In 2019, Asia Education Foundation in partnership with Australia-India Institute at the University of Melbourne developed a pilot program for the Department of Education and Training.
Delivered over two years, the Women in School Leadership (WISL) pilot program is a blended model of onshore and offshore professional learning for a select group of female principals in Victoria and India. This program was designed to support principals to explore and discuss the theme of Leading schools for social change, with a particular focus on the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) dimension: Health and Wellbeing.
The pilot program launched in 2019 saw six Victorian and six Indian principals engage in reciprocal immersion experiences in Delhi and Victoria. The program involves three phases; pre-departure, in-country and post-trip, which will include:
- formal professional learning
- interactions with leaders in business, community and education sectors
- an in-school component with a partner principal, including a homestay.
This program is part of the Victoria’s India Strategy: Our Shared Future and is one of three school education initiatives enhancing engagement between Victorian and Indian schools. The WISL pilot program provides a subsidy for female principals of Victorian government schools to stimulate their curiosity, understanding and interest in engaging more deeply with India.
Benefits for Principals
The program aims to develop principals’ intercultural skills, leadership capacity and personal connections with Indian counterparts.
At the conclusion of the program, it is envisaged that principals will have:
- further developed their capacity to lead change in their school
- enhanced their knowledge of contemporary India
- further developed their intercultural skills to support the development of collaborative relationships with Indian colleagues and community
- supported the implementation of their school’s strategic plan, professional learning plan and performance and development plan now and into the future
- expanded their professional networks to support ongoing learning
- contributed to their professional networks by sharing the outcomes of their participation at school, community and system levels.