Welcome to the latest issue of the PAIge

Issue 3: April 2018

PAI-CEO-Paul-Geyer.gifWelcome to The PAIge, your monthly update from Principals Australia Institute.

In this edition we update you on our professional development programs being offered across the country for school leaders and teachers. We also remind all principals about the deadline of enrolment to the second intake in 2018 for Australian Principal Certification. Our second intake (mid-year intake) closes on 5pm, Tuesday 22 May 2018.

We now invite you to also start thinking about principals you know who deserve to be nominated for the 2018 John Laing Awards for Professional Development. PAI will be accepting nominations for these annual awards soon. One of the 2017 recipients, Dr Paul Rijken of Cardijn College and Marcellin Technical College, was recently profiled in an Education Review piece, which you can read below.

We hope you enjoy this edition of The PAIge.

Paul Geyer

Chief Executive Officer


PAI News

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Principals Australia Institute (PAI) is pleased to launch the 2018 John Laing Awards for Professional Development! These annual awards acknowledge principals in every state and territory who demonstrate outstanding leadership in providing professional learning in schools. They celebrate the contribution of school leaders who have undertaken professional development, and supported the professional learning of teachers and other school leaders.

The Awards were set up in 2004 in honour of John Laing, a former Tasmanian school principal worked for PAI (then the Australian Principals Association Professional Development Council) in 1993. He was the driving force behind the first cross-sectoral professional learning projects for all principals in Australia, and was a pioneer in recognising excellence in educational learning for school leaders.

Nominations will open soon, and the forms will be available on the PAI website, along with key dates and information about previous recipients.


Australia as a nation is failing to retain the best people in the teaching profession. Attrition rates are high, with researchers estimating around 30% to 50% of teachers leaving in the first five years.

Leadership involvement is critical to the successful support of graduate teachers, as the main reason why new teachers leave the profession is because they don’t receive the support and mentoring they need.

Principals Australia Institute (PAI) offers Graduate and Grow workshops for leaders and principals, to support graduate teachers and boost teacher retention. Our workshops take a professional development approach to graduate teacher support, emphasising the importance of relationships to graduate teachers and providing practical resources in the Graduate and Grow kit, given to all participants to keep. It also provides graduate teachers with resources and strategies that assist their transition into the teaching profession.


PAI in the media

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Education Review had an in-depth chat with Dr Paul Rijken, a dynamic visionary and authentic Catholic school leader who is passionate about leading contemporary educational change, informed by research, to foster outstanding learning outcomes for students.

In 2017 Dr Rijken was awarded The John Laing Award managed by PAI for Professional Development.  You can read about the great insights Dr Rijken has gained over his years in the education sector here in on the PAI website.


The Educator spoke to Principals Australia Institute CEO, Paul Geyer, why it is important as a principal to indentify and prepare for key legal risks that may impact upon the running of a school. 

From understanding a school’s duty of care, discrimination against principals, and managing social media and photo/video consents, to stress-related claims, employment law, workplace health and safety, and family engagement, every school principal should know how to manage these situations. Read the full article, 
'Schools and the Law', on the Educator website.


The Educator spoke to PAI's Financial Literacy PD partner - Paul Campey from Resolve Consulting about his upcoming presentation on 'Strategic and financial planning for school leaders' at The Educator Leaders Summit, 17 August, Dockside Sydney.

Our CEO Paul Geyer will also be at this event chairing the Leadership Stream.

Read the full article, 'Strategic and financial planning for school leaders', on the Educator website.


The Australian Principal Certification champions exemplary educational leadership and elevates the professional standing of principals in the community. It recognises the unique role of principals in improving the quality of learning and teaching in schools. Submit your expression of interest now and take the next step in becoming a Certified Practicing Principal. Note: our second intake (mid-year) closes on 5pm, Tuesday 22 May 2018.

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Over the course of their career, teachers and school leaders are very likely to be supporting young people experiencing mental health difficulties, considering that 75% of mental health difficulties emerge before the age of 25. Principals Australia Institute (PAI) is offering a series of two-day Youth Mental Health First Aid Training Workshops for Teachers and School Leaders across the country. Participants will learn mental health first aid strategies in this evidence-based training course, authored by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and delivered by PAI's accredited MHFA instructors.

This program has been well evaluated and found to be effective in improving mental health literacy, reducing stigma and increasing helping behaviours. Browse PAI’s events calendar to register for a Youth Mental Health First Aid workshop near you.


Our - 'Tips for Principals' for Family-School Engagement is a handy fact sheet which details four things that parents can do to support their child's learning plus some tips for principals to support a consistent message.


Education Review will provide the tools principals, school leaders and teachers need to better manage their own workloads and student anxiety and depression in its upcoming seminar, Managing Student and Staff Wellbeing in Schools. PAI’s own facilitator on ‘Principal Wellbeing’ Lynne Symons is one of the experts presenting at this event - May 23, 2018.


The National Children’s Commissioner has conducted consultations with children and young people on the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations during 2017-2018, and what they want organisations to promise to them in order for them to feel safe and included. Read more about these consultations and outcomes on the Child Safe Organisations e-newsletter.


"Night-time technology use is disrupting the sleeping habits of children and damaging their mental health, the effects of which are becoming increasingly apparent in classrooms, educators say." Jake Evans from ABC News explains.


National Indigenous Stem Award winners announced
(First published by School News)


"A school that teaches robotics in a local Aboriginal language and a primary school student who discovered an undescribed species of spider are among the winners of a national Indigenous science awards." The awards recognise the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander students, teachers and scientists.


Seven reasons people no longer want to be teachers
By Nan Bahr and Jo-Anne Ferreira (first published by The Conversation)


“The oldest profession — teaching — is no longer attractive. The Queensland Deans of Education have revealed there have been alarming drops in first preference applications for this year's teacher preparation courses.” This article explores why there has been a drop in popularity in the teaching profession.


"A school that teaches robotics in a local Aboriginal language and a primary school student who discovered an undescribed species of spider are among the winners of a national Indigenous science awards." The awards recognise the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander students, teachers and scientists.


PAI Resources

Stock up on resources for Term 2 from PAI's online shop:

R3 Relationships

100 practical activities for fostering a positive classroom culture. Themes for a range of age groups include: friendship, helping and cooperating, building bridges, the calm centre and dreaming big.

L5 Leadership workshop

A professional development resource for leadership and aspiring leaders, constructed around the evidence-based L5 framework. This new edition is packed with practical reflective activities for leadership development using current research and can be used across a range of contexts within school settings and beyond.