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School leadership centre for Ennis

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, has formally announced the establishment of the Centre for School Leadership (CSL), which will be headquartered in Ennis.

It is being established for an initial pilot period of three years, with an investment of almost €3m over that time. It will be operated on a partnership basis between the Department of Education and Skills, the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD).

The CSL is intended to become a centre of excellence for school leaders, and the partnership will have many benefits for the profession in terms of the quality of training programmes, coordination of provision, and increased accessibility.

The centre will be headed by a director ,who will be an experienced school principal. He or she will be supported by two other experienced school leaders, one each from the primary and post-primary sectors. The team will be recruited in the coming weeks.

The centre’s responsibilities will cover the range of leadership development for school leaders, from pre-appointment training and induction of newly appointed principals, to continuing professional development throughout careers.

Minister O’Sullivan said, “The quality of school leadership is central to setting direction in a school and achieving the best education outcomes for students.

“We know that we need to better prepare people to become school leaders, and that we need to improve supports for them when they are in leadership roles.
“My department, together with the IPPN and NAPD, have been collaborating for some time on creating a more strategic approach to meeting the needs of both newly appointed and serving school leaders. The decision to establish the Centre on a partnership basis presents a unique opportunity to develop the supports needed.”

The minister welcomed the appointment of Ms Áine Lawlor as chairperson of the steering committee, which will oversee the governance of the Centre.
Minister O’Sullivan paid tribute to the IPPN and NAPD, and acknowledged their positive and constructive engagement over recent months in reviewing leadership supports and exploring how to share expertise amongst school leaders.

She also acknowledged the support of Clare Education Centre, where the CSL will be based.

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