Campus Principal - Don Valley Campus

Job posted: 15/03/2023
Applications close: 28/03/2023 (Midnight)
8 days remaining

8 days remaining

Job Description

Location: Gippsland | Omeo

Job type: Full time / From 24/04/2023 - 23/04/2028

Organisation: Education and Training

Salary: Salary not specified

Occupation: Teacher

Reference: 1336556

Reference: 1336556

Occupation: Teacher

Salary Range: Salary not specified

Work location: Gippsland | Omeo

Selection Criteria

  1. Educational leadership
    1. Outstanding capacity for exemplary educational leadership of the Don Valley Campus of the School for Student Leadership.
    2. Highly developed skills in leading and managing the organisational alignment of the campus including embedding a shared school educational vision and culture.
  2. Financial, managerial and administrative ability
    1. Outstanding financial, organisational and resource management skills.
  3. Planning, policy and program development and review
    1. Exemplary values appropriate to the development of student learning with a demonstrated capacity to achieve high quality student outcomes.
    2. Demonstrated ability to implement Department policies to a high level.
    3. Excellent ability to lead the use of learning technologies to improve teaching and learning.
  4. Leadership of staff and students
    1. A highly developed capacity to motivate staff, develop their talents and build an effective team in a multi-campus setting.
    2. A clear capacity to foster a learning environment that takes account of the individual needs of students and helps students to maximise their special abilities and talents.
  5. Interpersonal and communication skills
    1. Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills in individual, small group and community contexts.
    2. Exemplary values pertaining to personal qualities of objectivity, sensitivity and integrity.
    3. An ability to work with parents and the community to develop a strong, child-safe and inclusive learning environment.


The assistant principal reports directly to the principal.

Assistant principals have a primary responsibility for the management of significant areas or functions within the school to ensure the effective development, provision and evaluation of the school's education program.  In exercising the responsibility, assistant principals will have the authority to make all significant decisions relating to the program, budget and staff relating to their area of designated responsibility within the framework of the school's strategic plan, policies and budget.  Assistant principals will contribute to the overall management of the school through involvement in policy formulation and decision making.

The management of significant school program or functional areas in schools involve assistant principals in the analysis of the needs of students and the translation of state educational policy and frameworks into appropriate education programs to meet the needs of all students.

Typically assistant principals will be responsible for the effective use of the teaching staff and program budget of a defined area of the school's operation and for the oversight and leadership of the educational programs provided utilising these resources.


Typically, assistant principals perform one or more of the following functions:

  •    supervision and coordination of the work of senior curriculum or level coordinators;
  •    allocation of budgets, positions of responsibility and other resources within the area of responsibility;
  •    supervision of the delivery of teaching programs;
  •    management of programs to improve the knowledge and experience of staff;
  •    responsibility for general discipline matters beyond the management of classroom teachers and year level coordinators;
  •    contribute to the overall management of the school;

Who May Apply

Appropriately qualified individuals currently registered or eligible for registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

EEO AND OHS Commitment

The Department of Education is committed to the principles of equal opportunity, and diversity and inclusion for all. We value diversity and inclusion in all forms – gender, religion, ethnicity, LGBTIQ+, disability and neurodiversity. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for roles within the Department.  The Department recognises that the provision of family friendly, supportive, safe and harassment free workplaces is essential to high performance and promotes flexible work, diversity and safety across all schools and Department workplaces.  It is our policy to provide reasonable adjustments for persons with a disability (see Workplace adjustment guidelines).

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants can contact Brett West, Yamatji man, in the Koorie Outcomes Division to talk about the recruitment process, the Department and supports for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in the Department. Mobile: 0477 726 801 or email on: brett.west@education.vic.gov.au

Child Safe Standards

Victorian government schools are child safe environments. Our schools actively promote the safety and wellbeing of all students, and all school staff are committed to protecting students from abuse or harm in the school environment, in accordance with their legal obligations including child safe standards. All schools have a Child Safety Code of Conduct consistent with the Department’s exemplar available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/protect/Pages/childsafestandards.aspx

