• Duration
    9 months
  • Location
  • Mode
  • Fees
    DET Fully Subsidised

Establish yourself in your new role as principal with this transformative program.

Successful school leaders have a positive impact on student outcomes, including academic achievement, engagement, social and cultural competence, and wellbeing.

Evolve supports new principals to thrive as school leaders by building on strategic, people and technical capabilities, creating strong support networks and building behaviours that sustain health and wellbeing practices.

‘I've gained a wealth of information and have found this learning incredibly valuable. The learning provided a takeaway from each session that could be put to use in school immediately.’

Principalship is highly complex and exercised in a variety of contexts. Evolve has a strong focus on personalising and contextualising your learning to enhance your expertise and experience.

The program will support you to develop and build the capabilities you need as a principal to make a real difference to student outcomes and to your school community.


Designed for newly appointed first-time principals in Victorian government schools.


The facilitators understand the nature of the principal role and have designed a program that is tailored to your needs and context, without creating a significant time burden.

Over 8 months, you will engage in and contribute to:

  • 13 virtual workshops (2-4.5 hours each)
  • 3 Peer Learning Group sessions (90 minutes each)
  • 1:1 mentoring, including a FISO 2.0 Continua of Practice self-assessment (up to 12 hours)
  • self-directed learning (5-10 hours).


Virtual workshops are delivered across thirteen 2-4.5 hour sessions.

Virtual workshops are designed to support you to make progress with current challenges and problems from your specific school context, as you strive to improve teaching and learning. Key topics include:

  • knowing yourself and your context for effective school leadership
  • assessing and creating the conditions for school improvement
  • enabling and resourcing the hard work of school improvement
  • mobilising stakeholders for school improvement.  

The virtual workshops are interactive and explore research, provocations and case study scenarios.

Peer Learning Groups

Peer Learning Groups (PLGs) are facilitated sessions for 5 to 8 participants from similar school contexts, providing you with an opportunity to develop a strong support network.

PLGs provide a formal and confidential setting to discuss concerns with peers. You will be supported to discuss, question and reflect on your shared challenges and aspirations for the principal role, as well as receive expert advice and support from the facilitator.


Mentors are highly experienced retired principals who can share their expertise, guide your decision-making, and act as sounding boards and trusted advisors.

The Principal Mentoring program allows you to manage when and how you access your 12 hours of mentor support over 6 months.

You will work with your mentor to complete an environmental scan of your school to identify learning goals that reflect your own experience and your school priorities. The environmental scan will support you to:

  • understand the context you work in
  • identify the most important problems to work on
  • understand your capacity to ‘act’ in context to solve those problems
  • identify your learning needs to solve those problems.

Self-directed learning

Self-directed learning activities in your own time (approximately 5-10 hours across the program) are designed to support your learning. They include:

  • undertaking pre- or post-workshop readings
  • contributing to discussion boards
  • completing workshop evaluations
  • exploring supporting resources, materials, questionnaires or articles.

The program is designed around 3 integrated strands of work:

  • Strategic leadership: how to effectively problem-solve to establish and enact priority improvement goals.
  • Technical leadership: how to develop and use resources, systems, and tools to lead improvement and meet accountabilities.
  • People leadership: how to optimise self, others, and school culture in the pursuit of improved equity and excellence outcomes for students.

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the accountabilities of the principal role
  • strategies for effective goal setting
  • processes that support collaborative problem solving
  • models that support the establishment of effective relationships and build trust
  • how to improve teaching and learning
  • how to build a school culture of resilience and wellbeing.  

You will develop the skills to:

  • critically reflect on your leadership development and behaviours
  • analyse data to identify challenges and apply effective problem-solving processes
  • influence and build a culture of trust within your school community
  • effectively lead the development and enactment of Annual Implementation Plans
  • develop and use resources, systems, and tools to lead improvement.

Fully subsidised by the Victorian Department of Education and Training for Victorian government school participants.

For more information, visit Fees and financial support.

Last updated 04 October 2022