Professional Development

Principals’ Conference: Leading CRED for School Improvement: February/March 2014

Category: ELB - SCHOOLS

Published: 05 NOVEMBER 2014

Principals’ Conference: Leading CRED for School Improvement

An integral aspect of the CRED training programme for 2013-14 was facilitation of principals’ conferences, which aimed to enable principals to consider CRED Policy as a lens for school improvement.The conference objectives were:

  1. To increase awareness of the implications of CRED Policy for school leadership.
  2. To support principals to build capacity in leading the implementation of CRED Policy;
  3. To develop understanding of how the implementation of CRED Policy can support the school improvement process.

There were a number of presentations during the course, all outlined below:

 Introduction to the Conference: Arlene Kee, Head of Youth, SEELB and Lorna Gardiner, Head of CASS, NEELB and  are the co-chairs of the CRED Interboard Panel introduce the conference.


Policy Context for CRED: Andrew Bell, Department of Education outlines the Department of Education’s policy context for CRED.  Andrew shared the importance of how CRED can underpin and support the curriculum, the key success factors around the CRED policy, including the importance of a whole school approach and the critical role of leadership in embedding CRED.  Importantly CRED should never be seen as an add on, rather an integral part of school life.


Context for CRED: Professor Pete Shirlow, School of Law, QUB outlines the historical and cultural context of NI and how we are affected by our history. Pete believes it is important not to deny or ignore our history or background and that everyone has a role to play in society and in promoting and respecting CRED.


Rationale for CRED: The following powerpoint presentation describes the Rationale for CRED and describes the real need for CRED.  It looks at various aspects of legislation and policy, evidence from society and examines the research in particular in relation to young children. We also hear from young people and their views on the need for CRED in schools.  Presented by Lorna Gardiner, ASEO, Head of CASS, NEELB.


CRED Workshop: Presented by June Neill, Deputy Head of CASS, WELB and Nicola Lynagh, RTU.

During this workshop June Neill discusses the practical implications of CRED in schools and the importance of having CRED on the School Development Plan.  Nicola explores the foundations that underpin the success of any school and how CRED can contribute to this, in particular to the ethos and culture of a school.


CRED Case Studies: Mrs Sharon Dobbin, Principal, St John PS, Bosco, NEELB describes the development of a cross community partnering ethos and how working together in a partnership can positively impact on school improvement and on community cohesion within an area.  She describes the process involved and the benefits of working in a partnership.

LGBT Case Study

This case study outlines an issue that was relevant to the needs of the school, Shimna Integrated College, Newcastle.

A Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Student Group was set up as a result of the negative experiences of LGBT young people in the school.  The GSA was set up to provide a safe space for the young people to come and be open about their sexuality and identity and for it to be seen as a beacon for the rest of the school and the community: demonstrating a welcoming school and that every person is valued and respected.

The young people had experienced homophobic comments and insults and lacked confidence in themselves.

In the DVD, the the young people describe the positive impact of the group- how they now feel having come out about their identity, the difference to their self confidence and how they feel they can at last be themselves and not pretend to anyone.

In the presentation, the principal talks about how the impact of anti-homophobic work in the school and outlines how they as a whole school explored the issue and supported the young people in the school.

© 2014 Community Relations Equality and Diversity NI