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Centre for School Leadership: Research and Evaluation Report


The CSL Continuum of Professional Learning for Irish School Leadership


Identification of Newly Appointed Principals

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Attention! B.O.M / Principals / School Administrators / ETBs.
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Coaching Service for School Leaders

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What is the CSL Coaching Service and how it can benefit you. Read More

Newly appointed Principals

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Quality Assurance - Pilot Process for Professional Learning in School Leadership

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    Centre for School Leadership Data Protection Update May 2018

    Clare Education Centre

    Administration for The Centre for School Leadership (CSL) is undertaken by Clare Education Centre. Please refer to the Data Privacy Statement of Clare Education Centre which  directs the work of CSL.

    A new data protection regulation, GDPR, is coming into force on May 25th 2018. It applies to organisations that are based in the EU.

    Clare Education Centre is sending out an e-mail to schools to outline our approach to maintaining continued contact and to make clear to all Clare Education Centre service users what their data rights are with respect to knowing:

    a) what data Clare Education Centre collects on its service users;

    b) what Clare Education Centre does with user data; and

    c) how to obtain a census of what data Clare Education Centre holds on you as a service user.

    The answers to these questions are straightforward:

    a) Clare Education Centre holds no information on its service users other than that which was given on school contact databases or participant contact forms (name, address, institution, title, e-mail address, participant role etc); that which service users voluntarily put on their Clare Education Centre website user account; information given to us on Expense Claims (expense details, bank paying-in details, and receipts); e-mails and correspondence; details of financial transactions made, for example course fee payments taken, and grants paid out to individuals or schools.


    b) This limited amount of data that Clare Education Centre holds is only used for the following purposes: for having an up-to-date list of schools, event bookings, attendance rolls, course and project participants; for sending out communications, and staying in touch with schools, tutors and account users; for keeping track of who has paid course fees, when, and how much has been paid; for compliance with the Department of Education & Skills’ requests for information and legally-binding accounting purposes (e.g. knowing to whom Clare Education Centre has paid grants and expenses, when, and how much has been paid); e-mail addresses and contacts necessary for administering and carrying out Clare Education Centre projects and centre business.

    c) If any Clare Education Centre service user would like further clarification on what data are kept on them personally, or, moreover, if any service user would simply like us to delete and dispose of any information we have on them, you can get in touch with the Centre Secretary of Clare Education Centre at any time using the following e-mail address: (please note, that Clare Education Centre will process such a request within legal parameters within 30 days).

    Finally, please note that Clare Education Centre payments received as part of course fees are handled by third party banking websites, so we do not have any members’ PayPal/credit/debit card details at all; nor does Clare Education Centre analyse the cookie information that may be gathered on our website, nor do we sell any information on, nor do we give any information we have to third parties unless legally obliged to do so or unless the Education Centre network has a working relationship with relevant organisations for the provision of courses and projects. For specific courses or projects operated in collaboration with relevant organisation, such as support services, the Clare Education Centre protects the devices such data are stored upon, and is obligated to report to its service users any data breaches perpetrated.

    Centre for School Leadership (CSL)

    • Who are CSL

      Who are CSL

      The decision to establish a Centre for School Leadership on a partnership basis between IPPN/NAPD and the DES represents a new departure and presents a unique opportunity for the development of a coherent continuum of professional development for school leaders. It is the shared objective that the Centre will become a centre of excellence for school leadership and the lead provider of supports.

      The CSL’s responsibility will extend across the continuum of leadership development commencing with pre appointment training through to induction of newly appointed principals to continuous professional development throughout the leader’s career. The Centre will also advise the DES on policy in this area.

      During the initial phase, the Centre will have a particular focus on the needs of newly appointed principals and experienced principals experiencing professional difficulty and/or challenging situations.

      Functions & Objectives

      The CSL will
      • Lead, support and advise on a strategic framework for a continuum of leadership development for schools
      • Support, lead and coordinate professional leadership programmes for primary and post primary schools
      • Lead and manage a pilot programme of leadership development for newly appointed principals and a coaching service for serving principals encountering professional difficulty and/or challenging situations
      • Support the design, development and delivery of quality continuous professional development (CPD) for leaders utilising innovative approaches with a proven record of success
      • Foster a culture of engagement with CPD among school leaders
      • Ensure cohesion and consistency across programmes
      • Ensure adherence with DES standards for school leadership and Teaching Council CPD framework when available and if appropriate
      • Devise a quality assurance framework for the professional development leadership provision
      • Work collaboratively with IPPN, NAPD, the DES and its support services, networks and other education partners and providers as appropriate


      The Centre is being established for an initial period of 3 years following which its role and purpose will be reviewed by the Steering Group.
    • Our Vision

      Our Vision

      The vision, mission and value statements have been developed by the team following consultation with stakeholder groups and practitioners throughout the year.


