Education Authority chairperson Sharon O’Connor has congratulated principals and school leaders from throughout Northern Ireland who have completed the Professional Qualification for Headship (PQH) NI.
A graduation ceremony was held at Magherafelt High School where 72 graduates received their PQH NI certificates. The qualification prepares aspiring head teachers for leadership and management challenges in 21st century schools.
Sharon O’Connor said: “The role of the school principal is one of the most influential roles in society. A principal doesn’t just shape a school or the teaching profession – they shape communities.
“New and aspiring principals are facing into school leadership at a very challenging time, a time when great leaders are needed more than ever in our schools and communities. I congratulate all of the school leaders who graduated with a PQH today.”
The youngest graduate was Eugene Mullan of Tír na nÓg Primary School in Ballyclare who has embarked upon the world of school leadership at the tender age of 29.
“The PQH was an extremely valuable experience, it provided me with an appreciation of the spectrum of skills required for effective school leadership. Perhaps more importantly, the opportunities for placement and coaching has provided a network of likeminded colleagues,” he said.
Nia Campbell of the Belfast Model School for Girls said the course was an “enriching, life-impacting experience”.
Ms Campbell said: “The course continually reinforced to me the absolute privilege that it is to be a leader in education and that amidst the challenges and the noise we must never lose sight of what it is all about - improving the life chances of our young people.”
The PQH NI was first introduced in 1999 and is founded on the National Standards for Head Teachers. It is administered in Northern Ireland by the Education Authority.
John Collings, EA Director of Education, added: “The education system needs innovative leadership. The PQH aims to meet the needs of those school leaders who are ready to make the step up to headship and prepares them for the changing role of the modern day school leader. I add my congratulations to all who graduated and thank them for their commitment to their personal and professional development.”