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PR - Principals & Principalship

What effective principals do well.

About the Course

Please note: this course is suitable for principals, deputy principals and those aspiring to work in this area in the future.

Detailing the leadership requirements and professional practices of highly effective principals. Being the leading educational professional in the school, it is up to you to motivate and inspire students, staff and the community to continuously enhance the learning of all.

We set out to explore the modern role of the primary school Principal in the twenty first century and seek to identify and explore some of the many accountabilities of the role and the practices of those that are most successful in leading & inspiring staff, delivering for the students and reaching out into and building a strong community relationship.

We detail the leadership requirements and professional practices of highly effective principals, across the core content of the five modules, themed as follows:

1. Defining and describing leadership

2. Understanding and managing school culture

3. Requisite skill-sets to have and grow

4. Nurturing and developing relationships

5. Leading change in partnership

In addition to a full treatment of the above core content, we pose and explore a myriad of further questions, such as:

  • Are you aware of the five levels of leadership? 
  • Do you eat data? – well you should!
  • Can you be a troublemaker? – a positive one, of course!
  • Are you an omnipresent principal? – present when you are not!
  • Do you know, utilise and acknowledge the STARS on your staff? – glow them even brighter!
  • Are you growing your resilience? – the trait that keeps you strong when needed!
  • Discipline – how well do you manage it? – or does it manage you!
  • Are you making the most of yourself as a school leader? – lighting the path ahead!
  • How many people did you make smile today? – yes, you are supposed to!
  • Are you a charismatic leader with an ego to match? – such people give us confidence and a feeling of security!
  • Do you lead off the edge of the map? – explore, challenge, go boldly!
  • Are you always learning? – it is the well-spring for performance & innovation!
  • Have you a formula for focus? – having one certainly helps!
  • Do you confront poor performance? – certainly tell me more about this!
  • Are you a team builder? – investing in your greatest asset!
  • Do you do classroom visits? – regular tours are both appreciated and revealing!

………………………. and more questions are discussed and answered.


The online format of this course enables you to study at a time and place that best suits your own needs. 

You can access your course anytime until February 28th 2022.

Within this highly interactive web based course, a dynamic learning experience awaits, where you can interact with your fellow course participants through the in-course chat forums and communication tools provided by the CPD College learning system. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable tutors actively support each course, providing expert interaction, guidance and feedback for all participants on chat questions and assignments which call for critical reflection, self-analysis and a reasoned response. 

On successful completion of your course, you can download and print off your CPD record and certificate of completion.

We look forward to welcoming you to your course.

Learning outcomes
This course aims to:
  • Appraise the relationship between solid leadership and school effectiveness.
  • Describe and critique the crucial concept of school culture.
  • Itemise the observable behaviours / characteristics of high performing / highly effective principals.
  • Employ effective communication, delegation and time-management techniques.
  • Better establish, maintain and nurture in-school, parent and community relationships.
  • Review, assess & evaluate school performance and plan for future school improvement.
  • To more effectively deliver on the role of the Principal for the betterment of pupils.
01 - We explore the concept of school leadership and thereafter itemise the factors that determine and benchmark school effectiveness and conclude with a ‘self reflection’ where principals consider and evaluate their own practices in their own school.
02 - In this module, the crucial importance of school culture, in its many guises, is considered and explored and concludes with principals check-listing aspects of their own school’s culture.
03 - Four main themes constitute the scope of this module, most notably delegation, effective communication, time management and school spirit, presenting an opportunity to all to extrapolate some good practice points.
04 - Building trusting and learning-focused relationships within and beyond the school is central to the Principal’s role. This module deals principally with the building and nurturing of relationships; promoting the importance of establishing and actively maintaining strong working relationships; understanding the nature of relationship and knowing how to respond when relationship is tested, and the module concludes with a look at the building of effective school/parent/community relationships.
05 - Principals are required to lead and to manage. Here we look at the strategic leadership role of the Principal in monitoring & evaluating school effectiveness, in visioning, leading & managing change in order to deliver the very best learning outcomes for the students, who at the end of the day, are the central focus for everything a school does.

"Great course - lots of useful tips even after thirteen years in the job.  Video links were fantastic as were the downloads. Looking forward to a new challenge in September taking on leadership of a DEIS school. I feel the course has prepared me well and I have downloaded lots of material to reference going forwards. I would recommend the course to colleagues. Well done to everyone at CPD College!." - Michael, 2020

“This course for principals - truly wonderful - thought provoking , reflective and entertaining. Perhaps I enjoyed it because I was really ready to reflect on my role as principal - this course provided many thought provoking moments. Excellent in every way.”  - Peter, 2020

“Excellent, worthwhile, beneficial and enjoyable. The course was challenging and rewarding in equal measure. I would recommend it to established and newly appointed principals alike.” - Vincent, 2020

“As I come to the end of this course I realise I have travelled a long and twisting road, sometimes down-hill when I recognised my own actions as the ones being promoted as best practice and often up-hill when I saw myself as the ineffective principal who, at times, ignored the elephant in the room. This course has certainly been thought provoking and has forced me to look at how I have managed certain areas of my job as principal……….”  - Maria, 2020

“I have found this to be an excellent course, varied in its approach and providing a lot of stimulating material which I will continue to absorb and use over the course of the coming year. Thank you to all the facilitators.”  - Laura, 2020