DET Values

The Department’s employees commit to upholding DET’s Values: Responsiveness, Integrity, Impartiality, Accountability, Respect, Leadership and Human Rights. DET’s Values complement each school’s own values and underpin the behaviours the community expects of Victorian public sector employees, including those who work in Victorian Government Schools. Information on the DET values is available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/workm/Pages/Public-Sector-Values.aspx

Conditions of Employment

  • All staff employed by the Department and schools have access to a broad range of employment conditions and working arrangements.
  • Appointment of successful applicants will be made subject to a satisfactory pre-employment conditions check.
  • A probationary period may apply during the first year of employment and induction and support programs provided.
  • Detailed information on all terms and conditions of employment is available on the Department's Human Resources website at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/Pages/default.aspx


To be eligible for employment, transfer or promotion in the principal or teacher class a person must have provisional or full registration from the Victorian Institute of Teaching. In addition, from 3 August 2020, to be eligible for employment in the principal class or teacher class, a person who graduated from a Victorian Initial Teacher Education program after 1 July 2016, must demonstrate that they have passed the literacy and numeracy test for initial teacher education (LANTITE) requirements. This condition is satisfied where the LANTITE requirement is part of the Victorian Initial Teacher Education program completed by the person.

Location Profile

Applications are sought for Campus Principal for our Don Valley Campus of the Alpine School

The School for Student Leadership (Trading as The Alpine School) is an exciting and unique year-nine specialist school. The school has been operating for 23 years and more than 10,000 students have participated in that time both in Victorian and when an international operation was conducted in China from 2014-2019. It currently consists of four campuses 

All campuses are in regional Victoria and include:

• Alpine School Campus, Dinner Plain.

• Snowy River Campus, Marlo

• Gnurad-Gundidj Campus, Noorat-Glenormiston.

• Don Valley Campus, Don Valley.

Forty-five students live, learn, work, play, recreate and undertake adventures at the schools in a unique (in State Education) highly supported leadership education program. The school has modelled the educational program on an Experiential Education model, and at its core has a project/ enquiry learning and social-enterprise focus.

A highly developed curriculum, pedagogical, assessment and reporting approach relates to the Victorian F-10 Capabilities.

An extensive outdoor, environmental and adventure education program is an embedded part of the school learning program. All students participate fully in this as it is an essential component of the character education aspect of leadership and experiential education.

While the school has a highly developed outdoor and adventure education curriculum that honours the DET OE Policy and operational provisions, the teaching and learning program should be of particular interest.

The assessment and reporting rubric is inserted below. The curriculum revolves around nine learning concepts that have evolved out of the school value and align with and reflect the F-10 Capabilities. The school recognises that the concept of leadership is contested and has an agreed position that these concepts combine to measure this construct.

The main visible outcome of the program is the Community Learning Project. This is a student-led and driven project that students implement on return to their home communities upon returning home.

A CLP is referred to as triple – “A” rated learning because it is:

  • Authentic. It is genuinely developed and delivered by students
  • Agentic. The project is owned by the students, and they have control over it.
  • Actioned. The students have to DO something to deliver a project. Leadership is a “verb”.

The action component is important. The school values and notes that leadership is an action not a position or title.


Core Moral Purpose

The core-moral purpose of the school rests in a mixture of the following:

  • best practice middle years education, including appreciating the works of Pendergast (2017) Teaching Middle Years and Bandura (2005) Self Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents.
  • a contemporary interpretation of the adolescent "rite of passage',
  • "long service leave" for year nine students, as applied to many Australian industrial settings,
  • reinterpretation of contemporary paediatric and adolescent psychological research as applied to education,
  • understanding the implications of a student-centred approach to education including
    • Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs
    • Glasser’s (2000) Choice Theory
  • what it means to be a learner in the 21st Century and connection with Nature (Louv).
  • An interpretation of Tuckman’s forming-storming-norming-performing model.

Agency, authenticity, action-Leadership.

Middle year's experiential educational best practice informs our curriculum content and pedagogy. These include including fundamentally engaging activities as the basis of our work, project-based work, enquiry based learning, experiential learning, working on concrete work tasks, team work, integrated use of ICT, reflective practices, meta-cognitive learning, thinking and learning profiling and community living. The deliberate limitation of resources and the creation of learning/decision-making tension points, among many others are keys to the success of learning.

