Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals (SLRTP)

A unique programme for leadership development in Aotearoa.

Rural teaching principals face challenges that their metropolitan counterparts often do not.  

Working as both teacher and principal, these leaders also have numerous other roles within their school. On top of this, in a rural context school leadership extends far into the community – to the extent that they are ‘always on’.  

Finally, there are often significant hurdles for rural teaching principals in terms of accessing development opportunities, and finding relief teaching when those opportunities arise.  

With some 20% of the country’s principals in this situation, Springboard Trust is thrilled to offer a unique, tailor-made programme designed with them in mind.  

Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals: Expression of interest

Tailored development for rural teaching principals 

The Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals Programme (SLRTP) is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Combining elements of our Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP) and our Springboard Coaching for Leadership programme, we developed this course in recognition of those rural-specific challenges that principals face.  

SLRTP includes: 

  • Three 2-day residential block courses and one final full day course 

  • Interactive webinars from our Subject Matter Experts 

  • Regular online cohort meetings 

  • A 360° leadership review 

  • One-on-one meetings with Impact Coaches 

  • Debriefing sessions with Programme Managers 

  • Self-paced learning and ancillary resources  

  • Cohort engagement through our Canvas LMS 

Taken over the course of a calendar year, principals will pair with Impact Coaches – volunteers from our network of experts – and learn the fundamentals of strategic leadership, with a unique focus on rural teaching principal roles.  

They will work together through our new blended learning model, combining the best of both virtual and in-person learning environments.  

As with our other programmes, the relationship with your volunteer forms the cornerstone of your learning. A high-trust relationship forms, and helps you develop your skills as a leader within the parameters of the programme.  

SLRTP Requirements and application details  

SLRTP is open to all rural teaching 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 

  • Are a teaching principal in a U1 or U2 school, or a significant distance from the nearest metropolitan centre

SLRTP workshops are usually delivered in a combination of in-person block courses and online workshops with our volunteer subject matter experts.  

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. Volunteer Impact Coaches will be required to give around 40 hours of their time, while for subject matter experts the time required will be variable, but usually under 10 hours. For PLD applications, we anticipate it will take approximately 100 PLD hours per cohort. 

For volunteers interested in becoming an Impact Coach, please contact our Volunteer Manager, Rebecca Brown.  

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