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School Development Service

Leadership and Management


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The Model

Key features of PQH (NI)

There are three stages to the Revised PQH (NI), devised to ensure that aspiring headteachers are given every opportunity to fulfil their potential, as soon as possible.

If you are thinking of applying for PQH (NI), you will have the opportunity to access online activities and materials, designed to help you find out more about headship and reflect on your readiness for the role. You will also be able to familiarise yourself with the National Standards for Headteachers, with underpin PQH (NI). Are you ready for Headship?

These resources, together with your performance management discussions with your headteacher or line manager, will enable you to identify your learning and development needs and to make a decision about your readiness to apply.

(i) Entry Stage

The entry stage comprises 2 elements:

  1. A written application is assessed.
  2. An interview by an employing authority panel.

You will make an online application with the support of your headteacher or line manager.  The application form requires you to provide evidence of your expertise and experience across the six key areas of the national standards for teachers (NI Edition).  The application form is scored and on it being deemed successful applicants are invited to attend an interview.  Stage 2 of the entry process requires the applicant to undertake a 30 minute interview.  Successful applicants are invited to join the development stage.

(ii) Development Stage

You will spend approximately 12 months as a PQH (NI) trainee headteacher, starting with an Introductory session at which you will have the opportunity to network with other trainee headteachers, form self-directed peer learning groups and be informed about the provision.

The provision you access whilst on PQH (NI) will depend on your own personalised leadership development plan and will include opportunities to:

  • Access PQH (NI)’s leadership and management materials, modules and online communities
  • Engage in peer learning
  • Access coaching for improvement
  • Undertake a placement in another context
  • Attend PQH (NI) seminars and master classes
  • Learn about the latest research and national policies
  • Access additional local leadership development activities

(iii) Graduation Stage

You will present yourself to a Graduation Board Panel when you think you are ready for headship. The board, which includes serving headteachers, will examine your portfolio of leadership and management evidence. If you meet the requirements, PQH (NI) will be awarded and this will signal your immediate readiness for headship.

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