Steiner Education Australia 2024 Leadership Development Program
‘To have the continued opportunity to discuss leadership issues, challenges and strategy with a close knit, trusted group and a wonderful facilitator was an oasis in the storm’.
‘This is one of the most rewarding and enriching courses I have participated in as a leader’
‘The results gathered from the Leadership Circle profile have been a very valuable tool for self-reflection. This, coupled with the connections made with other leaders and the mentor, create a wonderful framework for personal and professional growth.’
For school leaders, faculty leaders, business managers, college chairs, board chairs, and emerging school leaders
SEA is once again pleased to offer our Leadership Development Program in 2024. This is our 5th year delivering the program and feedback from participants continues to be very positive, as indicated in the testimonials above.
The evidence-informed, 2 year SEA Steiner-based leadership development program is rigorous, and meaningful. It significantly helps build sustainable individual and collective leadership capacity to support Steiner school communities to grow, evolve, and meet challenges proactively and creatively.
The Leadership Development Program spanning 2 years, from February till October each year, is for people in leadership roles in SEA member schools, including Heads of Schools (or equivalent), Deputies, Business Managers, Board Chairs, Assistant Principals, College Chairs, Faculty and/or Curriculum Coordinators, and/or individuals identified in a school’s succession planning/aspiring to formal leadership positions.
We continue to refine the program based on evaluations to ensure a responsive, contemporary and supportive leadership program that is facilitated by people who are experienced and effective leaders with a deep understanding of the Steiner school context and its underlying ethos and philosophy. We are delighted that once again Libbi Turner and Kelley McGlashan will lead the program in 2024. Libbi and Kelley will be joined by Dr Virginia Moller, to deliver a 2-day Leadership Intensive early in the program.
Leadership in Australian Steiner/Waldorf schools continues to be a significant challenge, particularly with increasing expectations of school leaders in contemporary society. Ongoing research on leadership in Steiner schools provides reinforcement of the following:
- teaching is clearly the attraction within our schools and there is a shortage of people who are drawn to leadership roles;
- there is a national shortage of people sufficiently experienced, trained, skilled, and prepared to take on formal leadership roles in Steiner schools;
- recognising the importance of leadership and the training and support that school leaders need to be successful has been a difficult culture change for some schools;
- identifying and preparing emerging educational leaders within schools needs to be given a greater priority.
- School Boards and Councils, Principals, and Colleges are increasingly aware of their responsibility to ensure that their school complies with the complex educational, financial, and legislative requirements of registration, as well as maintaining a healthy enrolment and an engaged school community, and the weight these expectations place on school leaders.
There is a double load for Steiner Principals (or equivalent): Steiner education and Steiner schools foster both individual and societal development and transformation. Therefore, our ways of working together are a core part of education itself as articulated in the National Core Principles for Steiner Education: Collaboration and shared responsibility provide the foundation of school leadership and governance.
There is a key challenge for leaders in straddling both broader government compliance frameworks for both governance and operations and Steiner-based ideals for a future we collectively co-create. This can place a substantial emotional load on school leaders.
The Leadership Circle program
To help support leadership development, SEA has built a solid partnership with The Leadership Circle to facilitate training and coaching for school leaders. The Leadership Circle is an international organisation that has developed a 360-degree profile for leaders and emerging leaders which identifies a leader’s underlying belief systems and how they affect behaviour. The Leadership Circle Profile can give the Steiner school leader a clear picture of how they can become more effective in their role within their own Steiner school context. More detail is available at
A number of SEA Professional Partners and Steiner school leaders have completed the training to facilitate these 360-degree profiles and provide follow-up coaching. They have been impressed by the accuracy and usefulness of the profile and how its foundations and methodology align with the values of Steiner education and believe it is a highly effective program for leaders in our schools. Presentations about the Leadership Circle Profile at SEA Delegates’ Meetings have met with a great deal of interest and enthusiasm from delegates including current school leaders.
The 2 year program includes the following:
Year 1 – The Leadership Development Program
- An introductory Zoom session outlining the course in detail. This will occur on Friday 2 February 2024.
