A new teacher leadership program has been developed by partners of an innovative school-based program, with a particular focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching.

The Investment in Leadership Futures: Leading quality Teaching and Learning in STEM strategy was launched by the Teacher Education Centre of Excellence(TECE)- Benowa Clusterearlier this month.

The TECE – Benowa Cluster is a school-based partnership program between Benowa, Helensvale and Merrimac State High Schools, and Griffith University’s School of Education and Professional Studies.

The TECE – Benowa Cluster aims to enhance capabilities of pre-service teachers, and offers professional development for mentor teachers.

The quality of this partnership has recently been recognised in the 2015 South-East Coast Regional Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools, where theytook out the award for Excellence in Industry Partnerships.

Their new program aims to support and develop those aspiring to leadership positions — both an elite group of STEM teachers who are TECE – Benowa Cluster alumni, as well as teacher mentors who are developing their instructional leadership potential.

Benowa State High School (SHS) Executive Principal, Mark Rickard, says the new program will assist these high achieving alumni and mentor teachers to begin the next stage of their careers.

“It’s recognised that improvements in student outcomes depend on an alignment of effort — by students, teachers and school leaders — to enhance the quality and effectiveness of day-to-day teaching and learning,” Mr Richard says.

“Scaffolding and developing the leadership capacity of both these sets of educators will embed continuous improvement practices for teachers, and quality outcomes for students.

“It will also advance a cultural shift to a more active instructional leadership style in state schools.”

Merrimac SHS Principal, Chris Tobin, says developing effective instructional school leadership will also promote connectedness with staff and the wider school community.

“Making schools a place where all students and their parents feel welcomed, valued and safe is one of the key components in building a student’s resilience and increasing their chances of surviving the most difficult of life circumstances,” he says.

Helensvale Executive Principal, Mark Blackshaw, says another key outcome of the program is building a shared responsibility for student learning and success.

“An effective instructional leader develops a professional team of highly able teachers, who have the knowledge, skills and drive to then take an active leadership role in and beyond the classroom,” he says.

The program will involve face-to-face sessions led by an established leader held throughout the year, extended sessions to address specific aspects of the promotional application process, and matching with a mentor leader.

Speakers would be filmed or recorded to enable teachers outside of the Southeast Queensland region opportunity to participate.

Students completing Griffith’s Graduate Diploma of Education – Secondary degree may have the opportunity to complete professional experience in the TECE – Benowa Cluster’s program.