General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Launch of North South Research Project to attract leaders in Teaching


Minister for Education and Science Mary Hanafin, T.D., and Minister for Education Caitríona Ruane, M.L.A, today addressed an international OECD conference in Dublin on School Leadership Development Strategies.

The event is the first OECD conference to be jointly hosted by the Departments of Education, North and South, and will look at School Leadership Strategies.

Over the two days the conference will be attended by over 130 policy makers, scholars, educational administrators and partners from Ireland, North and South along with 22 participating OECD countries. It will explore different approaches to school leadership and build on OECD analyses across the 22 countries.

During the conference, Ministers Hanafin and Ruane announced a significant cross-border development with the establishment of a joint research project, to be funded by both Departments, aimed at attracting and developing school leaders.

The research will look at ways to encourage the most effective members of the teaching profession to take leadership roles along with exploring the barriers that might deter them from doing so. It will also examine the potential for developing joint provision in leadership training for small rural schools, special schools and schools in challenging urban environments.

Addressing the opening session today, Minister Hanafin said: "The critical role of school leaders in our education system is highlighted by the OECD Activity on school leadership. This conference will provide opportunities to look at different approaches, to share knowledge and expertise and to build important links that will continue the process. To support school leaders, it is vital that we develop leadership strategies that will assist them in their roles and help to attract those most suited, to lead teaching and learning in our schools."

Minister Hanafin welcomed the co-operation with the Department of Education and said both Departments would continue to work jointly to build on the work of the conference.

Highlighting the critical role of school leadership, Minister Ruane said: "This is an historic time on this Island where true leadership has been shown in the political world. In education we need dynamic leaders at every level who can prepare our young people to confidently take their place in our global community. These leaders will inspire our young people to reach their fullest potential and contribute positively to their community."

Both Ministers along with OECD Director of Education, Dr. Barbara Ischinger, wished the conference success in developing leadership strategies and looked forward to the final outcome next year when the OECD publish their findings.



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