School Leader
Self-Assessment Tool

The School Leader Self-Assessment Tool assists principals, school leaders and aspirants to reflect, locate their practice and establish their developmental pathway using the framework of the Leadership Profiles. Use the tool to guide your learning and growth and become a better leader.

User guide
School Leader Self-Assessment Tool

About the School Leader SAT

The School Leader Self-Assessment Tool (School Leader SAT) is an online questionnaire that allows principals, school leaders and those aspiring to the role to reflect on their practice in relation to the Leadership Profiles (the Profiles).

The School Leader SAT presents a set of questionnaire items that are based on the leadership actions described in the Profiles. The items cover actions and behaviours described across the developmental pathways shown in the Profiles.

For individuals

On completion of the questionnaire, respondents receive a report that indicates where their current practice is located within each of the three lenses of the Profiles. The report identifies specific areas of strength as well as areas for development. Additionally, the School Leader SAT allows respondents to:

  • view their developmental pathway
  • create a plan for learning and growth
  • access leadership tools and resources to assist their leadership growth
  • eventually compare their results over time.

For groups

In addition to individual self-reflection, the School Leader SAT can also be used by groups of school leaders, with de-identified aggregate results available to the group.

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About the Leadership Profiles

The Leadership Profiles (the Profiles) build upon the Australian Professional Standard for Principals (the Standard) by describing the role of principals in greater detail. The Profiles are presented as a set of leadership actions that effective principals implement as they progress to higher levels of proficiency. In this way, the Profiles provide a comprehensive developmental framework for current and aspiring principals.

The Profiles are organised as a set of 80 statements, arranged for school leaders to view through three leadership lenses:

  • Professional Practices lens – linked to the Standard’s five Professional Practices
  • Leadership Requirements lens – linked to the Standard’s three Leadership Requirements
  • Leadership Emphasis lens – which focuses on four broad school leadership contexts.

The following diagram illustrates the three lenses with their related focuses.
027-Lenses

Click here for more information about the Profiles.

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Login to the School Leader SAT

The School Leader SAT is available at www.aitsl.edu.au/slsat

To log in to the School Leader SAT:

  1. Click on ‘Start questionnaire’ from the Home or Questionnaire pages.
  2. Login using your AITSL website registration, or create a new account.

Login using your AITSL registered username and password. If you have forgotten your password click ‘Forgot your password?’ and then enter follow the instructions provided.

If you do not have an AITSL login and are accessing the School Leader SAT for the first time, click ‘Register to access AITSL’s full services’ to create a new account. Please note that because your email address is used as your unique login ID, you should consider using an email address that is not likely to change in the future.

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Complete the questionnaire

Answer the questions about you, your role and context

After you have logged in, complete the questions about you, your role and context on the Who are you? page. Agree to the Terms and Conditions then click ‘Save and next’ to continue to the questionnaire items.

You will be asked to complete the Who are you? page each time you undertake the questionnaire to ensure your details are current.

Respond to the questionnaire items

The questionnaire will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. No preparation is required.

You will be guided through a series of pages, each with 10 questions. The numbered circles at the top of the page indicate how far you have progressed through the questionnaire.

002-questionnaire progress

Read each question carefully and select the answer that best reflects you, using the scale described below.

  • Very true – this item describes a behaviour or activity always demonstrated.
  • True – this item describes a behaviour or activity regularly demonstrated.
  • Somewhat true – this item describes an activity or behaviour demonstrated sometimes but not regularly.
  • Somewhat untrue – this item describes an activity or behaviour demonstrated on rare occasions but on the whole is unusual.
  • Untrue – this item does not describe an activity or behaviour demonstrated.

You can also select Not applicable if the item isn’t relevant to your role.

You must respond to every question on the page then click ‘Save and next’ to continue.

The questionnaire does not need to be completed in one session. To come back to the questionnaire at a later time, click ‘Stop questionnaire’. Only answers to items on saved pages will have been saved and you can start again from where you left off. Alternatively, next time you login you can restart the questionnaire from the beginning by following the prompts.

