Future school leaders from throughout Northern Ireland gathered at Hazelwood College in Belfast for a graduation ceremony to mark a major milestone in their journey towards innovative and inspirational school leadership.
In all, 155 graduates received their Professional Qualification for Headship (PQH) NI, which prepares aspiring head teachers for leadership and management challenges in 21st century schools.
Education Authority Chief Executive, Gavin Boyd congratulated the graduates on their achievements and reflected on the challenges of leadership in the context of significant financial constraints. Speaking at the graduation ceremony he said:
“Leadership in our schools has never been more important. At a time when resources are diminishing, we need high quality, innovative and inspirational leaders to ensure that we continue to respond to the ever changing and complex needs of the young people in our schools.”
“By completing the PQH, each and every one of you has demonstrated your commitment to professional development and continuous improvement. I have no doubt that as educational leaders of the future you will continue to strive for excellence. We look to you to make a real impact on schools and the lives of young people.”
Dr Clare Mangan, Chair of the RTU Management Board and EA Regional Managing Director added:
“PQH (NI) has become firmly embedded as the leadership development programme for aspiring head teachers. The employing authorities regard this qualification as a vital tool in preparing future school leaders. The increasing numbers of graduates obtaining roles as principals and vice principals is reflective of the value of PQH (NI) to our education service.”
Dr Tom Hesketh, Director of the Regional Training Unit said:
“PQH adds immediate value to the work the trainee Head Teachers are already doing within their schools whilst preparing them for leadership roles.”
Dr Hesketh also thanked the existing heads for supporting the PQH programme adding:
“There is perhaps no better indication of the professionalism of our current Head Teachers than their commitment to developing future leaders and contributing to the effectiveness of the wider education service.”