      Our vision is a community of school leaders, who feel supported and valued as professionals and who have access to high quality continuous professional development.


      To bring our vision into reality CSL will ensure the provision of high quality professional development opportunities for aspiring and serving school leaders, thus improving the learning outcomes for school communities


      The Centre for school leadership’s work will be guided and informed by the values of trust, respect, collaboration, integrity, professionalism, empathy and openness.
    • Our Partners and our Steering Committee

      Our Partners and our Steering Committee

      A Steering Group (SG) which is representative of all the partners IPPN, NAPD and DES sets priorities, provides direction, support for the Centre and its Director. The role of the SG is to oversee the work of the Centre for School Leadership in the development of a coherent continuum of professional development for school leaders commencing with pre appointment training through to induction of newly appointed principals to continuous professional development throughout the leader’s career.

      The responsibilities of the Steering Group include:

      • Setting priorities and providing direction and support for the Centre and its Director.
      • Approving and monitoring the Centre’s programme of work annually in line with identified
      • Suggesting amendments where appropriate
      • Approving the budget for the Centre’s programme of work annually.
      • Administrative support for the SG is provided by Clare Education Centre
    • The Team

      Bio Image

      Anna Mai

      Anna Mai

      Bio Image

      Mary Nihill


      Mary Nihill

      Bio Image

      Máire Ní Bhróithe


      Máire Ní Bhróithe


      Anna Mai is originally from Ballymahon in Co. Longford. After graduating from St. Patrick’s College in Drumcondra in 1987, she taught in St. Patrick’s Loreto Primary School in Bray. On moving to Monaghan in 1992, Anna Mai taught in St. Patrick’s National School, Clara, in North Monaghan and in Scoil Mhuire, Gransha, Clones from 1994-2000. She became the Teaching Principal of Scoil Mhuire, Magherarney, Smithborough in 2000 where she remained until becoming Administrative Principal of St. Louis GNS in Monaghan town in 2008. Dedicated to the value of continuous learning, Anna Mai completed a Masters in Educational Management in 2009 with the University of Ulster and has been a part-time facilitator with the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) since 2006. She became a member of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) Board of Directors in 2009. Her responsibilities on the board lie in the areas of principal advice, CPD, resource and policy development, supports for Teaching Principals and School Self Evaluation. More recently she has sat on the management committee of Partnership Schools, a joint initiative between IPPN and the National Parents’ Council. Anna Mai was appointed as Deputy Director Primary of the Centre for School Leadership in May of this year.


      Mary is seconded from her role as Principal of Calasanctius College Oranmore Galway. Mary started her career in education as a Science & Maths teacher. She was appointed Principal in St. Paul’s Secondary School Oughterard in 1993. In 2005 she was seconded as Assistant National Coordination to the Leadership Development for Schools (LDS) team and coordinated programmes such as Misneach-the programme for newly appointed Principals and Forbairt –a development programme for established Principals and Deputy Principals. She was also involved in the production of an updated profile of school leadership in Ireland. Mary was elected as President of The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals in October 2014.


      Máire Ni Bhróithe is the new Deputy Director in the Centre for School Leadership. She has direct responsibility for the post primary sector. Máire was educated by the Loreto order, is a graduate of UCD and taught Gaeilge and Maths in schools in Bray Co. Wicklow, Carrickmacross Co. Monaghan and Leixlip Co. Kildare from 1981 onwards. She was appointed the first Deputy Principal of St Peter’s College, Dunboyne Co. Meath in 1995. She moved to Castlecomer Community School as Principal in 2002 and moved again in 2005 to become the founding Principal of Ratoath College in Co. Meath. In 2013 she became the Education and Leadership Officer of Louth Meath Education and Training Board. She is the chairperson of the board of management of the newly established Ballymackenny College in Drogheda, Co. Louth. Máire has experience working in all three sectors at post primary level.