Rite of Passage

The contemporary "Rite of Passage" refers to that which many say has been lost in the modern, western capitalist paradigm. Put simply, many traditional cultures incorporated a period, at about puberty, of; separation from family, minimal communication with family/community, undertaking a significant, prolonged and arduous journey in the wilderness, undergoing physical/emotional hardship, solving real problems concerning "survival", learning the spiritual mores of the community from elders and other significant adults among other undertakings. Often, the successful reintegration to community/society after such an undertaking, such a "rite", included in scarring or cicatrisation as a mark of successfully undertaking this hardship/separation/reintegration into the community and as recognition of the acceptance into and responsibilities of, an "adult".

Many suggest that an extended period of separation and learning such as that offered by the Alpine School program can represent a contemporary rite of passage.

Long Service Leave

In many organisational structures in Australia, after ten years of continual service, members of that organisation are entitled to a period of leave from their role for re-creation, renewal, reinvigoration, rediscovery and so on as both a mark of respect and in preparation for the next period of work and life. Year nine students have been at school for ten years and some say deserve a period of "long service leave". In this construct, the leave must require undertaking tasks, learning and experiences that are fundamentally different to those of their normal existence. It is because of this among other reasons, that traditional "school work" should not be undertaken in this residential learning environment. Students are undertaking "new' learning that is fundamentally about them and their future selves and should not be confused with the more teacher-centric model of education from which many have come. The learning they are undertaking is hugely valuable in itself. We have to re-assign a value to the learning undertaken in this 'long-service leave" construct.

Adolescent Neuro-Psycho-Emotional development

This adolescent stage in a young person's life involves reference to Biddulph, Louv, Carr-Gregg and other contemporary authors. Biddulph in particular refers to the three stages of children’s development, the third beginning at around puberty and involving attachment and association/mentoring/role-modelling by a significant adult who is not a direct member of the young person's immediate family. There is evidence around this important and formative stage in a teenager’s brain development: these young brains are still works in progress. The teacher, educator, scout/guide master, sport coach and so on tends to be that person in our society. Clearly this person needs to accept the considerable and onerous trust and responsibility that is placed upon them. Reference is made to Richard Louv in regard to his identified construct of Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD). Among others, NDD refers to that phenomenon where medical practitioners are identifying behaviours in young people that can be attributed to lack of exposure to the natural environment, unstructured play in that environment, exploration of the natural environment, getting physically dirty and physically touching and personally experiencing that environment as opposed to experiencing it through a digital media.

Maslow and Hierarchy of Needs

The model of care and welfare that is provided to our students is critical to the success of the program and the student outcomes we aim for. Maslow describes a hierarchy of needs that as a general rule must be achieved for all of us to progress through to a high state of awareness and in our circumstance, true and life-long learning. At a fundamental level, students need to have satisfied basic physiological needs. We provide a safe, well nurtured learning and living environment with a focus on healthy eating, exercise, sleep and food: there is neither junk food nor sweets/lollies/bon-bons allowed, no chewing gum and no cordial or fizzy drinks. Good accommodation, safe and secure ablution areas and access to healthy exercise is critical. We believe in creating a sense of care and belonging, community and mutual respect that allows students to feel safe and cared for, a part of a real and living community that they are active participants in, not observers or passengers. There is a high moral and participative standard expected. We believe that through a close sense of community, students can develop a strong sense of self, what they believe and value, respect and valuing of and for diversity and for others and a robust self-esteem and self-efficacy. It is only through this deliberate process and supported environment can this progression be made.

Glasser and Choice Theory

We subscribe to this approach and view every opportunity with a student as a learning opportunity. We do not subscribe to a punitive approach: we do not punish students. That does not mean we do not hold behaviours to account: students are held very accountable for their choices, actions and inactions. To gain an understanding of student behaviour, we interrogate ourselves and each other as to the nature of behaviours: are the behaviours we are witnessing normal adolescent behaviours? Many behaviours we as adults witness in adolescents might challenge our adult sensibilities: but they are not deliberate behaviours. If not, we always fundamentally seek to understand the cause or drive of such an abnormal behaviour. In every instance, unusual behaviour is motivated by a need that we as both the educators and adults in the care model must seek to understand.

