General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Minister congratulates Head Teachers of the future



Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has congratulated over 200 Graduates on achieving their headship qualification.

Speaking today in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast at the Regional Training Unit’s (RTU) Professional Qualification for Headship (PQH) Graduation Ceremony, the Minister said: “High performing schools require a number of ingredients, the most important of which is strong leadership. In a time of progressive reform of the education system, effective leadership is key to addressing the issue of educational underachievement.

“I want to close the attainment gap between those schools that serve our children well and those which are falling behind what should be acceptable. Principals can deliver the real change on the ground and we must give them the right skills and knowledge to lead the way.

“The purpose of good leadership is not to make more followers, but to make more leaders. That is why we must invest in our teachers now and equip them with all the right tools to help them develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

“The good work undertaken by the RTU is reflected by that fact that over 70% of all newly appointed head teachers last year were PQH Graduates. I would like to congratulate the 214 Graduates who have received their qualifications today – keep up the good work!”

The 214 graduates with family, their principals and chair of Governors, took pride of place at the high profile event; attended also by the RTU Management Board Members, HEI colleagues and representatives of the Professional Associations.

David Cargo, Chairperson of the RTU Management Board said: “PQH (NI) has become firmly embedded as the leadership development programme for aspiring head teachers. The employing authorities see PQH (NI) as a vital tool in preparing future school leaders. The increasing numbers of teachers wishing to avail of the programme is reinforcing its value to the education service.”

Dr Tom Hesketh, Director of the Regional Training Unit said: “PQH adds immediate value to candidates’ ongoing work within school whilst promising the best possible preparation for subsequent leadership roles. I would like to thank existing heads for contributing significantly to the PQH programme. There is perhaps no better indication of our heads professionalism than their preparedness to develop its future membership, and to contribute to the effectiveness of the wider education service.”


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