Middle leadership for primary and secondary schools to be explored

MIC St Patricks Campus Thurles to host education symposium

Middle leadership for primary and secondary schools to be explored

Renewed attention is being given to the concept of leadership in schools with particular attention given to Middle Leadership and the role it can play in supporting learning in our schools and classrooms.

Recent Department of Education and Skills (DES) Circulars (0063/2017 & 0003/2018) pay particular attention to the joint concepts of management and leadership in both primary and post primary, as set against Looking At Our Schools (LAOS, 2016). Of note is the explicit and repeated reference to the concept of Distributed Leadership.

The one day Middle Leadership in our Primary and Post-Primary Schools Symposium, set to take place on June 19th at MIC, St Patrick’s Campus, Thurles, will explore what Distributed Leadership means and how it relates to our understanding of Middle Leadership and the enhancement of the learning and life chances of pupils. The Symposium will be of particular interest to current and aspiring school leaders, teachers, policy makers and those interested in teacher education as it relates to planned and intentional capacity building within schools.

According to Dr Finn Ó Murchú, Head of School of Education (Post-Primary) at MIC, St Patrick’s Campus, Thurles; “The Symposium seeks to answer questions on how best we can shift to a closer understanding and implementation of not just leading the schoolhouse, but leading the work of the school house (Spillane, 2006). By implication we will engage in conversations associated with what we understand by workplace collaboration and engagement. Such action resonates with the Teaching Council framework on teachers’ professional learning and Cosán. Carmel Kearns from the Teaching Council will outline the concept and potential that is Cosán as set against the title of our symposium.”

Guest speakers also include practitioners, from both primary and post-primary settings, who will describe their leadership actions as well as their leadership roles and how they activate the concept of middle leadership for the benefit of their colleagues and the learners in their school. Professor James Spillane, North-western University, will present, via video-link, his research on the concept of leadership and how it is distributed, or not, among and between teachers. His Irish background, combined with a North American and increasingly global perspective and influence, will provide a useful theoretical framework from which to view leadership and the impact of leadership.

Dr. Verity Donnelly, European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (EASNIE) and Dr Finn Ó Murchú, MIC, St Patrick’s Campus, Thurles will present on their co-authored work on the impact effective leadership can have on achieving inclusive practices in schools. Dr Donnelly will outline how a focus on inclusion equates with a focus on quality provision for all. Her work with the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (EASNIE) will offer a European perspective on efforts to maximise learning by maximising leadership actions amongst teachers. Dr Ó Murchú will explore how initial and ongoing professional learning by teachers helps supports all in the teaching profession.

To register your attendance please email: Kathryn.fitzgibbon@mic.ul.ie or T: 0504 20533