First-Time Vice-Principals

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


Newly appointed vice-principals require targeted professional learning during this critical period at the beginning of their career.  This leadership programme  is provided for any first-time vice-principal or acting vice-principal in Northern Ireland.  This comes in the form of nine days of professional learning centrally organised, and communities of locality vice-principals are encouraged to connect and collaborate. 

The newly appointed vice-principal leadership programme is designed to support a network of senior learning leaders to explore their leadership role in order to lead high-quality learning and teaching in their school.  The programme has an emphasis on leadership presence, on effective communication, on the principal and vice-principal as school leaders, and on leading change and positively impacting on the school's learning culture. 

Key Objectives

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

  • Develop leadership skills and dispositions, developing self and working with others;
  • Inspire, support and challenge both the person of a leader and the practice of a leader;
  • Encourage collaboration and connection; and
  • Explore how to lead ethos, lead learning and lead improvement. 


The learning will take place using a hybrid model of facilitation with six days of in-person professional learning at EA centres and three days facilitated online. The learning is centred around the three domains of leadership practice:

  • Leading Ethos – vision and values
  • Leading Learning – emotionally intelligent leadership and making conversations count
  • Leading Improvement – planning for improvement and leading learning and teaching. 


Vice-principals who have engaged with the programme commented:

  • Each day has included the challenge of viewing myself as a leader and looking within/reflecting on how to strive to better myself.
  • This programme has provided me with the capacity to achieve my roles/responsibilities through sharing of knowledge and encouraging me to read around leadership – inspiring me to make an impact.
  • It has been great to get practical advice and how to be better version of ourselves, without being given work.  It’s like this advice and support has actually made our jobs easier and more rewarding.
  • Definitely one of the most thought provoking and helpful courses I have attended in my career.
  • Reflection on me as leader – sparked ideas for future development.  Impact on school – how can I develop other leaders in school?  How can I measure my impact as a leader?  As a result of this programme I feel more confident in myself as a leader and its reassuring to hear from other professionals that it is all a learning process.  
  • I leave each of the days with a multitude of notes written to myself of things I want to achieve for the rest of the term as well as ideas for how to approach next year in a more structured and well-planned manner.
  • These days have provided me with much needed time – time to reflect on my roles and responsibilities and an opportunity to think about the kind of leader I want to be.  I have enjoyed the professional learning these days provided they were very informative without being overwhelming.

How to register

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

Newly Appointed Vice Principal 2023/2024 - Programme Registration

Last updated: 30/10/2023