address the problems highlighted in the 2018 Australian Schools Gender Survey.  The results of the survey will be discussed further at the forthcoming Australian Schools Women’s Leadership Summit in Sydney on 18th April.“The results of this survey have further strengthened NESLI’s commitment to this issue,” Dr Smith said. “We look forward to working with women teachers and school leaders throughout 2018, to support and inspire them and to help reduce the challenges and barriers they face.” ​

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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.

Everything I am about to impart on leadership I either read in an article or got it from a movie.

Seriously.

Where else to get advice on how to speak, manage others, adapt and overcome than from those who write and act?

Let’s begin with ego: women are not boastful. They are less likely than men to blow their own trumpet. This is because lessons learned in childhood carry over into the workplace. It means women can be in danger of being a jack of all trades and master of none, simply because they like to be liked. (Okay, this is a saying from my Grandma Jo.)

This is not helpful if you are aiming for the leadership flag.

What is helpful to know is that leaders need to lead with their heart as well as their head. Women have this covered. They just need to know their linguistic patterns: social and status.

Integrity is key to your authentic leadership style, so know what you stand for, what you believe in and what you care most about. It all depends on your perspective and the values you practice. This will define you.

In other words, what you pay attention to becomes your focus – and vice versa. So pay attention to your tone of voice, the speed with which you say it and the volume you use. This is the ‘how’ of speaking. It is a vital component of being authentic. Why? Communication is paramount to enduring relationships, workplaces especially.

Be mindful of asking lots of questions – it can imply you know less. But then again, to be authentic ‘know thyself’ and invest time in your development.

Sorry you may be if you don’t. 

Then again, it all depends on your core values, so go and make that cup of coffee and eat lunch with the boss. Just remember which linguistic pattern to use. And take credit for your own competence.It’s your pathway to the ‘sweet spot’.

Signed,

Another brick of the W.A.L.L. (Women As Lifelong Learners)

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