National Professional Charter for Primary School Leaders

APPA’s goal is to develop and promote a professional charter for primary school leaders for adoption by national and local principals’ associations which is explicit about the conditions and behaviours that enable leaders to thrive, supports aspiring leaders; and, ensures the primary leadership role is authentically attractive.


This National Professional Charter for Primary School Leaders establishes a common understanding of the professional practice expected of a primary school leader who:

  1. takes responsibility for their own work and actions;
  2. conducts themselves in a professional manner when communicating and working with all members of the school community; and,
  3. encourages consultative and collaborative workplaces where people are valued.


The primary school leader is responsible for the leadership of teaching and learning, the effective management of programs and the strengthening of school culture. This is enabled by:

  • building positive relationships with the whole school community;
  • fostering inclusive and active participation; and,
  • implementing strategies that support health and wellbeing of the school community.

The primary school leader acts within relevant Education Acts, mandated regulations and policies, and an understanding of the role and responsibility of leading a school community. In providing effective leadership, the primary school leader is committed to abide by the National Professional Charter for Primary School Leaders endorsed by their state / territory principals’ association and the Australian Primary Principals Association.


As primary school leaders, we are committed to upholding the National Professional Charter for Primary School Leaders.

Vision and Values

  1. Primary school leaders model learning for life through their own professional practice and promote it actively in their interaction with students, staff, families and carers, and the wider community.
  2. Primary school leaders inspire and motivate members of the school community to set high standards for every learner, including students, staff and self.
  3. Primary school leaders engage with integrity and fairness, and undertake duties ethically. They model and strengthen the school’s values, practices and organisation.

Knowledge and Understanding

  1. Primary school leaders maintain their knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning by keeping abreast of educational research and evidence-based practice.
  2. Primary school leaders are mindful of, and responsive to, the wellbeing, health and safety of the school community.
  3. Primary school leaders lead and manage the performance of the school by working collaboratively with governing bodies, staff and the parent community.

Personal qualities, social and interpersonal skills

  1. Primary school leaders engage in personal and professional conduct that upholds the reputation of primary school leaders and the profession.
  2. Primary school leaders act in good faith in providing advice or service that is impartial and comprehensive.
  3. Primary school leaders seek to find positive resolutions in accordance with the school’s values.
  4. Primary school leaders take account of the social, political and local circumstances within which they work.

Printable version:  NAC Professional Charter for Primary School Leaders Aug 2018