The PIVOTAL Model and associated Guidelines are the result of a 2014-2015 cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional research project with a focus on the design of innovative leadership courses for school leaders. The Pivotal Model aims is to be the catalyst for innovation and change within the postgraduate learning experiences of future leaders by informing the direction of postgraduate leadership studies within Business, Education and potentially other professional fields of study.


Leaders face ever-increasing levels of accountability and new leaders deserve to be offered better pathways in their learning journey. What is identified as a preparation gap for leadership can be addressed through well-designed postgraduate leadership courses which are responsive to practitioners’ learning needs. These responses must also maintain a wide perspective in learning activities and build confidence in leadership capacity. Better preparation of leaders will lead to their increased confidence to undertake demanding roles, and this will, in turn, impact favorably on the effectiveness of their organisationsand on those who work and learn there.


Academic understanding of the holistic nature of leadership is a significant factor in better preparing school leaders, whilst practical skill development in leadership is another that will help emerging school leaders as they progress from lower to higher levels of responsibility. The Six Principles for Impact bring these two aspects together to form a contemporary understanding of the development of academic leadership capacity. These Guidelines will support improvements to postgraduate learning and leadership performance within complex learning communities and provide a‘road map’ that will ultimately prepare innovative and successful school leaders for the twists and turns in their leadership journeys.