EREA provides senior leaders in our schools with a range of professional opportunities designed to support their professional growth, develop their leadership capacity and encourage further formation in leadership in an Edmund Rice context.


Over the past six years, EREA has provided senior leaders in our schools with a range of professional opportunities designed to support their professional growth, develop their leadership capacity and encourage further formation in leadership in an Edmund Rice context. These opportunities have included: National and Regional network meetings, National Conferences, a Women in Leadership program, sabbatical and immersion opportunities, formation activities, participation in research forums and working parties, an Emerging Leaders program and short-term Acting Principal and Deputy Principal appointments.

In looking to the future, EREA wishes to further develop the concept of succession planning by offering our Deputy Principals the opportunity to shadow an experienced EREA Principal with a view to learning more about the complexities, challenges and joys of leading an authentic Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition.

The program is designed to complement other existing Leadership Programs offered by EREA and other Diocesan, tertiary and professional providers.


The ‘Shadowing an EREA Principal Program’ aims to offer participants the opportunity to:

  • Critically reflect on their own leadership style;
  • Develop a better understanding of the dynamics of leading in a different context;
  • Identify potential gaps in their current thinking about leadership;
  • Observe (in formal and informal ways) spiritual and cultural leadership in action;
  • Dialogue and ‘walk with’ an experienced colleague in a different educational context;
  • Witness how a school with similar aspirations and values (to their current workplace) may deliver very different outcomes;
  • Learn about the way priorities are determined and resourced in a different setting;
  • Reflect on staffing and organisational structures designed to support student learning and well-being; Consider the function of a different College Board and how Principals are supported by their Board Chair;
  • Better understand the demands of the role of Principal and the need to prioritise health and family;
  • Develop strategies to give practical expression to the learning that has been experienced through participation in the program.

It is hoped that by offering this program, EREA will to continue to motivate and support our leaders of the future by providing a meaningful professional experience guided by the example of our current Principals.

Selection Criteria

The ‘Shadowing an EREA Principal Program’ is specifically targeted for those Deputy Principals who show a genuine interest in Principalship and/or have been identified by their current Principal or Director – Regional Support (DRS) as a potential leader of an EREA school. The program is open to all EREA Deputy Principals who have had a minimum of three years’ experience in their current role and have successfully completed a Formative Performance Review. Selection in not automatic and participants must comply with the terms and conditions of the application process.

The Process

  • Entry into the program is by written nomination and endorsement of the applicant’s current Principal and DRS.
  • Nominations are made by the Principal using the Nomination Form following a discussion with the DRS. Self-nominations will not be accepted.
  • Once received, the DRS will discuss the nomination with the Deputy Executive Director.
  • The Director Regional Support will contact the nominated Deputy and invite him/her to complete a Succession Planning Profile to gauge their level of interest in the program and identify any specific aspects of their leadership they may wish to target.
  • The Deputy Executive Director will then invite an EREA Principal to participate in the program (by hosting a nominated Deputy at their school) based on the leadership traits identified in the Succession Planning Profile.
  • Once identified, the Deputy Executive Director will facilitate the initial contact between the nominated Deputy and the host Principal. Beyond this point, the nominated Deputy will assume responsibility for the visit to the host school.
  • Typically, the visit to the host school will take place over the course of 5 days but this may vary according to the needs of the host school and the timing of the proposed visit.
  • The program for the visit will be determined in advance and may include the following aspects of the host school’s operations: a staff meeting, school assembly, College Leadership Team meeting, Finance Committee meeting, College Board meeting, student leaders’ meeting, P&F meeting, etc. Note: Informal interactions with the Principal and the staff are to be encouraged.
  • In terms of hosting a senior colleague, it is expected that the Principal will make him / herself available for the entire time during the visit to maximise the shadowing experience.
  • Once a visit has been completed, the nominated Deputy Principal will be required to participate in a formal Program Evaluation.


EREA will provide a grant of $1500 to the nominated Deputy Principal’s school to offset any costs associated with travel, accommodation and relief / replacement costs. All other costs will be met by the nominated Deputy Principal’s school. It is not anticipated that the host school will incur any costs as a result of participating in the program.

Further Information

To learn more about the Shadowing an EREA Principal program contact Catherine Greenley at EREA Richmond.

“If EREA is to have a prophetic voice in Catholic education and the life of the Church, our leaders must be people of great faith and positive agents for change and in this context, we must always be mindful that quality leadership in an Edmund Rice school should never be taken for granted.”

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