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Where do those in schools start sorting the wheat from the chaff, genuine growth potions offering long-term improvement from the elixirs, shortterm opportunism and/or unrealistic expectations? The current and growing emphasis on evidence informed policy and practice is as good a place as any. The purpose of this paper is to take up the issues of the complexity and predictive validity of evidence, the need for evidence to be complex enough to come close to the reality faced by Australian schools and evidence that seeks to link leadership and student outcomes. Arising from detailed qualitative and quantitative research, two models are presented for consideration that better reflect this complexity and predictive validity than previous work in the field.