After answering all items on the final page, click ‘Finish’. You will then be guided to the Results and planning section to view your results, which are available immediately.

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View your results

Overview

You will be guided to the Results and planning section after you have completed the questionnaire. Alternatively, click on Results and planning from the navigation menu to view your previous results.

Your results provide a view of your current leadership practice through the three lenses of the Profiles: Professional Practices lens; Leadership Requirements lens; Leadership Emphasis lens.

The left side of the screen provides a brief written summary of your overall results.
003-results summary

Your results are organised under tabs for each lens, located at the top of the page.
022-lens nav

Your latest questionnaire results will appear by default. To view previous results, select a date from the dropdown box then click ‘View’.
005-results date

Professional Practices lens

Summary results

When viewed through the Professional Practices lens, the Profiles describe the leadership actions of each focus at increasing proficiency, providing a developmental pathway, or Profile, that progresses from left to right.
006-PP table

Your report locates your current practice for each Professional Practice focus using three indicators.

007-Proficient chevron-EDIT REQUIRED  Proficient – you have demonstrated all of the leadership actions at this point of the Profile.

008-Current chevron-EDIT REQUIRED  Current focus – you have demonstrated some, but not all, of the leadership actions at this point of the Profile. This is your current developmental focus.

009-Future chevron-EDIT REQUIRED  Future focus – your developmental pathway. These are areas for future focus.

This approach ensures that whilst you may demonstrate actions described by the more proficient statements in the Profiles, you take a comprehensive approach to addressing all statements within the Profiles.

Detailed Professional Practices results

To view detailed results for each Professional Practice focus, click on the arrow next to a focus.
010-single profile

Your detailed results will include the following elements:

  • Practice description – taken directly from the Australian Professional Standard for Principals it describes what principals are expected to know, understand and do to succeed in this area.
  • Area for development   013-development  – your lowest scored leadership action, typically drawn from the Current focus.
  • Area of strength   014-strength  – your highest scored leadership action drawn from the Current focus or highest Proficient chevron.
  • Area also relates to – indicates which Leadership Requirement and Leadership Emphasis focus relates to your area for development and area of strength.

Click ‘View results in Profile’ to see your area for development and area of strength within the focus Profile and view your developmental pathway.  

Click   015-resources    next to each leadership action to access tools and resources to support your growth in this area.

Click ‘View my answers’ to view your questionnaire responses for the Professional Practice focus.

You can navigate between each Professional Practice focus using the ‘Previous practice’ and ‘Next practice’ buttons.
024-previous practice   023-next practice

Leadership Requirements lens

While the results described above are relevant to the Professional Practices of the Australian Professional Standard for Principals, the Standard also describes three Leadership Requirements common to all leaders including principals. Your report provides an outline of the Leadership Requirements and highlights where you offer strengths in these.

Leadership Emphasis lens

The Leadership Profiles describe what school leadership practice looks like when a principal leads with an operational, relational, strategic or systemic emphasis. Your report highlights the Leadership Emphasis with which you tend to lead.

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Compare my current results to previous results

Click on Results and planning from the navigation menu to view your results.

To compare your latest results with previous results, select the previous results date from the dropdown box, check the ‘Compare with latest’ box and then click ‘View’.
016-compare

Your current results will be demonstrated by the coloured chevrons (Professional Practices lens) or boxes (Leadership Requirements lens and Leadership Emphasis lens). Your previous results will be demonstrated by black dots.

In the Professional Practices lens, the black comparative dot represents your previous Current focus.

028-Compare PP
029-Compare LE

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How do the School Leader SAT and the 360° Reflection Tool differ?

The School Leader SAT measures your own assessment of how well you demonstrate specific leadership actions drawn from the Leadership Profiles statements. The 360° Reflection Tool measures, via input from yourself and others, how often you appear to demonstrate more general school leadership behaviours developed from the Australian Professional Standard for Principals.

