The Forbairt programme is designed based on an Action Learning process. The Action Learning process enables professionals to learn and develop through engaging and reflecting on their experience in the company of peers as they seek to address real-life problems in their own organisations. It champions the ideas of practitioners and action learners in a democratic process of engagement. It generates learning from human interactions arising from solution-focused approaches to real-time, real-world work problems.


The key principles of action learning can be summarized as follows:

  • Personal action is the basis for learning
  • Focuses on real, contextual problems
  • Uses a questioning insight, geared towards goal-directed and reflective thinking, as a vehicle for learning.
  • Is a collaborative (social) exploration (‘comrades in adversity’), which is nonhierarchical and virtuous in nature.
  • Has emergent learning outcomes

(Fox 2009; Simpson and Bourner 2007; Pedler, Burgoyne and Brook 2005; Rigg and Trehan 2004)


The Forbairt contains the following elements,

  • Attendance at two residential modules (one at the beginning and one at the end, with three one-day modules in between)
  • Attendance at three one-day modules
  • Engaging in school based action 
  • Taking part in an Action Learning Group which meets three times during the course of the programme
  • One school visit from PDST Personnel to support your leadership of the school based action

Please note: Deputy Principals may not enrol on the Forbairt programme unless accompanied by their Principal  



Forbairt focuses on four main themes of Leadership: