Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP)

Begin your journey to stronger leadership.

The impact that it has on me as a leader – it's the kind of learning you don’t forget.
Tamara Bell, Principal, Southbridge School (SLPP 2017)
A transformative 10-month leadership development programme for Aotearoa principals. 

The Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP) brings New Zealand principals together with strategic experts to develop your leadership and to support clear, insightful planning for schools. 

Strategic leadership is a pivotal element for improved school performance. The ability to plan, manage and report as the fulcrum of your community ensures strong relationships and the right conditions for everyone to thrive.   

Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme: Expression of interest

How SLPP works for NZ principals 

Over a series of workshops spanning 10 months, SLPP explores the core elements of strategic leadership for New Zealand principals – beginning the journey to creating better student outcomes.  

This learning occurs with the support of a Capacity Partner – a dedicated expert volunteer, with whom principals will build a trusted, high-empathy relationship that delivers outstanding impact. This cross-sector model is unique to Springboard Trust, and ensures every principal who takes part has personalized support to meet their needs at both a personal and professional level.  

Together, they work with a cohort of up to seven other principal-Capacity partner pairings, under the guidance of an experienced facilitator and Springboard’s own expert Programme Managers.  

By the end of the programme, principals typically demonstrate significant progression in: 

  • One- and three-year planning and outlook 

  • Creating and communicating a vision and strategic plan

  • Identifying, communicating with and gaining buy-in from key stakeholders

  • Measuring the impacts of their changes

  • Leading the same transformative change for their team 

This forms the bedrock of the conditions for improved student outcomes, which we explore in more detail through our Alumni Services.  

For more information on the direct impacts on school leadership that principals gain through SLPP, please check out our annual Impact Reports.  

SLPP Requirements and Application Details  

SLPP is open to principals who wish to enhance their strategic leadership. However, due to the high number of applicants we receive each year, we prefer to prioritise principals who meet the following criteria for our philanthropically funded places:  

  • Have at least two years of experience as a principal 

  • Have been at their current school for at least 12 months 

  • Have no major PLD commitments in the coming year 

  • Have no Commissioner or Limited Statutory Manager 

  • Have the support of their Board of Trustees

  • Uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles through a particular focus on results for Māori young people and their whanau

  • Are willing to lead others in change  

SLPP workshops can be delivered either in person, virtually or through a combination of both – please note that depending on location, some travel may be required for the former. 

Across the 10 months, it is expected that principals will spend around two hours per week engaging in this professional learning and working with others, in addition to the workshop times. Volunteers will be required to give around 40 hours of their time, while for facilitators about 50 hours of time is required. For PLD applications, we ask that principals apply for 100 PLD hours.

For volunteers with leadership experience who want to find out more about becoming a Capacity Partner, you can find full details of the role here – or contact our Volunteer Manager Rebecca Brown to express your interest in the next programme.   

Our Partners