Each tool applies a distinctive approach to scoring. This is outlined as follows:

  • The School Leader SAT report locates your leadership practice along the developmental pathways, or Profiles, detailed in the Leadership Profiles. Your assessment of your leadership behaviour through your responses to each of the 94 questions indicates your point of current practice and future focus on each of the Professional Practices Profiles.
  • The 360° Reflection Tool, through a statistical approach to its five point scale scoring, takes your responses and those of your raters to provide an average score against each leadership behaviour. Additionally it enables you to see your results normed against the responses of 3000+ Australian principal participants. Through the rater comments section, the 360° Reflection Tool also provides an opportunity to receive qualitative feedback on the behaviours you exhibit.

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Create a plan for your learning and growth

The School Leader SAT allows you to create an action plan for your development based on your results.

To access the planning template, go to your detailed Professional Practices lens results (as outlined in the View your results section of this User Guide).

Click ‘Add goal’ next to My plan to create a goal and plan related to your Professional Practice focus results.

Add goals for the results of each Professional Practice focus using the ‘Previous practice’ and ‘Next practice’ buttons to navigate between each focus.
024-previous practice   023-next practice

Use the 'Add to my calendar' function to add a reminder to your calendar.

You can access and update your goals and action plan at any time.
026-My plan

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Record your reflections on your results

At the bottom of each My results page (Professional Practices, Leadership Requirements, and Leadership Emphasis tabs), click ‘Edit’ to record your reflections on your results for each lens. These reflections can be saved and updated at any time.
020-reflections-LE

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Download and print your results and plan as a PDF report

Click ‘Download my report’ from the Results and planning section to download, save or print your results in a PDF report.
021-Download my reportLE

Follow the prompts to select which results to download, i.e. latest results, previous results, or a comparison of latest results against previous results.

You can select to download your results with or without your reflections and action plan.

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Taking the School Leader SAT as a group

The School Leader SAT Group Report gives an aggregate overview of the leadership practice of a group of school leaders. This could be a school’s leadership team, participants in a professional learning program or other leadership network.

The information is de-identified, and does not provide direct comment on an individual user’s practice. However, the group functionality of the School Leader SAT helps users determine areas for professional learning that can be targeted to add maximum value to the whole group’s needs.

The School Leader SAT is recommended to support growth and development purposes rather than for use as an accountability tool. Individuals have the capacity to opt out of taking the School Leader SAT, or sharing their individual results. Participant’s School Leader SAT data is personal information protected by Australian Privacy Principles.

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Create or manage your group

The School Leader SAT provides an opportunity for groups of school leaders to receive a de-identified group report based on members’ individual results. The group report will be made available to the group leader. Individual group member’s results remain confidential and will not be revealed to the group leader or any other person.

Create a group

Click on Groups from the navigation menu, click the ‘Create a group’ button and then complete your group’s details.

Your group is established for one report only. As such, the name of your group must be unique. Consider including a date or other description in your group name, for example 'ABC High School Leadership Team – February 2016'.

The group end date informs group members when to submit their results to your group. However, your group can be locked, and your group report created, at any time before or after the group end date by following the View or download your group results instructions outlined below.

Your group will appear in the Groups I have created table on the Groups landing page. You can edit your group details by clicking ‘Edit group’ on the Manage group page.

Invite people to your group

Click on Groups from the navigation menu and then click the ‘Manage group’ button from the Groups I have created table.

Click ‘Invite people to group’. An invitation template providing instructions on how to join your group will open. Copy then paste the invitation template text into a new email using your preferred email client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook). Send the invitation email to your proposed group members.

The names of invited people will appear in the Group members table only after each person has clicked the link provided in the invitation email. The Group members table indicates the status of each person who has clicked this link. The status categories are:

  • Submitted – group member has submitted their results to your group.
  • Declined – person has declined to join your group.
  • Pending – person has clicked the link provided in the invitation email, but has neither submitted their results or declined to join your group.