We also believe that adolescents do not need “fixing up”. They have not come to our program because they are somehow “broken” or they need to be modified in some way. Ours is a school not a camp, students learn (mostly about themselves) and often the experience is transformational.

Much of our program focusses the students on themselves, learning about relationships and learning about the community in which they were residing for a specific amount of time and learning about leadership. As such much of their learning can be organised in the following way:

  • Learning how to manage their own behaviour;
  • Learning how to manage their own learning;
  • Learning how to be responsible for themselves and,
  • Learning about and with others.

These four ways of viewing learning and behaviour is essential learning’s for all students, which in turn if mastered changes the way individuals view themselves and the world in which they live. In addition to managing their own learning and behaviour Glasser (2000) suggests that people who are in control of their own life, are happy and have no need to control the lives of others. By the same token those who are not happy want to control others and the environment in which they live. Those who are not happy are not finding a way or perceiving a way of having their basic needs met.

Tuckman and separation

Many may be familiar with the Tuckman model (Bruce Tuckman 1965). The forming–storming–norming–performing model of group development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who said that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for a team to grow, face up to challenges, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. As Tuckman knew these inevitable phases were critical to team growth and development, he hypothesized that along with these factors that interpersonal relationships and task activity would enhance the four-stage model that is needed to successfully navigate and create and effective group function.

We acknowledge and recognise that there may be additional phases and in particular the first is “mourning” which is related to an inevitable separation anxiety. This may or may not be a large or small issue for students in the first week(s) of the program.

We also acknowledge that the strong sense of esprit de corp and community that is created by such a shared and long experience is also difficult to dismantle without social and emotional side-effects. We call this the “adjourning” stage.

When students experience the deconstruction of their community by the completion and conclusion of the experience, it can manifest in compensatory behaviours on return home and to the regular school.

Parents/families/carers and home schools should be made very aware of the significance of the deconstruction phase and the variability of return for every student.

We acknowledge that students will not “reintegrate” as they are for the most part fundamentally different because of the experience being away. Integrations implies a return to normality whereas there is a recognition that as a result of the experience and the “rite of passage”, a different person has returned, and their stakeholders will need a period to readjust to them.

21st Century Learning

We also subscribe to a contemporary view of 21st Century Learning. Louv (noted above) notes that the world is becoming an increasingly hostile and scary place: parents are less and less likely to allow their children out into the wild dangerous world. He notes that with the ubiquitous use of technology, it is now more than every that we need the natural world. The more technology we have, the more nature we need. We also note also that every student we now see has only been to school in the 21st Century. They are mostly educated by teachers (decreasingly so as the third decade of the century unfolds) who went to school in the 20th Century. They exist in a school system that was developed in the 18th Century. If ever there was a time to do education differently, it is now.

These converging concepts provide a powerful rationale and significant "moral purpose' or central belief for undertaking our programs. Our campuses have less curriculum inertia than many system models, as there is a new cohort each term. Review, renewal, and organisational reflection are encouraged, and it is hoped that innovation is a key feature of our programs. Educational and balanced risk taking is encouraged. Change is a feature of our organisation, introspection and challenging mores and beliefs is encouraged. We adopt all these curriculum innovations and are an integrated curriculum model. We actively promote the importance of conceptual and practical preparation-separation-reintegration model and minimal parental contact. Separation anxiety is a part of our experience, and we work with the student to cope with his/her incarnation of this emotional response. We believe this is an essential component for the success of the program. Students undertake expeditions and we encourage them to explore and get close to the natural world.

Every student benefit from the experience and every student will acknowledge that the experience is at times extremely challenging. They return home and after a period of adjustment, every student in our experience will go on to better outcomes at school because of the "rite", separation, relationship with a significant adult and exposure and relationship with the outdoors and natural environment. Our research shows that students are better learners, more focussed, more settled, have better medium- and long-term goals and can undertake practices to achieve those goals. They do academically better at school and are more settled and considerate at home.

While the measured outcomes point to the success and value of the program (ATSS, PIVOT data, Parents survey data and many co-authored research papers), for many students the impact and learning is deferred. It can take time for many to fully appreciate the nature and value of an extended residential experience.

