Leading for Excellence

Professional leadership is absolutely critical to drive success in learning. The demands on principals, tumuaki and school leaders are significant and complex. Te Whai Toi Tangata offers a range of exciting opportunities for leaders to examine and explore their practice.

International Certificate in School Leadership

The University of Waikato, in partnership with the Ontario Principals Council, can offer the International Certificate in School Leadership (ICSL) to principals and senior school leaders in New Zealand. This programme draws upon many years of international experience in providing professional development for principals in Ontario and around the world.

The certificate is made up of six modules and the content has been tailored to fit the New Zealand education context. There are no assignments, no essays, no after hours work - just time out from your daily work, to talk, think and learn from others.

Contact Beth Dungey

Leadership in English medium schools

We offer a wide range of support for school leaders in English medium schools including:

  • development of middle and senior leaders
  • culturally responsive and inclusive leadership
  • alignment of assessment, planning, recording and self-review systems
  • developing coherence to accelerate learner outcomes
  • effective strategic planning based on needs and strengths analysis
  • performance management systems driven by professional inquiry into practice
  • solutions and strategies to meet needs of priority groups of students

Contact Jill Lunn

Leadership in Māori and dual medium settings

We can work with tumuaki, senior leaders, boards of trustees and whānau whakahaere in kura Māori to:

  • build leadership capability specific to Māori medium settings
  • focus teaching policies and practices to meet the needs of ākonga
  • foster positive relationships with and beyond the learning community, inclusive of whānau, hapū and iwi
  • implement quality management systems to meet with strategic and compliance requirements
  • provide moral and emotional leadership support when working with new leaders
  • support senior and middle leaders in their leadership roles
  • clarify key management responsibilities such as financial, personnel and property.

Contact Marama Reweti-Martin


Our leadership facilitators can assist with appraisals based on an inquiry minded approach.  Inquiry is  “.. a process of systematic, rigorous and critical reflection about professional practice… its purpose is to inform decision-making for action… [and] can be undertaken individually, but it is most powerful when it is collaborative.” (Reid, 2004)

This model of principal appraisal is based on the notion of inquiry and reflection into the deliberate acts of leadership that are required by principals and leaders to effect significant change in student progress, success and achievement. This is negotiated as an “appraisal as learning” process.

Contact Jill Lunn or Marama Reweti-Martin

Critical Friend and Professional Learning Groups for School Leaders

Our leadership facilitators can also act as a critical friend who would challenge and support your development as a principal. This could meet learning goals in your performance agreement, and be a part of informing and interrogating your leadership inquiry. This is available face to face, online or a mix of both.

Professional Learning Groups, or PLGs, are about partnerships and communities of lead learners across and within schools. One of our leadership facilitators (or a current leader from the sector) supports the PLG and provides material to stimulate discussions and encourage critiquing of each participant’s practice. Participation in one of our PLGs could also be considered for Recognition of Professional Learning (RPL) towards the Masters in Educational Leadership degree at the University of Waikato.

Contact Kay Stevenson for more information about joining a PLG.