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National Leadership college seeks principals as pupils

Published:Monday | January 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The education ministry, through the National College for Educational Leadership [NCEL], is finalising plans for the training of the third cohort of prospective school leaders under its Aspiring Principals' Programme.

Dr Taneisha Ingleton, director of programmes at the NCEL, has encouraged local school teachers who are interested in becoming school principals to capitalise on the opportunity to enhance their skills and competencies.

"In previous times, it would be a case where an excellent classroom teacher would emerge as a principal; however, teaching and leadership are two separate constructs which take different skill sets. It is better to prepare than to rehabilitate," Dr Ingleton said.

Since 2013, more than 150 teachers have accessed training through the Aspiring Principals' Programme. When the supporting legislation takes effect, only NCEL-certified principals will be engaged to lead public schools in Jamaica.

The NCEL is targeting a maximum of 100 participants for the next cohort of aspiring principals. To be selected, individuals should possess a first degree in education or related discipline, at least three years' teaching experience and proof of registration with the Jamaica Teaching Council.

The nine-month-long Aspiring Principals' Programme is offered through the University of the West Indies and was born out of the need for Jamaica to address serious deficits in school leadership.

Collette Feurtardo Pryce, principal of St Jago High School, was a participant in the first cohort of the Aspiring Principals' Programme in 2013.

"I found it to be very, very good; all-round a very good experience," said Feurtardo Pryce said.