Testimonials for becoming an IOE Facilitator:
Mark Hunter, Ex-Deputy Headmaster, Dubai College, UAE
I wanted to send through a few lines about my experience as a NPQSL facilitator. I have to confess that I was a little apprehensive at the outset about the time commitment and about the prospect of delivering current leadership theory to ambitious and aspiring senior leaders.
In terms of the time commitment it certainly has taken many hours in preparation and delivery – but this time has been extremely supportive of my own leadership role. Preparing for a face-to-face session over one or two days promoted focussed reflection in a way that I hadn’t expected. The National College/Institute of Education materials and resources take a little while to navigate, but they are top rate and I had several “Eureka” moments about my own leadership challenges as I read through them. Most importantly the process took me back to my early (and frighteningly enjoyable) years in teaching when I was finding ways to deliver completely new materials to a room full of curious and enquiring minds.
In terms of the ambitious and aspiring senior leaders, they were less demanding than I had expected and tremendously supportive and receptive. Moreover, the nature of facilitation for these courses usually involved a pair of presenters. Preparing to co-facilitate was quite different from a solo delivery and much more rewarding since the process involved a reciprocal exchange of ideas and approaches. I was fortunate to have started out with three other excellent heads/principals and deputy heads/principals for the first UAE cohort and have built up lasting friendships as a consequence. I have also had access to 20 other colleagues in schools and colleges in a way that would be difficult to replicate. The common purpose of understanding and extending leadership practice has been an excellent shared goal and the prospect of a valuable additional qualification for the participants at the end has been a big incentive.
Finally, school leaders are required to build relationships with the wider community but this is not always easy to achieve and often gets overshadowed by school administration, day-to-day activities and events. By delivering the NPQSL over the last 2 years I have been required to forge genuine professional links with members of the Institute of Education, members of Infinite Learning and senior leaders in schools across the UAE and further afield. By being a facilitator for the Institute of Education I have also become part of a much larger group of like-minded colleagues across the world.
The National College professional development courses are now licensed to other institutions such as the Institute of Education in London, but they are still the recognised market leader in the field and convey a degree of kudos and recognition to individuals who have chosen to go through the facilitator training. I would not hesitate to recommend the Infinite Learning/Institute of Education NPQSL facilitator training programme to any colleague in a similar position to my own and would be happy to be contacted by anybody thinking of embarking on this path. For me it has re-emphasised the vital role of delivering training to others in supporting our own development and understanding of effective leadership in schools.
Ian Ward, Ex-Primary School Principal, Deira International School, Dubai, UAE
Being a facilitator for the NPQML programme was an excellent opportunity to share and discuss key leadership issues that impact on school improvement. For me, this was an opportunity to offer some support and guidance to a cohort of passionate aspiring and existing leaders in a similar way to how I have been supported throughout my leadership development. I would highly recommend any senior leader to take part in this training both for your own professional development and to impact positively on other leaders and their schools.