The Principals Academy Trust seeks to turn public schools serving socio-economically disadvantaged communities into centres of excellence by focusing on improving school leadership and teaching quality. Its work since its inception in 2012 has been focused on primary (including Grade R) and secondary schools in the Western Cape.† As part of the organisation's activities it aims to enhance school leadership by annually enrolling 20-25 selected principals on the customised UCT Graduate School of Business Management Development Programme (MDP). The exposure of principals to the concepts of systems thinking and leadership during this programme, builds each principalís capacity to be better managers and inspires them to become stronger leaders.† As a result, the principals acquire skills for more effective school management which has a direct influence on the learners' performance. These skills include: (i) supporting better teaching practice, (ii) establishing learner-oriented/problem-solving approaches, and (iii) school culture and reading/responding to context, which is better understanding and responding to socio-economic issues that schools in underprivileged areas are facing, but not blaming the dysfunctionality on conditions that canít be changed. PAT also provides long-term coaching/mentoring of principals by experienced retired school principals to support implementation of learned concepts. Mentors support principals in their transitions of thinking and practice that is initiated through the active and mandatory participation in the MDP. We also support teachers in the classroom in the areas of Mathematics and English to augment the work done with the leadership roleplayers.