For the profession, by the profession

As a current or aspiring primary school leader, all professionals benefit from the support and experience of a fellow leader.

WAPPA's Professional Support Program offers support to individuals at every stage of their school leadership career. 

The Professional Support Program is a key element of WAPPA's membership services. The program:

  • Will encourage and nurture succession planning within the principal class.
  • Builds a professional learning community within the membership.
  • Will provide a collaborative development and support structure within the WAPPA membership.
  • Facilitates a process where members can provide contextual and confidential support to each other.


The Program is made of three key initiatives, relevant to the individual's current position.

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Current career level and membership

Recommended program

  • I am a teacher aspiring to a school leadership role.
  • I hold an Aspirant Membership.
Professional Colleague Program for Aspiring Leaders
  • I have recently been promoted to a school leadership role (deputy or principal).
  • I hold an Ordinary Membership with WAPPA.
Mentoring Program for Level Three Leaders
  • I have been in a school leadership role for two years or more.
  • I hold an Ordinary Membership with WAPPA.
Leading a Coaching Culture Program

Professional Support Program Background

Principals, associate principals and deputy principals are required both to lead and to manage.

Leadership develops shared vision, inspires and creates commitment, and embraces risk and innovation.

Management develops systems which limit uncertainty, even out differences and improve consistency and predictability in delivering educational services.

With the skilled, experienced and inspiring leaders amongst our community, WAPPA members are equipped to support each other lead development for the profession, by the profession.

Some of the most successful leaders (locally and internationally) have acknowledged the value of working with a mentor or coach.

The complex role of a school leader

Since 2008 schools have been reformed through the introduction of the Independent Public Schools (IPS) initiative and changes to the state's regional structures. These concepts were grounded in devolution of accountability and local decision making at the school level. The concept was welcomed by the principal class although rightly so, school leaders had concerns how it was to be implemented.

During this period of reform we have seen major role changes to how school leaders operate. These changes have, in essence, pushed much of the responsibility, workload and complexities onto the school leader while at the same time not providing the necessary support for school leaders.

Compounding this situation, there has been a very severe cost cutting to schools. Importantly the cost cutting has also affected the bureaucracy of central office and regional offices. In the past these service centres were the cornerstone in the delivery of primary education.

The results of these reforms have lead many in the teaching profession to start to question their possible career move into the principal class. The situation needs to change so as to give school leaders, particularly those learning their 'craft', the confidence to lead and manage their schools.