To invite additional people to your group, or resend your invitation to people who have not accepted your invitation, click ‘Invite people to group’ and follow the steps outlined above.

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View or download your group results

You must lock your group to access your group results. Important:

  • Group results are only available when the individual results of four or more members are available. If only three group members have submitted their results, you can lock your group by including your own results as the fourth member in your group report.
  • A group cannot be unlocked and no further results can be submitted by members. Before locking your group, consider sending a reminder email to those members who have not submitted results.

Lock your group

Click on Groups from the navigation menu and then click the ‘Manage group’ button from the Groups I have created table. Complete the View group report steps to lock your group and access your group results.

You will be guided to your group results after you have locked your group. Alternatively, click on Groups from the navigation menu and select ‘View group report’ from the Groups I have created table. You can also download your group results clicking ‘Download PDF’.

Results overview

Your group results provide a view of your group’s practice through the three lenses of the Profiles: Professional Practices lens; Leadership Requirements lens; Leadership Emphasis lens. Your results are organised under tabs for each lens, located at the top of the page.

The left side of the screen provides a brief written summary of your group’s overall results.

Professional Practices lens

When viewed through the Professional Practices lens, the Profiles describe the leadership actions of each focus at increasing proficiency, providing a developmental pathway, or Profile, that progresses from left to right.

Your group report shows the distribution of group members’ individual results across each Profile. The distribution represents where group members have been deemed Proficient, that is, where they have demonstrated all of the leadership actions at that point of the Profile.

Leadership Requirements lens

While the results described above are relevant to the Professional Practices of the Australian Professional Standard for Principals, the Standard also describes three Leadership Requirements common to all leaders including principals. Your group results provide an outline of the Leadership Requirements and provides a distribution indicating where group members offer strengths across these.

Leadership Emphasis lens

The Leadership Profiles describe what school leadership practice looks like when a principal leads with an operational, relational, strategic or systemic emphasis. Your group results provide a distribution indicating the Leadership Emphasis with which your group members tend to lead.

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Understand your group results

As group leader, you are encouraged to reflect on the group report and what it means for your group/school/network. Discussions about the report results will provide a valuable professional learning opportunity, as well as a forum to determine development goals for the group. It is recommended that groups discuss the report to determine the impact of context on the results, and where the group will gain maximum value from targeted professional learning.

Using the report as the basis for discussion will focus the conversation on the Australian Professional Standard for Principals and the Leadership Profiles.

The questions below are intended to act as a stimulus to reflect on and discuss your group School Leader SAT report outcomes. Considering these questions should help you get the most out of your group report, as well as help you start planning professional learning.

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Questions for group leaders

Contextual questions:

Do the results reflect what you expected to see, given your school or group context?

If the results are not as expected, consider why this might be the case. Do you need to work on developing a common understanding of the Standard and the Profiles?

How do the results align with other data and evidence collected within the school?

Development questions:

Does the report align with previously identified school priorities for improvement or professional learning?

Does the report suggest some alternative areas for improvement that may also be of value at this point in time?

If the group were to take the School Leader SAT again in 12 months’ time, what changes would you like to see reflected in the report?

Repeat groups:

If this group has completed the School Leader SAT previously, what differences / improvements are reflected in the results? What developmental processes have the school or group engaged in that may account for this?

Are changes between the School Leader SAT results also reflected in other evidence or impact measures gathered within the school?

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Questions to guide discussion with group members

Are any of the results surprising?

What do you think may account for unexpected results?

Which Professional Practices do you think you should focus on as a group?

What do you see as the most important area of development for you and your group?

As a group, what professional learning is needed?

How do your individual professional learning goals align with those of the group?

How can the group draw on the expertise of colleagues to support learning?

In what areas of the Profiles could you support your colleagues’ development?

As a group, where do you want to see changes in 12 months’ time?

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Contact us

Email schoolleadership@aitsl.edu.au for assistance or further information about the School Leader Self-Assessment Tool.

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