Hawkesbury Gazette

Leadership from the topAdvertising Feature

The buck stops here: Great school leaders empower both their teachers and their students. Photos: Shutterstock

There are many leaders at school, ranging from the principal and the staff to school captains, sports captains and student council representatives.

"Most schools in Australia continue the proud tradition of appointing school captains and other school leadership positions from among their senior cohort," a spokesperson for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment said.

"These roles provide young people with a fantastic opportunity to develop their representational skills - they have the opportunity to speak on behalf of their peers and be ambassadors for their school in the wider community."


They lead from the top and often set the tone of the school. Principals are responsible for educational programs and learning outcomes, the professional development of their staff, school finances and property, and the relationships between the school and its community.


Staff need to both inspire, manage and empower their students. "Our school leaders are passionate about the role of public education in Australian society," the spokesperson said. "By ensuring every child, regardless of their circumstances or background, has the opportunity to develop academically and socially, our schools are a vital pillar of an inclusive democracy."

Student leaders

Students don't have to be school or house captains to be considered leaders. "We encourage our students to be leaders in the classroom and playground, through their support for other students, or involvement in academic, sporting, cultural or community events and projects," the spokesperson said. "All year 12 students should take on the responsibility of leadership."

The Student Council

The Student Council president chairs the Student Council with the support of the Student Council vice-president. These leaders are nominated by students in their year level and teachers and undergo an interview process before being appointed to their positions.

Class/sports captains

Most schools appoint two school captains and two vice-captains. Student leadership often revolves around the three Rs - being a role model, taking responsibility and building relationships. Each nominating student submits an expression of interest form by a cut-off date during term four and may be required to prepare and deliver a speech. After voting, captains will be officially announced.

Responsibility: All students in year 12 are expected to display some form of leadership.