Secondary teacher leaders begin their professional development program

The Secondary Teacher Leader (STL) Program is a 9-month professional development program for Heads of Learning Areas and Level 3 teachers in EDvance secondary schools. 

This year, over 70 middle level leaders from 12 Fogarty EDvance schools are part of the fourth group of schools to participate in the Program. Their first workshop focussed on:

With EDvance schools located throughout Western Australia, a more tailored program has been designed so that regional school leaders can access professional learning. The three clusters of the STL Program for 2022 include:

Many of the EDvance Alumni schools have taken part in the STL program a number of times, allowing for their newer middle level leaders to benefit from the professional learning. 

The STL program is designed with a focus on building the capacity of middle level leaders by introducing them to the evidence base for effective school improvement and driving leadership in their learning areas.

School visits are an important feature of the EDvance School Improvement Program, providing school leaders with the opportunity to attend current and alumni EDvance schools. During school visits, leaders see and discuss high impact instruction practices recently explored during their school improvement workshops.  

School visits allow the EDvance program to draw from and maintain connections with high performing EDvance schools as they become part of the Alumni Network.

Thank you to the following schools for recently hosting our Cohort 8 school leaders. 

Feedback from the school visits was exceptionally positive, with school leaders commenting that it was extremely valuable learning about a school’s improvement journey, seeing high impact instruction practices in action and having the opportunity to ask questions in real time. 

“I really appreciated watching the lessons and being able to ‘take away’ some thoughts to start putting into practice with my curriculum instructional pilot group.”

“Very engaging visit, teachers were able to show their personalities as well as their high impact strategies.”

“What a wonderful school. Your vibrant staff exceeded expectation. Thank you for being so willing to share. The positive culture of the school was very evident.”

“Fantastic to see the low variance across classrooms and the engaged students. So appreciative of how willing you are to share resources with us.”

In November, a third cohort of schools completed the Secondary Teacher Leaders (STL) Program, a 9-month professional development program for Heads of Learning Areas (HOLAs) and Level 3 teachers from EDvance secondary schools. 

Over 45 HOLA’s and Level 3 Leaders from ten EDvance schools came together for 5 workshops in 2021.

Key objectives for participants of the STL Program include:

Fogarty EDvance understands the complex role undertaken by secondary HOLAs and Level 3 leaders in school improvement and designed a program to support secondary teacher leaders in whole school improvement. 

Feedback from program participants was very positive:

100% felt they were a more effective leader because of the program.
97% felt their learning area was having more professional discussions about learning practices.
100% felt that as a result of the program, they were able to better lead an effective team.

[I valued the] opportunities to network with other HoLAs and the opportunities to learn about the structure or framework of how to do certain things as a leader i.e. having clear conversations and performance management processes.” Secondary Teacher Leader Participant, 2021 Program

“It was great having the mentor, I really enjoyed the individual mentor meetings and would have liked more.” Secondary Teacher Leader Participant, 2021 Program

“I have found this program very beneficial. It has given me extra tools for my tool kit and has provided me with guidance as to how to manage staff and difficult situations.” Secondary Teacher Leader Participant, 2021 Program

To complete the program participants will all submit a ‘story of impact’, which will allow them to reflect on achievements they have made against their action plans, and identify areas where there were changes to their leadership practice.

Congratulations to the teachers, leaders, school service staff and schools recognised at the WA Education Awards, 2021.

The dedication, inspiration, innovation and talent you share with your colleagues and students is exceptional, and we thank you for your commitment to improving student outcomes. 

Special mention to members of the Fogarty EDvance Network including;

Louise O’Donovan, Primary Principal of the Year 2021
Beeliar Primary School
Cohort 5 of the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program

Narelle Ward, Finalist for Primary Principal of the Year 2021 
Cassia Primary School 
Cohort 7 of the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program

Baynton West Primary School, Finalist for Primary School of the Year
Cohort 5 of the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program

Baynton West Primary School, Finalist for the WA Premier’s Excellence in Aboriginal Education Award
Cohort 5 of the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program

We would also like to congratulate Anika Brown, Halls Creek District High School, WA Beginning Teacher of the Year who was a participant in the 2021 Fogarty EDvance Teaching Intensives.

You can read more about these dedicated educators and schools here.

In February, a second cohort of schools completed the Secondary Teacher Leaders (STL) Program, a 9-month professional development program for Heads of Learning Areas (HOLAs) and Level 3 teachers from EDvance secondary schools. 

Fogarty EDvance understands the complex role undertaken by secondary HOLAs and Level 3 teachers in school improvement. This program has been designed to support secondary teacher leaders in whole school improvement.

