Leadership for Innovation

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA


a model showing three concentric rings with unaligned gaps and a circle representing innovation trapped at the centreInnovation projects have the greatest chance of success where they are supported by strong leadership.

Research has shown that effective leadership for supporting innovation includes leadership that:

  • is flexible in being open to new ideas
  • is prepared to allow distributed leadership in areas of specialisation and expertise
  • builds trust and gives confidence to staff members who are trying new practices
  • ensures any risks associated with changes to practice are identified, managed and minimised
  • provides sponsorship and is prepared to commit resources.

a model showing three concentric rings with gaps which are aligned and an arrow representing innovation coming out from the centre through the gapIt is also important to consider communication and promotional skills; and the need for supporting evidenced-based research.

Evaluation of projects has shown that strong leadership that helps to align an organisation’s culture, capability and connections will enhance the innovative potential of education practitioners. These three key elements are critical to the pace and progress of innovation and lead to further student, school and system benefits.

Leaders in education settings (principals, managers, school councils, boards etc) can support innovation by giving consideration to these three key elements.


  • Do I provide an environment and leadership within my education setting that legitimises and encourages targeted innovation?
  • How can I create an environment where discussions about problems and opportunities to try new ideas and learn from others are encouraged?


  • Do I provide practitioners with access to opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills?
  • How can I best facilitate practitioners’ access to resources?
  • Do I provide encouragement and guidance that builds confidence?


  • How can I encourage practitioners to access experts and research in relevant fields (eg: through this website)?
  • How can I encourage and facilitate more networking opportunities?

This section includes: