63 school leaders from the five Year 1 schools developed their skills in school leadership and management with the support of iLead.
Based on the combined principles of organisational leadership, change management, school management and instructional leadership, the iLead programme works with the principals, middle leaders and education officers of 15 under-achieving secondary schools from the Ministry of Education’s Region 6 (St. Thomas, St. Mary and Portland) to re-orient them on a path towards high impact leadership; equipped to move their institutions towards success.
The premise behind iLead is that effective leadership in under-performing schools is a precursor to breaking the cycle of underperformance and to yielding successful student outcomes. Launched in 2014, the project will run for three years and will draw on the expertise of both local and international specialists. ILead is an initiative of JN Foundation, in partnership with the Ministry of Education .
Building on the innate capabilities and vision of our people; JN Foundation’s ilead project has joined hands with the Ministry of Education to improve the output of our schools. Already offering a school place for almost every child of school age, then Minister of Education, Reverend Ronald Thwaites, advised that “the mandate of our generation is in terms of equity and quality”.
At the launch of the iLead project, General Manager of JN Group and Chairman of the JN Foundation, Earl Jarrett, stated that failure among these students was not often attributed to a lack of student ability, but rather the “choice that we have made to create under-performing schools... this choice is often compounded by a combination of factors, such as: inadequate community engagement; inadequate utilisation of assets presented to the schools by the Ministry of Education; inadequate levels of accountability to the community, to tax payers and the nation.”
iLead is taking school leaders by the hand and walking them through the paces required to move their students towards success.
The findings of the recently concluded Centres of Excellence Programme is the catalyst for JN Foundation’s latest education initiative; ilead. ilead has been created to address the issue of poor outcomes from of schools that arise as a consequence of inadequately prepared school leaders.
The three year project is focused on creating dynamic and powerful leaders in some of the nation’s weakest schools. “Under-performing schools need game-changing leaders who are equipped with the skills, strategies and energy to break the cycle of under-performance and dramatically improve results, and, the iLead programme will provide these critical skills.” shared Dr. Renee Rattray, project manager, iLead.
Reports conducted by the Centres of Excellence -- a project which approached the issue of institutional transformation through the community ownership of the schools -- corroborated other studies, including that of the National Education Inspectorate, which underscored the critical role of strong and visionary leadership in school transformation.
Taking a bi-partisan approach, Andrew Holness, Leader of the Opposition, Jamaica Labour Party, has been appointed chair of the ilead Advisory Committee. Other members of the Advisory Committee which will have direct oversight of the project implementing team include, Maxine Henry Wilson, former Minister of Education and now Executive Director and CEO of the Jamaica Tertiary Commission; Dorrett Campbell, Deputy Chief Education Officer; and Kamina Johnson-Smith, Opposition Senator.
The programme has targeted five schools in the first year. The schools are: Brimmer Vale High, Islington High and Port Maria Primary Schools in St. Mary; Buff Bay Primary in Portland and Robert Lightbourne High in St. Thomas.