Staff at Como Secondary College (WA), Parramatta Marist High School (NSW), Parafield Gardens High School (SA), Mount Rowan Secondary College (Vic) and East Loddon P–12 College (Vic) discuss how they use leadership to drive and sustain an MTSS framework aligned with AERO’s guidance.
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Duration: 4:05


Mileva Tubbs, Head of Learning Support Program, Como Secondary College: The principal has a really crucial role to play in the vision for the program and also for championing the program across the school. Setting a culture of high expectations. Setting a culture where every student deserves high-quality teaching instruction in the classroom.

Digby Mercer, Principal, Como Secondary College: I think you've got to be right across the literature, going off and researching ideas, understanding what is effective teaching, what's important in learning, training yourself. I've come from a special education background, so I have that knowledge, but I've seen other secondary principals who haven't had the background I have, but they have that thirst for knowledge and an understanding of what are the basic mechanisms of teaching and learning and then being able to go and put those into practice. It's about trying to move away from just being a textbook-based teacher, into something that's different, where you're looking at the student and saying, 'What are your needs? And, how can I, as a teacher, best be able to meet your needs?'

Prue Dawson, Diversity Coordinator, Parramatta Marist High School: As a leadership team, we are making sure that our classroom teachers have time to make changes and to implement the changes that we would like. We’re a time-poor profession, so you do need to get creative about how you make that time. Our structures around our professional learning teams have really supported that process.

Beth Pontifex, English Coordinator, Parafield Gardens High School: Our timetabling and daily orgs assistant principal works her magic behind the scenes to make sure that our class sizes stay small, our timetable fits in with all the other mainstream subjects that we have.

Olly Ross, Numeracy Learning Specialist, Mount Rowan Secondary College: If anyone on that team has said, 'We'd like to go do some professional development', we have that support that they will say, 'Yes, if we can make this work, we will make it work'. They understand that for this program to work, we need to expand our knowledge, so that support from up above, and our leadership, has been crucial.

Steven Leed, Principal, East Loddon P–12 College: With any program, and the tiered intervention program is a perfect example of that, there must be authentic trust within the staff and group. So, when we put somebody in charge of something, such as a tiered intervention program, we trust that they will lead this in the right manner.

Kathryn McDiven, Literacy Intervention Teacher, East Loddon P–12 College: We've got amazing support from our leadership team, and they have protected our delivery of this program. They don't call on us to do extras, they have put extra funding where necessary, and they've defended it and they've encouraged all of the other staff to support it.

Vardis Rafiei, Leading Teacher, Teaching and Learning, Mount Rowan Secondary College: One of the key responsibilities of leaders when planning this sort of intervention is to promote reflective practice, both amongst ourselves as leadership, but also amongst teachers. And so something that is really crucial as a leader is to actually think about how we can make adjustments to practices so that they are meeting our student needs and also our staff capacity at that point in time.

Steven Leed: We back our team of tiered intervention workers to the hilt. We go on their advice, we acknowledge the fact that with any sort of change, there's likely maybe to be a dip in results for a start. But if you're authentic in what you're doing, genuine in what you're doing, you'd expect to see those results go through the roof. We knew that this wouldn't be something that would happen overnight. We knew it would take time. We've now been in this sort of program for a couple of years now, and we're seeing outstanding results, and I think that success breeds success as well. It energises staff when they see those students who have maybe struggled with reading in the past and struggled with literacy. When you see them genuinely making improvements, it's not only the student that feels really proud of themselves, but the staff are energised by seeing that as well.

Keywords: multi-tiered system of supports