Teaching and School Leadership

Research shows that teachers and school leaders have the greatest influence on student engagement and achievement in schools. Find the research and infrastructures supporting teaching and leadership standards.

Quality standards

The Australian Government is committed to improving the quality and status of teaching, along with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

For progress and commitments to educator standards, see Action Now – Classroom Ready Teachers, This report includes:

  • Recommendations from the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group.
  • Recommendations that have now been rolled out across all states and territories.

You can also see the Government 's response to this report.

Important standards for quality in the teaching profession have also been set by:

Alternative pathways

The Government supports alternative pathways through the High Achieving Teachers Program.

Alternative pathways expand the entry points into teaching. They can help spread quality teachers across the system by placing them in schools that need them most.

In 2020, 2 alternative pathways under the High Achieving Teachers Program will be delivered by:

  • Teach For Australia
  • La Trobe University

The Program will recruit and select high achieving university graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience that schools need.

Program participants will be placed in secondary schools with teacher shortages.

School leadership

High quality school leadership has a substantial impact on student outcomes.

The role of the school principal has changed significantly over the past 20 years, with school leaders now working in increasingly complex and challenging environments.

The following tools and resources provide guidelines for school leadership development:

  • Australian Professional Standard for Principals
  • Leadership Profiles
  • Leading for Impact

School leaders in regional, rural and remote (RRR) areas face even greater challenges. Recent research on high-impact leadership in RRR schools, undertaken by the University of New South Wales, shows the importance of innovation, collective effort and connection to community in achieving quality impacts in RRR schools.

Rural, regional and disadvantaged schools across Australia have been allocated $15 million in funding for Teach to Australia to:

  • Address shortages in Specialist teachers
  • Attract high quality school leadership
  • Extend their delivery of the High Achieving Teachers Program
  • Develop and deliver a new ‘Future Leaders Program’

New Future Leaders Program

In partnership with Teach for Australia, the Australian Government is  piloting the Future Leaders Program pilot to improve the quality and supply of leaders in Australian schools.

Under the pilot Program, high-achieving teachers with leadership aspirations working at regional, rural or remote schools will be provided with high quality leadership development, training and mentoring.

Providing  high-performing teachers with the opportunity and support to develop their leadership skills will:

  • Improve the quality of school leadership in regional, rural and remote schools
  • Strengthen the pipeline of future school leaders
  • Encourage more teachers and leaders to remain in local schools and communities.

The Future Leaders Program pilot will operate over two years in 2021 and 2022 in schools in WA, NT, QLD and NSW. Approximately 100 students are expected to complete the program over the two years.

In 2021 dandolo partners were been commissioned by the Australian Government to deliver an independent evaluation of the Future Leaders Program. Their initial post-implementation report is available below.

Please note that this initial post-implementation report is based on data that was available to dandolo at the time of writing and does not represent the full evaluation. dandolo is yet to undertake analysis on participant outcomes, participant retention and value for money, which will be included in the final evaluation report.

Find more information about the Future Leaders Program.


Research and policy development is critical in addressing teacher shortages as well as areas of need.

Current data includes:

The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group report, Action Now – Classroom Ready Teachers, recommended better data collection at the national level.

Australian Teacher Workforce Data will provide:

  • National capture of data
  • Whole-of-life picture of the teacher workforce
  • Ongoing life-cycle progression from initial teacher education through to retirement

The impact teachers have on student outcomes has been reported in:

The data in these research reports have been captured to improve teaching through the Teaching Practice Evaluation Framework.

The performance pathways of pre-service teachers enrolled in an initial teacher education (ITE) program, from admission to successful completion or separation non-completion of the program has been examined in:

More information