Rationale and purpose

The school principal is central agent for change in a school. BRIDGE believes in the transformative power of the principal to reshape a school and to this end supports and capacitates school principals to harness their roles as instructional leaders, not merely organisational managers, in order to improve the basic functionality of the school.

BRIDGE’s School Leadership focus brings together school leaders and principals, practitioners supporting school leaders and programme facilitators working in schools to share their wealth of knowledge, working practice and innovations while strengthening collaboration opportunities. Focusing on the role of the principal and her/his ability to exercise influence in key domains of the school, this community of practitioners believes that effective school leadership can transform learner outcomes and performance.

A provincial Community of Practice in the Western Cape continues to grow, attracting like-minded education leaders working with school principals.

PIC - Western Cape CoP School leadership

Key Activities

The Western Cape School Leadership Community of Practice is deeply concerned with finding best practice in school leadership, and articulating what this means in the classroom, in the school and in the community. Members value inputs from programme facilitators, mentors, coaches, school leaders and principals.

The group is focused on school principals as leaders in curriculum management, instructional practice and instructional leadership. Driven by the common purpose of improving learning and teaching in schools, this group continues to share many tools and resources that strive towards this.

This provincial Community of Practice also shares information on various school leadership programmes and principal interventions in the province. Some programmes are school-based, taking whole schools evaluation systems approach supporting school leaders and their School Management Teams (SMTs), while others take an individual approach, assisting individual principals working in challenging contexts.

Link to the BRIDGE Knowledge Hub for meeting highlights, presentations, tools and documented working practice from this Community.


BRIDGE’s Western Cape School Leadership Community of Practice was established early in BRIDGE’s journey, starting its work in 2009. Members of this Community of Practice have also been involved in the national School Leadership Community of Practice. Following the school leadership dialogues held by BRIDGE in 2010 in partnership with ARK, the provincial Community of Practice went on to host its own leadership dialogue later that year.

If you are interested in collaborating on school leadership issues in the Western Cape, contact info@Bridge.org.za for more information.


It’s clear that the opportunity to bring people together to talk about the challenges that face us as leaders in the education sector was long overdue. Hearing from so many organisations about what they’re doing and how they’re reaching deeply into their own resources to create leadership opportunities is a wonderful experience.

John Gilmour , LEAP Science and Maths Schools