National College for Educational Leadership – Preparing Principals for Effective School Leadership | Art & Leisure

Changing demands and new imperatives have made school leadership a political priority for governments around the world. Increasingly, countries seek to align their education systems with the needs of the modern world, and the expectations of school leaders have therefore changed dramatically.

Skills now required for effective school leadership include the ability to set vision and strategy, lead the change agenda, engage in systems thinking, demonstrate a sense of service and community. , work in a team and demonstrate ethics and integrity.

Essentially, there is a demand for a set of school leaders capable of providing adaptive and creative solutions to the challenges facing the modern world and the ability to transform their schools into visionary entities. Leadership development, therefore, for educational leaders must be competency-based, relevant, flexible, practical and peer-focused in order to meet the existing and emerging demands of our schools and school systems.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has given high priority to the development of leadership in education and greater accountability of the system, given that it is aware of leadership development as that responsibility not only individual, but also institutional.

The ministry’s efforts were highlighted in the recommendations and subsequent implementations of the Jamaica National Education Reform Task Force, 2004. The report described a new model of governance in which governance and management at regional and school levels would be strengthened through the training and certification of all school directors. The report stated that to be successful, schools must:

– a strong and efficient board of directors;

– a responsive director demonstrating strong leadership;

– responsibility for the management of the teaching profession by school principals, vice-principals and department heads; and

– an articulated shared vision of success around which stakeholders align strategic planning and monitoring to achieve the vision.

The National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) was a direct response to the recommendations outlined and was established and charged with developing excellent leadership in the island’s public schools and supporting institutions.

NCEL leads strategic initiatives to enhance leadership, facilitate the provision of support and build local leadership networks in collaboration with regional offices, the National Inspectorate of Education, the Jamaica Council of Education and the National Board of Education.

It responds to the development needs of school leaders, aspirants to experienced principals of primary, secondary and tertiary schools, education officials and school treasurers. Since its inception, the college has trained more than 75% of school principals on the island through its flagship program, the Effective Principals’ Training Program (EPTP).

PRACTICE OF LEADERSHIP

The EPTP is designed to meet the developmental needs of system and school leaders with an emphasis on the practice of leadership rather than the theory and scaffolding of leadership skills rather than the acquisition of concepts. Principals who have been exposed to this program have demonstrated transformative attitudes, beliefs and practices in the areas of teaching and learning, leadership, collaboration and accountability.

Kasan Troupe, former Principal of Denbigh High School and currently Regional Director of MOEYI, noted the benefits of leadership development offered by the National College. “NCEL has helped me tremendously. The EPTP brought ideas to my leadership. We have explored a number of courses that have helped me become more effective at work.

“NCEL does a phenomenal job, and I encourage every director to get involved. Whether or not you feel good at what you do, it’s always good to cool off and listen to coworkers. NCEL brings people together in one forum to discuss, share and gain knowledge from each other. I have used the skills I learned through the program and am now better able to move the education system forward.

Adrian Sinclair, Principal of Effortville Elementary, shared how participating in the program has helped him on his leadership journey.

He recalled, “Prior to participating in the Effective Principals Training Program, I considered being a principal to be overseeing the affairs of the office. I learned through this program how to communicate with staff, students and how to ensure effective communication between staff, parents and stakeholders within the school community. I learned the weaknesses and strengths of my team and thus was able to teach them not only to follow the leader, but to have an important role to play in the decision-making process. “

The community of Park Mountain Primary School in St Elizabeth has benefited from the vision of its principal, Karlene Williams-Heath, who has participated in two of NCEL’s programs and has been exemplary in both.

She noted: “Being engaged with NCEL has definitely changed my landscape. It changed my way of seeing leadership. “

She rose through the leadership ranks from classroom teacher to principal teacher, vice-principal and school principal and thus had the opportunity to see and demonstrate leadership at different levels.

She said that before engaging with NCEL, she viewed leadership as being able to control students and make teachers work. Having been exposed to the multimodal and post-training experience activities offered in the program, William-Heath now sees things from a different perspective.

She has now formulated her own policy called “ABC creation and efficient organization … A for responsibility; B for the creation of best practices; VS to communicate a high performance community spirit. “

Williams-Heath has proven that as a young principal, leadership development is essential in equipping her with the skills and competencies required to effect the transformational changes she wants to make at her school.

The heart of leadership development for NCEL is transforming attitudes, beliefs and practices to place more emphasis on learning, collaboration and accountability.

This type of transformation will not be achieved by university degrees alone. The right training combined with the right qualities can deliver the results that all Jamaicans should see in our schools.

NCEL is committed to engaging principals and providing them with contextual, practical and rigorous leadership development interventions.

The college believes that the quality development and training principals receive prior to entering the profession, and the ongoing professional development available to them throughout their careers, are critical to their success in addressing challenges. many challenges that accompany the role and to ensure the educational fortune of all. Jamaican children.

– Article courtesy of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information

Janice G. Ball