Role of Principals’ Support Group Organiser

  • To help school leaders setup a support group(s) by organising a meeting in a local venue and sending out an invitation via the local county mailing list e.g. or through the Support Office by mailing
  • At the meeting: 
  1.  Introduce yourself to the group and discuss the advantages of being a part of a support group
  2. Attendance sheet – ensure everyone fills in their details e.g. name, email, mobile – this is for group use only and is not submitted to any organisation or agency.
  3. Discuss positive items that are taking place in their school community
  4. Discuss their issues/concerns – this is the start of the peer to peer support and advice
  5. Nominate one member who will co-ordinate the next meeting using the contact details on the attendance sheet


The most commonly shared characteristics of successful Local Principals’ Support Groups are:

  • • One member co-ordinates (usually by text) the date and venue of the next meeting
  • Meetings take place on a regular basis e.g. second Thursday of the month
  • There are no external speakers
  • There are no minutes or reports
  • There is no formal written agenda; at the end of each meeting one topic may be chosen as the focus of discussion for the next meeting. Following discussion on main topic, principals discuss other current issues
  • Meetings are generally held immediately after school or by night
  • Groups are usually small – normally 8 to 12 members
  • A high degree of confidentiality, discretion and trust prevails
  • A regular social dimension is recommended– end of term meal etc
  • Frequent sharing of resources, ideas and strategies takes place.
  • Identify NAP’s at local level and ensure that they are encouraged to attend Support Group meetings. This may involve arrangements to accompany a NAP to their first meeting.


Role of Continued Professional Development (CPD) Organiser

  • To plan and organise a series of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events for Principals and Deputy Principals during the course of the school year. Such CPD events should be organised each term in consultation with the Support Office.
  • To periodically carry out a "CPD needs identification" process to help determine the following years CPD Programme.
  • To promote at county level CPD events organised by IPPN at national level

Role of County Network Chairperson

  • To chair the County Network Committee, plan and co-ordinate the year’s activities.
  • To chair County Network Meetings in a style which is both professional and informal with a strong emphasis on collegiality, respect and professionalism
  • Normally County Network meetings do not have a traditional agenda or minutes. The focus on sharing knowledge, peer support and CPD. There are no motions or votes.
  • Arrange a locally funded social event in either June or September of each year for Retiring Principals to mark the occasion.
  • To ensure that each county has two representatives at each of the three National Council Meetings per annum.
  • In the event of one of the two designated representatives being unable to attend, the Chairperson should arrange that one of the other three Committee members including Chairperson act as a substitute representative.
  • To maintain contact with the National Support Office in relation to local network activities and information regarding the health & welfare of local principals as appropriate.

Role of County Network Representatives on National Council

  • To ensure effective communication between the Board of Directors, National Council and their own County Network.
  • To provide feedback on the professional issues that concern school leaders in their county.
  • To use the county mailing list e.g. to report the decisions, policies and activities of the Board and National Councils to each County Network.
  • To Encourage Principals and Deputy Principals to use the mailing lists dedicated to their county e.g. The specific county mailing lists are designed for sharing information and discussing issues that are relevant to that county only e.g. extra-curricular activity
  • To communicate the decisions, policies and activities of the Board and National Council to their own County Network.
  • To assist the Board and National Council in developing IPPN policies by participating in research and development of sub-committees.
  • These two representatives, by necessity, are automatically members of the County Network Committee. Ideally the two representatives will serve a minimum term of office of two years with staggered replacement to ensure continuity of experience
  • To review and ratify IPPN Policy Position papers as appropriate
  • To elect members to the Board of Directors at the AGM
  • To elect the President & Deputy President of IPPN
  • To support the Board of Directors in identifying professional exemplars from within the membership

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