First-Time Principals

A year long professional learning programme designed to support first-time principals.


This professional learning programme consists of a series of bespoke leadership and management modules designed to support the newly appointed principal in their new role.  The programme facilitates the opportunity for collaboration and sharing with other newly appointed principals in phase specific groups.  

This programme is complemented by a first-time principal mentor programme providing all newly appointed principals with the opportunity to have a principal mentor. 

Key Objectives

This leadership programme will provide opportunities for newly appointed principals or acting principals to engage in professional learning that will:

  • Support newly appointed principals to meet the strategic demands of the role;
  • Provide opportunities for collaboration and sharing with other newly appointed principals, working in similar phase-specific groups;
  • Explore the application of new learning with experienced principals, and to see examples of what this 'looks like' in practice; and
  • Provide access to an online professional learning portal where documentation and referenced materials can be accessed at any time. 


The learning will take place using a hybrid model of face to face and online modules, facilitated by personnel from a range of EA directorates and the Education and Training Inspectorate.  The programme covers a range of leadership and management issues including:

  • Finance and LMS
  • Human Resources
  • Legal Issues
  • SEND Implementation
  • Working with Governors
  • Leading Ethos
  • Leading and Managing Change 
  • Leading Learning with ETI


  • Builds confidence and capacity of newly appointed principals
  • Builds networks with other first-time principals
  • Provides key contacts with EA personnel, other principal colleagues and those in other educational bodies and organisations
  • Optional: newly appointed principals can choose to be assigned a principal mentor for one year

How to register

If you are a newly appointed/acting principal, please complete the registration form using the link below, and a member of the team will contact about next steps.

Newly Appointed Principal 2023/2024 - Programme Registration

Last updated: 30/10/2023