Misneach (Primary)

Applications for our 2023-25 programme are now open. Please click on this link to apply.


What is Misneach?


Misneach is a two year personal and professional development programme for Newly Appointed Principals (NAPs) developed by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). 


The word ‘Misneach’ derives from the Irish word for courage, spirit and fortitude. The Misneach programme seeks to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and qualities of beginning school leaders, empowering them to respond effectively to the realities of managing and leading in the Irish school context.


Misneach helps NAPs develop the confidence to translate principle into practice and in developing this confidence, the notions of ‘being challenged’ and of ‘becoming challenging’ are promoted. Through working collaboratively and engaging with the language of leadership, the NAPs develop a map for their professional lives.


During the Misneach programme you will have numerous opportunities, both formally and informally, to share experiences, build collegiality and network with other participants who, like you are in their early stages of their career as a school leader.


This sharing of learning and experiences with your peers, facilitated and supported by the PDST team of experienced principals, is invaluable and will be of great personal and professional support to you as you transition into your new role.



The Misneach Vision: 


Misneach (meaning “courage”) sets out to support you, the newly appointed principal, in coming to an understanding of the many and varied aspects of your new role as school leader. 


The vision for Misneach is derived from the five core principles (see graphic below) of school leadership as identified by Irish school principals. 



Programme Overview:


The themes that will be explored during the Misneach programme relate directly to the leadership profile


The programme is also aligned with the Leadership and Management dimension of the quality framework for primary schools (Looking At Our Schools 2016) and reflects close attention to each of the four domains:

  • Leading teaching and learning
  • Managing the organisation
  • Leading school development
  • Developing leadership capacity


Programme Timeline:




Who is eligible for this programme?

All newly -appointed primary school principals employed in state funded and inspected primary schools are eligible.

Teachers acting-up as principal should contact the leadership administrator in Clare Education Centre. Contact Linda Hogan at lindahogan@pdst.ie


Am I entitled to sub-cover?

Substitute cover is given for both days of each of the residential events for teaching principals.


I’m in my role six months, am I still eligible to apply?

Yes you can. Contact our administrator Linda Hogan at lindahogan@pdst.ie


How can I access a mentor in my new role?

You can access the CSL Mentoring Service by clicking this link.




What the previous participants said about the course? 

"Excellent management training for newly appointed principals. The content and learning experiences are very well thought through and delivered are the right time. It gives headspace away from the school so you can reflect and plan. The legacy of this training is the professional network developed with colleagues around the country who you can share common issues and advice"


"Misneach is an excellent programme which I found invaluable as a new Principal. The quality of presentations, practical advice and professional conversations was excellent. The most invaluable aspect for me was the chance to meet fellow new appointments to leadership and to share experiences of our first 18 months in the job"


"Absolutely excellent programme. I would highly recommend it to all new principals. The course provided for excellent discussions about the role of the principal and the opportunity to create a network of colleagues to call upon after leaving Misneach. I really enjoyed the course and would welcome the opportunity of Misneach becoming something that would run twice yearly for each cohort"


"I thoroughly enjoyed the programme throughout and gained a lot from it. I always came away feeling a little more confident and most certainly reassured. As well as picking up some innovative ideas on things like vision, school culture and CPD I became aware of many practical ideas that although small in themselves can make an enormous difference to staff and students and the daily running of an effective school"