Beliefs and Values

The school has developed a core set of beliefs and values which underpin the school operations, curriculum, assessment and program decision making. The successful applicant should show in their application an alignment with and commitment to these core values. We Believe in and Value:

  • Self-Belief.
  • Connectedness
  • Relationships

These are also the learning themes in the curriculum.

Roles and responsibilities specific to the setting

As a result of the multi-campus operation and the residential 9-24/7 operation on each campus, the role requires a person with a flexible, enthusiastic and team-oriented approach. All staff work in a close team environment with their colleagues, and a culture of collaboration, sharing and feedback permeates this relationship.

  • The Principal is the instructional leader in the school, the Ex-Officio member of council, direct line-manager to all staff but delegates this responsibility as required.
  • The school Principal is currently primarily based at Snowy Campus and will be often mobile.
  • The Campus Principals and the Leading Teachers with the Generalists will form the core of the teaching staff.
  • Leading Teachers will be familiar with aspects of contemporary DET management practices.
  • The Business Manager has a vital advisory role with both the Principal and the Campus Principals in making and supporting resourcing decisions.
  • The Overnight and Education Support Staff are intrinsically connected to the successful outcomes that the school aims for.
  • The kitchen and catering model is critical to the success of the learning program and the staff follow a “Common Kitchen” approach to healthy food for growing adolescents.
  • The school has a Community of Practice approach to ensure high quality outcome for students, to ensure consistency of practice between teachers, classes, care and supervision, ICT, ICT management, catering and food provision, outdoor and adventure activities, campuses, and days, uses evidence and data and privileging time for inquiry among others.

The operational budget of the multi-campus school is in the order of $9-$10m per annum. The school generates a cash income through parent contributions via home schools.

The governance and leadership model of the School for Student Leadership is unique in the Victorian Education system. The Governance and Leadership models comprise one School Council and a single Principal. The school council, nominated by the education minister, consists of highly regarded members of the Victorian community. There are past student, industry, education and Koorie community representatives on the school council.


The school has a MOU relationship with VAEAI and KAE to ensure the program is accessible for Koorie students and is culturally inclusive.

The School Principal, Business Manager, Campus Principals and Leading Teachers form the School Leadership Team.

The Business Manager is the Secretary of the School Council and has a close working relationship with the Principal, School Council President and Finance Committee.

A Campus Principal and Leading Teacher comprise the leadership team at a campus. The LT Curriculum oversees the pedagogical program.

There is a Learning Specialist at each campus who lead the cross-campus and in campus PLC and community of practice around teaching and learning.

A Digital Technologies Coordinator leads and implements the ICT program across the school.

The school has a unique TSSP support model and students have a one-to-one laptop program.

With this model, a member of the leadership team can be on-site at the school on at least one campus most days as the operation of the organisation is 24/7.

Generally, the Principal is on call 24/7 for the entire program duration each term.

The school, as a co-educational residential school, has two gender specific accommodation wings and has a highly trained team of teacher and non-teacher support staff to maximize the desired educational outcomes.

There are two accommodation wings at our school. These wings are split into the binary options of male and female. The SSL is a secular and inclusive Victorian Government school, the inclusion of gender diverse students is important to us and protected by law. Nonbinary and gender diverse students need to make a choice in conjunction with parental approval, about the accommodation wing they wish to reside in and prior to selection in our program. This will need to fit within the home school student allocation.

The school has a particular focus on ensure the safety of students through the Child Safe Standards. Child Safe reps are at each campus and meet regularly.

There is provision in the Equal Opportunities Act to select staff based on gender due to the residential nature of the program.

Because of the unique nature of the operation of the school, the delivery of the programs involves a range of evening, overnight, early morning, holiday and weekend duties for all staff. Flexibility in working hours and arrangements is a vital part of this role.

The school has a well-structured consultative committee and a thoroughly reviewed and consulted Long Term Planning Document (local agreement) that accommodates the various unique interpretations of the VGSA in a 24/7 operation.

Campus Principal - Don Valley Campus

Job type:

Full time / From 24/04/2023 - 23/04/2028

Job classification:

Not provided


Robyn Francis | +61 448309615

Campus Principal - Don Valley Campus