During the late 1990s it became apparent that the work of a school leader was growing more complex and with increased accountability. There was greater devolution of authority and autonomy to leaders and we needed appropriate personal and professional support available when situations arose.
A number of principals had started to experience examples of non-support from other organisations when there were issues with staff members. It was becoming more obvious that where there was any conflict of interest, full support would be given to the teacher and the leader was left to feel unsupported and vulnerable.
A group of principals decided to look at ways that we could get the specific nature of support that was required when a school leader was left isolated and uncertain of their rights and responsibilities.
In 2001 the Association was started by a group of eight principals and 60 members. We called ourselves The Leaders’ Legal Fund. Gradually news of our existence spread and our membership base rapidly grew.
In 2011 our name was changed to The South Australian State School Leaders Association (SASSLA). 18 years on and SASSLA is a strong and robust organisation with around 500 members. The most important factor in the evolution of SASSLA has been the unfaltering support we have provided to and received from our members and the confidence that is built on the successes we have had.
SASSLA is enduring and successful. Our Board is active in planning strategically and ensuring that our prime focus always remains on supporting our members to undertake their complex and demanding work in the knowledge there is a professional safety net in place. We are an organisation created by school leaders for school leaders and we would love you to join us.
SASSLA Chairperson and Principal Aberfoyle Park High School