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From the Principal

Where is the Principal?

Not on bus duty
Not in his office
Not in the conference room
Not on campus
Gone!

We know that turning up for school regularly is one of the keys to academic success.

“The role of a principal of an independent school is to ensure the physical and human resources of the school are aligned to that purpose. Schools are complex organisations and there are myriad leadership and management tasks that are interwoven in the principal’s role. The successful execution of these tasks depends as much on the personal attributes of the principal and on his or her values base as it does on skills.” The Role of the Independent School Principal.

So, is the Principal being away from the campus compromising St Columba’s capacity to educate?

It is a simple fact that as a school principal there are many days, weekends included, where I am off campus traveling to or from meetings, conferences or synods.

This is a part of my role as principal:

  • Making sure that our school is an active partner in the very best educational, sporting and cultural organisations available.
  • Ensuring our leadership and governing Council are fully informed of the  political, financial and educational developments that are happening or are planned.
  • Sharing our successes and ideas with like-minded schools and taking their experiences as a reference point for improvements we can make.
  • Meeting the demands of our Anglican and independent school status.

For those who do not know it, St Columba is a member of the following organisations:

  • The Association of Independent Schools NSW
  • The Grafton Diocesan Schools Network
  • The Hunter Region Independent Schools Group
  • Heads of Independent Co- Education Schools

These groups host professional education, sports events, cultural events, debating competitions, and allow member schools to collaborate and support each other.

Personally/professionally, I am a member of:

  • The Australian Council of Educational Leaders
  • The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia

These memberships ensure that our school is not only exposed to the very best in education practice, but also has access to excellent sporting competitions, allows our students to share in top level learning by collaborating with other great schools and has access to great educational ideas and support. Professionally, these memberships can take me away from St Columba more often than I would like but….

It is necessary for us to remain aware of what is happening outside our valleys. It makes sure we know where we are going and how we will get there in terms of school improvements. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on our successes and avoid the mistakes made by other schools.

As a regional school, we suffer from potential disadvantage in not having access to state and federal decision-makers, educational innovators and those who control school funding. As principal I need to, along with teaching staff and members of the school leadership, ensure that the world of opportunities we offer is relevant, future-focused and offer our students the very best in education.

In the same way we have to arrange for our students to travel considerable distances to take advantage of educational opportunities that their urban counterparts take for granted, sometimes we have to “hit the road” to keep our school competitive and offer our students the very best in education.


Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School
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