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Principals refuse training

Education Ministry seeks school boards’ support to deal with defiant head teachers

Monday, December 30, 2013    

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Education Ministry seeks school boards' support to deal with defiant head teachers

The Ministry of Education says it will meet today with several chairs of school boards in an effort to secure the compliance of their principals who have been enrolled in the Effective Principals' Training Programme since November 2012.

The meeting, scheduled to be held in Mandeville, follows the recent disclosure in Parliament by Education Minister Ronald Thwaites that some principals of underperforming schools have refused to attend leadership training provided by the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL).

A total of 49 principals have not complied with the training requirements. Thirty-nine of the non-compliant principals are from primary schools across the island with the largest group of 11 in Region Four, followed by nine in Region Five, and seven in Region Three. Both regions One and Six have five each, followed by Region Two with two.

There are 10 non-compliant principals from high schools across the island as follows: regions One and Four each have one, regions Two and Five each have two and Region Six has four.

"The meeting with school board chairs is intended to underscore their responsibility to hold principals accountable for the performance of their school," a news release from the ministry quotes Dr Maurice Smith, principal director of NCEL.

"The chief inspector's report continues to highlight weak leadership as a significant factor in the underperformance of schools and so the ministry is addressing the issue," added Dr Smith.

According to the ministry, Dr Smith pointed out that one principal had actually returned the training material, as her school had been inspected and she had been appraised within the same academic year.

Dr Smith said the meeting with the school board chairs was the first of several measures to be employed by the education ministry to ensure compliance by principals in the NCEL training programme.

The ministry said that since November 2012, the NCEL has trained 330 principals and 24 education officers in various aspects of school operations. Last summer, the college also worked with 30 principals of schools situated in violent communities.

The NCEL, the ministry added, will be collaborating with the National Mathematics Team next month to train principals and heads of math departments in selected primary and secondary schools. In addition, 50 participants will begin the Aspiring Principals' Programme next February.

The education ministry said that success stories of principals who received leadership training include:

* Susan Nelson-Bloomfield, Trench Town High;

* Matthew Sinclair, Manning's Hill Primary;

* Nicollette McDonough-Foster, Alpha Infant;

* Jacqueline Carter-Dixon, St Benedict's Primary;

* Donna Harris, St Christopher's School for the Deaf;

* Shahaney Frome-Roberts, Jacks River Primary;

* Milbert Miller, Aberdeen Primary & Junior High;

* Rona Fuller, Mount Rosser Primary & Infant;

* Orville Mitchell, Mitchell Town Primary;

* Lavern White-Gottshalk, Evelyn Mitchell Infant; and

* Kasan Troupe, Denbigh High

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