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Six rural high-school principals selected for training overseas

Published:Monday | June 6, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Principals from six rural high schools are currently participating in a transformative two-week study programme at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

The programme is intended to mould them into 'Champion Leaders' and increase the quality and content of the educational output at their respective schools.

During their visit to Reading, May 28 to June 10, the educators will participate in seminars which will draw on both theory and practice to "reflect on and address the key leadership and management challenges facing their schools".

They will also observe a UK school's senior leadership team over a three-day period. In addition, on their return to Jamaica, the principals will undertake research projects linked to leadership and management.

mbsf initiative

The principals in the Champion Leadership Development programme are Ulit Brackett, Mile Gully High School; Dr Cynthia Anderson, McGrath High School; Michael Ellis, Green Pond High School; Michael Stewart, Porus High School; Theobold Fearon, Godfrey Stewart High School; and Drusilla Marriott, Seaforth High School. These institutions are active participants in the $100-million Centres of Excellence programme established by the Mutual Building Societies Foundation of Jamaica (MBSF). The MBSF was created by the Jamaica National Building Society and The Victoria Mutual Building Society.

Dr Renee Rattray, programme manager at the MBSF, said, "The Champion Leadership Development programme fits naturally into the objectives and goals of the Centres of Excellence, which is designed to empower the educators and enhance performance in their schools."

The University of Reading experience will add to the principals' understanding of their own role and identity as an education leader and manager, Dr Rattray stated, "Therefore, it will positively impact the schools in which they work."

Dr Alan Floyd, senior lecturer in educational leadership and management at the University of Reading and coordinator of the Champion Leadership Development programme in the UK, explained that the initiative is predicated on the 'Creating Champions' programme that was established between the University of Reading and the University of the West Indies.

He pointed out that the programme seeks to develop world-class leaders to fulfil the objectives of the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan, which calls for educated Jamaicans who will "love to learn; and will, therefore, become lifelong learners, and continuously develop wisdom and knowledge".

"We anticipate that the experience at Reading will give the principals a new perspective on the principles of leadership and management, which they can redefine and apply to their own institutions and strengthen the process of teaching and learning," Dr Floyd affirmed.