Welcome to the Principals as Literacy Leaders (PALL) website.
The Principals as Literacy Leaders program has been designed to develop the capabilities of primary school principals as ‘effective literacy leaders’.
This program addresses two important questions,
If student literacy achievement is to be enhanced:
- What capabilities do principals need in literacy?
- What capabilities do principals need in leadership?
The program has been designed based on the latest leadership and reading research and provides all leaders with a range of practical tools and strategies. PALL has been trialled and delivered to over 600 principals from all jurisdictions around Australia and is continuing to expand.
The Principals as Literacy Leaders (PALL) pilot project commenced in 2009, funded through the Australian Government’s Literacy and Numeracy Pilots in Low SES Communities program. The PALL project was initiated by the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) and was developed by Edith Cowan, Griffith and the Australian Catholic Universities.
The Pilot was a two year project and involved 60 principals from Government, Catholic and Independent low SES schools in South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. The Pilot was supported by each of the relevant jurisdictions in these states and territory.
Extending PALL in South Australia
During the PALL Pilot, the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development approached APPA to provide an extension of the PALL Pilot to 160 principals from both metropolitan and country school locations, starting March 2010. This extension program was conducted by Edith Cowan and Griffith Universities and enabled the universities to review their material and presentations based on the feedback from the Pilot project.
Based on the Pilot feedback, and the impact that the extra PALL program was having in South Australia, the Government jurisdiction requested that APPA conduct a further extension program for approximately another 160 principals, which commenced in 2011.
Others Wanting To Get Involved
As a result of the original PALL Pilot project, the extension programs in South Australia and PALL material being shared on the APPA website, a number of other state and territory jurisdictions contacted APPA seeking information about the feasibility of PALL being conducted for their principals.
Information was specifically sought from Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania. A significant number of individual principals across all state and territory jurisdictions also sought information about how they could access the PALL program.
Initiation of the Train the Trainer Program
In discussion with the universities, it was decided that a Train the Trainer program was the preferred strategy to bring knowledge of the PALL Pilot project, its aims, processes and material to jurisdictions that would be in a position to consider its expansion. Funding for Train the Trainer came from the Commonwealth.
Invitations to nominate for the Principals as Literacy Leaders: Train the Trainer program were sent to all Government, Catholic and Independent jurisdictions across Australia with the first 2 part session being held in Sydney at the Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour, on 23, 24 and 25 November 2011 and 7, 8 and 9 March 2012.
The second training session was held in Adelaide at the Education Development Centre on 1, 2 and 3 August and 22, 23 and 24 October 2012.
Training sessions were conducted by Professor Neil Dempster (Griffith University) and Anne Bayetto (Flinders University).
A total of 88 participants attended the Train the Trainer sessions from across Australia.
In 2013, the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development again requested APPA to conduct a PALL program for approximately 150 primary principals with the goal of having nearly every South Australian primary principal complete the program by the end of 2013.
PALL is also being conducted in 2013 for New South Wales Independent principals, Victorian Government principals, Western Australian Independent principals and Tasmanian Government principals.
Other PALL spin-offs
In 2011, APPA, with Griffith University, implemented a Principals as Literacy Leaders with Indigenous Communities (PALLIC) which was completed in March 2013. The 2 year project was funded through the Commonwealth’s Closing the Gap: Expansion of Intensive and Numeracy Programs.
The Department for Education and Child Development in South Australian also worked with Griffith University throughout 2012 to develop the Secondary Principals as Literacy Leaders program (SPALL).
Feedback from Principals
Feedback received from principals clearly indicates that the PALL program has had a big impact on them and their schools. Some of the comments from the original pilot include:
“PALL has given me cause to reclaim my position as a curriculum leader.” “The professional learning I have received within the project has helped me to develop the professional learning of staff in literacy.”
“I am more upfront as an instructional leader. There is more team responsibility and staff are leading some of these activities. We have a common focus in professional learning.”
“Our school’s literacy intervention focus is now informed by identified individual needs.”
“We are changing our processes and structures because our data is more focussed.”
It was decided in 2013 by APPA to develop a PALL Website so all principals can access the material and resources developed over the past four years.