Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme

Begin your journey to stronger leadership.

A free 10-month development programme for New Zealand principals.

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

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

But too often, school leaders lack the time, knowledge or resources to learn strategic planning and put it into action.  

How does SLPP work?  

1. Expression of interest 

We can’t help you develop your leadership if we don’t know you’re there! All New Zealand principals are welcome to participate in the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme. You can get in touch with us here, and one of our Programme Managers will get back to you on availability for our next set of cohorts.  

Our Programme Managers are some of the most experienced members of the Springboard Team and will be on hand to guide you through the SLPP journey, answering any and all questions you have. They’ll also be your main point of contact for post-SLPP programmes and services!  

Please note that our journeys begin in Term One of each year, so getting in touch with us by the end of Term Two the year before is a good idea.  

While we aim to give everyone an opportunity to take part in SLPP, our resourcing only allows for limited places, with schools in greatest need of our assistance given priority.  

For volunteers interested in SLPP, please see our Volunteer Support page.  

2. Finding your partner  

In SLPP, you work extensively with a Capacity Partner – a volunteer from the business world who brings knowledge, trust and curiosity to the relationship.  

Having run nearly 100 cohorts in the last decade, the Springboard Team is adept at finding people who work well together.  

3. The workshops begin  

Over 10 months, you and your Capacity Partner will meet as part of a ‘cohort’, with five to six other principal-capacity partner pairings and one volunteer facilitator (also from one of our major or strategic partners).  

This peer-to-peer, cross-sector work means you get insight and understanding of strategic leadership that often isn’t possible on your own.  

As a cohort, your progress through nine workshops, each focused on a core element of strategic planning.  

4. Present and Celebrate 

The final workshop is more of a celebration and reflection. You and the other principals in your cohort will present your strategic plans to everyone, before celebrating the progress you’ve made together alongside your partners and the Springboard Team.  

While this ends the formal meetings of your group, many of our cohorts stick together long after the SLPP is complete – meeting quarterly, sharing advice on their strategic plans and continuously evolving their leadership skills.  

Most principals who have completed SLPP will also want to continue their leadership development – for example, sharpening their annual planning skills or involving their leadership team in the same professional development. This is where our Alumni Services begin.  

Why take on SLPP?  

At Springboard, we believe we’re better together. By sharing tools, frameworks and expertise across sectors, principals and business leaders develop much greater understanding of each others’ roles and the common challenges and opportunities that they face as leaders.  

This is reflected in New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER) reporting we commissioned on the impacts of SLPP. Some 93 per cent of principals said this programme had a high or medium impact on their leadership.  

In turn, this has a positive impact on leadership teams, teachers, and student opportunities.  

What comes after SLPP?  

The Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme is the first step on your development journey with Springboard Trust. Once you understand and apply strategic planning tools and frameworks yourself, it’s time to move on to areas like implementation, community engagement and distributing leadership across your teams. 

Typically, we recommend the Kickstart Your Strategy workshop as an excellent follow-up to SLPP in Term One the following year. However, alumni principals (those who have completed SLPP) are able to pursue any of the programmes and services we offer.  

To find our more about SLPP or join our next cohort, click here.  

Our Partners