1st June 2017 - CSL Final update for 2016-17

Aspiring Leaders’ Course - Post-graduate Diploma in School Leadership (PDSL)

In partnership with IPPN, NAPD and the DES, the CSL Post-graduate Diploma in School Leadership (PDSL) was officially launched in the University of Limerick (UL) on May 5th. The programme will be jointly delivered and awarded by UL, the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) (including St Angela’s) and University College Dublin (UCD). Additional academic support for the programme will be provided by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) with delivery support from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Association of Teachers’ Education Centres in Ireland (ATECI).

The programme is a part-time (18 months) blended learning professional diploma, delivered locally in six regional locations throughout the country with provision in Irish in NUIG. The course will include two short periods of work placement: one in a school other than the participant’s own, the other in a setting outside of education.

The content includes leading teaching and learning, professional growth and development, leading school transformation, mentoring and coaching, leading school development and building culture, capacity and teams.

Fees support for this programme will be provided by the DES and the cost to participants will be €2,000. The course will be open to approximately 200 participants annually.

The application process is currently open. Applications can be made using the following linkhttp://www.ul.ie/cpe/pdsl/. The closing date is June 16th. 

The CSL Team would urge all school leaders to bring this information to the attention of their staff, to encourage others to consider leadership, and to develop leadership capacity in those we work with on a daily basis in our schools.

Shared Learning Cohort One
The final Shared Learning Day for CSL Cohort One mentors this academic year took place in the Athlone Radisson Hotel on May 18th. It was attended by 81 primary principals and 32 from the post-primary sector.

Jacinta Kitt gave an entertaining and much-appreciated talk on ‘Bringing Positivity to the Mentoring Relationship’. In the feedback, participants wrote about Jacinta as ‘refreshingly insightful’ and described her talk as ‘an enlightening presentation’, ‘sensible, doable and realistic’ and ‘an accurate assessment of the life of a school and the individuals within’.

Jacinta recently published her book, ‘Leadership and Management: Positive Behaviours, Relationships and Emotions: The Heart of Leadership in a School’ which was on sale on the day.

Each CSL mentor who has completed training and has mentored during this year will receive a CSL Mentoring Achievement Certificate in September.

Time was spent on revision of the CSL’s suite of mentoring procedures and protocols, and on the closure of the current mentoring relationships by June 30th.

A video show-casing the mentor/mentee relationship was welcomed and applauded by the participants. It featured two very successful and inspiring mentoring relationships, one primary and one post-primary. The video was recorded and edited by Jody O’ Connor, CSL Digital Media Support.

Cohort One mentors also had the opportunity to meet with their ‘Cairde’ to discuss the progress of the mentoring relationships, and any issues or challenges arising.

Final Training Day-Cohort Two
The final Training Day for CSL Cohort Two mentors took place in the Athlone Radisson Hotel on May 19th. It also featured Jacinta Kitt and the mentor/mentee video. An overview of Misneach was presented by Anthony Kilcoyne, Team Leader, PDST Leadership.

A discussion panel of system supports for newly-appointed principals consisted of each of the management bodies - CPSMA, Church of Ireland Board of Education, Educate Together, NABMSE, An Foras Patrúnachta and the Muslim Board of Education. They were joined by IPPN and the INTO representatives. The theme of the session was the importance of knowing when to ask for help and where to go when in need of assistance. Participants wrote that they found this session ‘informative and beneficial’ and that they very much appreciated the opportunity to be ‘re-struck by the myriad of supports and common issues’.

The day ended on a high note when Simon Lewis’ poem ‘Driving Lessons’ was read by post-primary deputy director, Máire Ni Bhróithe. The poem was specially written by Simon, himself a CSL-trained mentor, for Shared Learning last year.

Group Mentoring
Group Mentor facilitation training is currently being organised by IPPN in consultation with NAPD. It is expected that 20 current CSL mentors who have completed the training and who have mentored over the course of this year, will train as group mentors for primary principals in the second year of the role in the Leinster area. The groups will meet on four/five occasions next year with administrative support from the IPPN Support Office. A further ten facilitators will be trained at post-primary level.

This group mentoring service will be available countrywide to all principals in the second year of the role from September 2018. This is a very positive step by the DES which will result in two years of mentoring support for newly-appointed principals, the first on a one-to-one basis and the second as group support. 
The CSL team is proud to record that 381 mentors have now completed formal mentor training, 279 at primary level and 102 at post-primary level. 

To date, well over 200 principals have engaged in the CSL coaching service. Informal feedback which has been offered to the team is extremely positive with principals appreciating and enjoying time spent one to one with a professional executive coach. The service offers principals the opportunity to reflect on their practice, appreciate everything that has been achieved and prioritise areas for improvement in the future.

The coaching relationship begins with the building of rapport and the development of trust. Goals are discussed, assumptions challenged and perspectives expanded. While the coach is in a supportive role, s/he will also challenge the client and hold them accountable, maintaining motivation and encouraging feedback. 
This service is extremely worthwhile for principals, giving them much-needed time and space to examine their own practice and the work of their school, and to decide on goals and strategies for improved learning outcomes in the future. For more details, go to the coaching section of the CSL website www.cslireland.ie, and choose a coach in your area to complete a ‘chemistry check’ before beginning the six sessions available to each principal, completely free of charge. 

A Continuum of Leadership
The CSL Work Plan for the final year of the pilot includes the mapping out of a continuum of leadership for school leaders in Ireland. This begins with teacher leadership, through to middle leadership, aspiring leadership, induction and appropriate supports for experienced principals and those interested in system leadership.

The initial focus will be the development of a national induction programme for newly-appointed principals in consultation with PDST. This programme is presently being researched and developed by the team.

Quality Assurance
CSL has recently completed a Quality Assurance process for professional development in leadership. The process consists of three stages of approval, monitoring and review. The group mentoring training developed by IPPN and NAPD will be subject to the approval process shortly. while the Misneach Programme is currently being reviewed in light of the process and will be subject to approval in the autumn.

The CSL team remains very grateful to both IPPN and NAPD for their support of the work of the Centre, and their guidance and assistance as partners of CSL with the Teacher Education Section (TES) of the DES. We also very much appreciate the vision and commitment of the DES in the provision of supports for principals and, in particular, the work of TES which oversees both the Steering and Implementation Groups. Finally, we would like to acknowledge Geraldine McNamara, CSL Administrator in Clare Education Centre, for her dedication and commitment to the work of CSL.

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