Who’s going to be your ‘principal for a day’?

by Brett Henebery08 May 2015

Jim Davies, Principals Australia Institute CEO, told The Educator that on 3 June students will get the opportunity to see what it’s like to run their school for a day.
The national event, being organised by the PAI, is aiming to inspire leadership qualities in primary and secondary school students across Australia.
“This program is for all schools – public, private, Independent and Catholic – wherever they are in Australia. We’re making this accessible to everybody,” Davies told The Educator.
“We want to profile the important role of school principals in the sense of principals being seen as valued professionals in the eyes of the community.”

Prior to the event, principals will work alongside student principal in preparation for the day’s activities, which will include running assemblies, holding staff meetings at the end of the day, making observations in classrooms and providing teachers with feedback.
Davies said that the program is also about giving students a “hands-on” experience in school leadership in a practical way.
“We’ve had student principals invite the local mayor to the school to discuss traffic issues out the front of the school,” Davies said.
“Commonly, the chairs of governing councils or school boards are invited in to have the conversation with the student principal.
Davies added that the emphasis is for schools to “develop their local activity that suits their needs” and said the PAI’s non-intrusive role will be merely assisting schools to make suggestions around the areas of leadership and learning.
“We’re trying to get these principals for the day to focus on two key parts of what is principal’s role, the first being the leadership of teaching and learning and the second thing we’re wanting some focus on is that responsibility that principals have of engaging parents in the community.”
Davies said that in the past student feedback has been positive, providing them with a possible pathway for their own future career, adding the program has value as a work experience exercise for students.
“Work experience is most often confined to only secondary school students and involves being in an office or factory, but this is an opportunity for students to gain experience in an education setting and explore the profession of being an educator.”
Registrations are open  - schools can find out more at www.sp4d.edu.au