More than 75 HOLAs and Level 3 teachers from seven EDvance schools came together for five workshops in 2020 and 2021, including one session in the January school holidays.

Key objectives for participants of the STL Program include:

Feedback from program participants is very positive:

“The course has greatly boosted my confidence, furthered my leadership and management skills and made me more reflective about what I do.” 

Secondary Teacher LeaderParticipant, 2020-21 Program

“I have a greater understanding and ability to input whole school directions and development.” 

Secondary Teacher LeaderParticipant, 2020-21 Program

“Working and talking with other school leaders about their journey was very valuable.” 

Secondary Teacher LeaderParticipant, 2020-21 Program

To complete the program participants will submit a ‘story of impact’, allowing them to reflect on achievements they made against their action plans, and identify areas there have been changes to their leadership practice.

The third cohort of the STL Program is scheduled to commence in Week 9 of Term 2, 2021.  To find out more, please contact the Fogarty EDvance Team –

The Fogarty EDvance team love to celebrate the achievements of our hard-working school leaders, and last week, we had the wonderful opportunity to acknowledge our Cohort 4 schools and the significant improvements they made during their School Improvement Program.  

Lisa Rodgers, Director General of the Department of Education WA, congratulated the school leaders for their dedication to their school improvement journey, recognising the unique nature of the program and its focus on building leadership capabilities as the mechanism to improve student outcomes.  

Cohort 4 consisted of 14 schools, with approximately 70 school leaders with a direct impact on almost 8,000 students.  

“As a result of their sustained commitment and hard work, every school that participated has seen improvements in academic and social outcomes for their students, with 60% of schools in the cohort having seen significant improvements in student outcomes,” said Georgie Wynne, EDvance Program Director. 

Bernadette Jones, Principal of Bullsbrook College, spoke enthusiastically about her school’s journey with the Fogarty EDvance team. 

“My wonderful team engaged with the program completely. For the first time we gave ourselves permission as an executive team to leave the school and take the time to be completely present at EDvance sessions,” she said. 

“We connected closely with our mentor, Peter, and felt very safe and trusting of his capacity to mentor and counsel us. That counselling from an independent person, with no connections other than that of advancing us within the Fogarty program was special. 

“We engaged with the readings and the learnings. We engaged enthusiastically with The Transformation Framework, the School Development Document, McKinsey and the OHI. 

“We have now engaged with the Alumni and I really feel that the Alumni has the potential to be as potent for the program as was the time we had as Cohort 4. 

“On behalf of the executive teams from schools in Cohort 4, a very warm thank you to Ingrid from our first couple of years, Georgie, Daniella, Caitlin, Annie, Peter, and the wonderful principal mentors, Learning Bar (TTFM), McKinsey (OHI) and all those open minded individuals who see the value of levelling the playing field of opportunities for all children across all schools.”  

Many thanks to Lisa Rodgers, Director General of the Department of Education WA; Dr Tony Curry, Director of Leadership & Employee Services, CEWA; Naveen Unni, Managing Partner Perth Office, McKinsey & Co; Megan Enders, Fogarty Foundation trustee; our Fogarty Foundation Partners and supporters; School Leaders and their EDvance Mentors, for attending. 

You can see the schools achievements in the Cohort 4 Report Card. 

Cohort 5 of the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program had their final workshop on 10 November. Throughout the 3-year program, nineteen schools attended sixteen workshops with support provided in the form of best practice research and tools, professional mentors, peer support, the development of a rich school data set, access to experts and additional programs, to support school improvement. 

During their final workshop, the school leaders shared their school’s change stories for their next 3 years, discussed their achievements over the past 3 years, shared effective practises and key learnings from other schools in the cohort, reflected on their learning experiences since the beginning of the program, and celebrated their successes.

Fogarty EDvance uses evidence-based research to support school improvement, bringing together the best tools from education, business, philanthropy, and the community sector. The School Improvement Program focuses on building the capacity of school leadership teams to make informed evidence-based decisions, strategically plan and ultimately, improve student outcomes. 

“We believe that with strong leadership, and a clear and prioritised strategic plan whole-school improvement can be achieved. We are incredibly proud of the progress these schools have made over the past 3 years, and we look forward to the ongoing impact this will have on the ~8,000 students across these schools in the future,” said Georgie Wynne, Fogarty EDvance Program Director.

“Our Cohort 5 schools now have access to a range of EDvance alumni activities through the FED Alumni Network. This will allow them to stay connected to ongoing professional learning and supports from the EDvance program, including a group of like-minded leaders who are passionate about improving education outcomes for children of all backgrounds in Western Australia.” 

