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Dear Principals

Dear Australia’s Principals,

There have been some beautifully penned letters by Australia’s Principals this week who are determined to let their students know that they aren’t going to be defined or judged by this week’s NAPLAN results.

Personally, I hope you are able to apply the same logic to yourselves.  The designers of the NAPLAN tests and those who will comment on the outcomes of it are not particularly cognisant of your work or your worth either.With NAPLAN comes a standardized disregard for:

  • the four hours you worked at school on Sunday because it’s worth ten hours during the week.
  • the angst and stress you felt after you informed a Teacher that their performance will need to be formally managed.
  • the sadness you felt after a struggling parent lashed our at you for holding their child to behavioural account.
  • it being you who has to manage telling your staff that there’s one more program or initiative or event to squeeze into an already crowded calendar.
  • the guilt you felt at reaching so few classrooms this week while you maintained the plate spinning of school administration.
  • the burden of blame placed upon you for everything and anything that aggrieves anyone with no knowledge of what running a school really is.
  • the difference you make in the lives of your students, who increasingly arrive with more IDs, more ESL backgrounds and more traumatic histories.
  • the love, support and care you provide a stretched and frustrated staff.
  • the deep passion you have for placing young people on meaningful life trajectories above their performance on a test … on a Tuesday … in May …when they’re just kids!
So – Australia’s Principals – I see you.  You’re incredible.  You’re remarkable.  You’re making a difference.  And you’re not defined by your school’s mean NAPLAN scores.Actually – not … one … bit!


Free WEBINAR – The Truth About Bullying




We can all be misled by the media and even by the general vibe of industry conversation. This is what’s happened to us when it comes to bullying.While we’ve been arguing over which anti-bullying ‘program’ is best – all encompassing, LGBTI, racism, sexism, physical, bystander or cyberbullying – we’ve failed to see the common point of failure within all of them. That they are programs! So obsessed with program have we become that we’ve now hit around 9000 global attempts to program our way out of bullying. One of them should have worked!Programs are useful for compartmentalising. You can, for instance, teach robotics on a Wednesday afternoon to decent effect. But bullying is not a compartment of our students’ educative experience. It’s everywhere – it’s cultural!So it stands to reason that no compartmentalised program will ever achieve more than a ‘sugar hit’ when it comes to feeling better and safer at school. So what do we do?

In this webinar, we’ll unpack for you:

  • the imperative for whole-school approach over program when it comes to bullying.
  • the whole-school approaches that have worked globally.
  • the behaviours and artefacts evident in schools where bullying is low.
  • the immediate changes that Teachers and Leaders can make for drastically improved “return on investment”.
  • the proven benefits of shifting model, language and practice to something more effective and less stressful.
This Real Schools Webinar is aimed at Teachers, School Leaders, Administrators and Teachers of all phases of learning – you’d be crazy to miss it!