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O’Dowd hails vital role of school principals

8 June, 2011 - by John O'Dowd

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has underlined the vital role of effective leadership in local schools.

The Minister was speaking as he presented certificates to over 200 graduates of the Professional Qualification for Headship (PQH) programme at a ceremony in Belfast today.

Addressing attendees at the event, the Minister said: “Schools are amazing places where our children and young people develop as individuals and acquire the skills and attributes they need to be the citizens of the future.

“And right across the north, principals are central to the success of our schools. By displaying effective leadership, they inspire both pupils and staff members to do the very best they can on a daily basis. Principals also have the opportunity to effect continuous positive change in schools and in doing so leave a lasting legacy by helping children achieve to their maximum potential.

“So it is very important that we recognise those teachers who have worked hard to attain the PQH certificate which provides them with the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes they need to take the step up to headship.”

The Minister continued: “This is the thirteenth PQH graduation ceremony that has been held in the north, with over 1,600 people having achieved the certificate to date. It is pleasing to note that almost 40% of these graduates are now serving heads, and over 60% of those appointed to headship for the first time last year were also PQH graduates. It is because of tangible results like these that my Department funds the Regional Training Unit, that delivers the programme, in the order of over £2million per year and this funding will continue.

“It is testament to the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication of teachers that they can study for and achieve the PQH in addition to balancing the demands of their work. I pay tribute to all those who have graduated from the programme and also their families and colleagues, whose support is crucial throughout. I wish today’s graduates the very best for their future careers and hope to see more teachers enter the programme next year.”

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