- A Leadership Circle 360-degree Profile process in February, followed by
- Six individual debriefing/coaching sessions to discuss the results of the profile, goal setting and supporting leadership development in action!
- A 2-day leadership intensive on 5 & 6 April, titled ‘Leading and Thriving Together’, collaboratively facilitated by Virginia Moller, Libbi Turner and Kelley McGlashan.This will be held at the Abbotsford Convent Precinct in Melbourne (adjacent to Sophia Mundi Steiner School). We are excited about this 2-day face-to-face event, addressing the ideals in Steiner schools of developing and sustaining a culture of collective (collaborative) leadership and the role of shared responsibility. We will focus on developing leadership capacities for whole school visioning and values, wellbeing of the self & others, leading learning, sustaining healthy processes that enable feedback, review and renewal, and succession planning.
- A 2-3 hour group session in October facilitated by Libbi and/or Kelley, to reflect on and share the learning experiences in 2024 and introduce the 2nd year ‘Returner’s Program’.
- Participants will also receive a Curriculum and Resource booklet as part of the program. This includes targeted readings and activities to support rich reflection. Relevant resources are also provided to address each individual’s specific learning goals and identified needs.
- The cost of this package for each participant for this 9-month course will be approximately $3,600 + GST
Year 2 – ‘The Returners’ Program
Sharing, networking, exploring the themes, practices and challenges of developing cultures of collective/collaborative leadership.
- Includes 8 monthly small group sessions (usually 3 or 4 leaders). These are rich sharing experiences with peers that provide the opportunity to network and continue to help embed learnings from Year 1. The focus is expanded to include leadership in the context of the team and the whole school as a collective. The Returner’s Program was introduced in 2021 and has become a major valued addition to the overall Leadership Development Program. A number of leaders have continued to participate in these groups year after year, acknowledging the benefits of the sharing, increasing depth of understanding and peer coaching support gained. The Returner’s Program has now formally been added as a 2nd year of the overall program.
- A 2-day leadership intensive on 5 & 6 April, titled ‘Leading and Thriving Together’, collaboratively facilitated by Dr Virginia Moller, Libbi Turner and Kelley McGlashan
- Relevant resources provided to address the identified themes and needs of the groups.
- The cost for the Returners’ Program is $900 + GST
Note: All de-briefing and coaching sessions will be conducted online. In the unlikely event that any travel by the participant or facilitator is required the school will be responsible for these costs. Further individual coaching can also be arranged with the agreement of the school leader and Board Chair but are not part of this proposal.
If you would like to participate it is important that you are able to commit all aspects of the program as outlined above.
Please return the Registration Form by email to Nicki at firstname.lastname@example.org by 20th November 2023.
To help school budgetary considerations, payment for the 2024 program can occur either in 2023 or early 2024.
New in 2024 to support school leaders
Ongoing “Leadership Professional Companioning”
Leadership Professional Companioning is based on an understanding of ‘walking beside’. It is a blended approach which incorporates, as needed, elements of mentor, coach, consultant and critical friend/ reviewer, as well as strategic co-planner, and pastoral carer. Of prime importance is the personal development and well-being of the leader as a human being. Companioning can create valuable experiences of participants: eg. having time to reflect, feeling safe to explore, focussing on what’s important for me and experiencing positive emotions.
- It is not part of the SEA Leadership Development Program but an ‘extra arm’ of an overall wholistic approach to leadership development.
- Leaders interested in taking up ongoing coaching/professional companioning can choose from SEA – listed Steiner- based qualified coaches.
- It is available for all leaders but ideally for leaders who have participated in the LCP 360 profile or are willing to do it.
- A contractual arrangement would be entered into for a minimum of 12 months. There is a review at the end of 6 months with mutual feedback built into the process. Coaching sessions will be offered as 1 hour fortnightly sessions (ideal) or 1.5 hour monthly sessions
- The expectation of the leader is rigorous commitment to self-education, growth and development.
- The expectation of the coach is rigorous commitment to the leader and their goals.
Cost to SEA member schools:
12 X 1.5 hour monthly coaching sessions: $2,400
20 X 1 hour fortnightly sessions (2 sessions per month over 10 months): $2,650
For more information, or to register, please email Nicki at email@example.com