The Fogarty Foundation established Fogarty EDvance to significantly improve and sustain academic outcomes of students in disadvantaged communities in Western Australia. To date, EDvance has worked with 96 schools spanning 7 cohorts, impacting over 300 school leaders, and 42,000+ students across Western Australia.

Congratulations to the following Cohort 5 schools who have successfully completed the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program:

Baynton West Primary School
Beeliar Primary School
Bridgetown Primary School
Dudley Park Primary School
East Maddington Primary School
Gilmore College
Greenfields Primary School
Harrisdale Senior High School
Harvey Senior High School
Karratha Primary School
Leschenault Catholic School
Northam Primary School
Onslow School
Pegs Creek Primary School
Redcliffe Primary School
Serpentine Primary School
St Mary’s School, Donnybrook
Tambrey Primary School
Woodland Grove Primary School

In 2020, through Fogarty EDvance’s partnership with McKinsey and Company, FED Alumni schools had access to the Organisational Health Index (OHI) survey. The OHI is a tool used in the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program that measures how a school’s health is tracking and identifies areas for improvement – when school leaders know how to focus on developing organisational health, this can contribute to all school staff working together to positively impact student performance.

This is the first year Alumni schools have had access to the OHI post-program, and nine schools from Cohorts 3 and 4 participated in the OHI Alumni survey. As well as receiving a detailed OHI Report for their school, including a comparison to previous year’s results, there was also the opportunity for a debrief of results with the FED Team.

 Feedback has been very positive, with all participating schools excited to continue to use the OHI as a tool to assist their planning process and school improvement journeys. The OHI survey will be available at a discounted FED rate to Alumni schools in 2021. To pre-register, or for more information, please contact

Our three years with Fogarty EDvance were a really positive experience. The access to McKinsey’s expertise and the OHI Report were a highlight of that program. We saw the information provided by the OHI as a really informative tool and felt incredibly fortunate to have access. It would have been very short sighted of us to leave that good work behind when we had finished our three-year relationship with Fogarty.  It was also really helpful to have Stacey and Georgie analyse our report with us as we stand together on the balcony, rather than down on the crowded and busy dance floor. 

Bernadette Jones, Principal Bullsbrook College (Cohort 4)

As a new Principal to Balga Primary School, it has been a wonderful learning experience to develop my knowledge of the Fogarty EDvance processes and the positive impact the OHI has had on informing our direction and planning. I look forward to applying the OHI data to our Business Plan development process which will give us direction for the next three years.

Michael Wills, Principal Balga Primary School (Cohort 3)

Some of our Alumni schools have continued to see real improvements in student academic outcomes post-program – check out these two Cohort 3 schools.

Balga Primary School

Balga Primary School has moved from performing (on average) below expected performance in 2016 to at or above expected performance in all areas of NAPLAN in 2019.

Students are Balga PS are showing strong progress from Year 3 – 5, and the Year 3 students are on the way to meeting the national average in Spelling.

Balga PS is now an Instructional Adviser school for the Fogarty EDvance program in 2020. The status of an Instructional Adviser school is only given to schools who have successfully implemented a whole school approach to teaching and learning and have made a significant improvement to their student results.

To hear more about Balga PS’s school improvement journey, read our interview with substantive Principal Anika Blackmore here.

Warriapendi Primary School

From 2014 to 2019, Year 3 students at Warriapendi Primary School have lifted their reading scores by 110 NAPLAN scores, and continue to perform above the WA state average in Reading. Year 5 students at Warriapendi PS continue to perform above ‘like schools’.

Congratulations to our Alumni schools and keep up the great work. To find out more about the FED Alumni Network, please contact Daniella Hassett at

We wish to make a special mention of Tim Emery who passed away late last year with his family by his side. Tim helped to shape the Fogarty EDvance program into what it is today by:

Tim worked in Catholic, Government, Independent primary and secondary schools over the course of his career. He served as principal in four Catholic school communities over 27 years from 1988 until mid-2015.

In 2011, Tim was the recipient of the John Laing Award for supporting the professional development of peer principals. In 2012, he received a Service Award from the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) and in 2013 was awarded Life Membership to APPA.

Tim’s experience included: membership of the National Executive Council of the Australian Primary Principals Association, the Executive Committee of the WA Catholic Primary Principals Association, serving as President for several years, and as a member of the WA Catholic Education Commission.

Tim’s expertise, compassion and strong moral purpose made him such an outstanding mentor in the program. We wish to acknowledge Tim for everything he did for the schools, the FED program and the broader education system in Western Australia. He will be greatly missed.