Post Primary Forbairt




Click to Apply for Forbairt



What is Forbairt?


Forbairt is a one-year programme that provides an opportunity for participant school leadership teams to enrich and enhance their individual and collective leadership knowledge, skills and capacity through professional development, reflection, collaboration and a school-based improvement project. Each school team consists of a principal, a deputy principal, and two assistant principals (smaller schools, with only one DP may opt for either the principal or DP to take part in the programme rather than both).


Over the course of the academic year, school-based Forbairt teams are assisted through a comprehensive programme of support. This involves leadership-focused CPD, networking with leadership teams from other schools, undertaking a practical leadership school improvement project, and the assignment of a PDST Advisor to each school. A developmental approach is taken to the enhancement of participants’ leadership capacity with a focus on collaborative activity, practical application and frequent engagement with the project either in school or at the facilitated sessions.


Forbairt is constructed on an action learning model built upon a dual foundation of leadership focussed CPD and the practical experience of leading a school improvement project. It seeks to foster and develop a passion and capacity for undertaking leadership roles through collaboration, reflection, dialogue, and the development of professional trust amongst participants. In so doing, it positively impacts the leadership and management practices within the schools, builds a more sustainable approach to school leadership, and develops the leadership capacity of the wider leadership team.


Engagement in the Forbairt programme supports schools’ strategic planning and enables leaders to address an area for improvement within the Leadership and Management domain of the LAOS Quality Framework. It takes an evidence and research-informed approach to leadership development and seeks to assist participants in implementing such an approach in their professional practice.


Forbairt Components



Why Do Forbairt?


  • Participants will engage in high-quality professional leadership development which will enhance their knowledge, skills and capacity.


  • School leadership teams will develop their collaborative and teamworking capacities to the benefit of the school and the students.


  • Participants will have the opportunity to network and connect with other school leadership teams focused on leadership development and school improvement. In so doing, participants benefit from the sharing of best practice, experiences and resources.


  • Participation in the Forbairt programme promotes the building and sustaining of a distributed leadership model that underpins the highest quality in student care and wellbeing, learning and teaching and overall school improvement.


  • The programme aims to promote a culture of improvement, collaboration, reflection, innovation and creativity among school leaders and the wider school community.


  • The programme is very much evidence and research-based. Participants will be supported in implementing the use of data and evidence as part of their leadership practice.



Who is Forbairt for?


Forbairt is open to school leadership teams comprising of:


  • An experienced school principal (not on the Misneach programme or eligible to do Misneach)*
  • Deputy principal*
  • Two assistant principals


** as noted above, smaller schools, with only one DP may opt for either the principal or DP to take part in the programme rather than both. Both are also welcome to take part, however, we are aware of the challenges involved for schools with one DP with both the principal and DP attending in-person CPD together. The decision as to whether one or both should take part is left to each individual school.


Signing up to Forbairt requires a commitment on the part of all the participants to full engagement in each of the programme components. This is very much a team-based programme and it is important that each team member plays a full role and supports the other team members.


If numbers exceed available places shortlisting may apply.


All schools will be contacted after shortlisting has taken place. The schools that have been successful in their applications will be contacted directly by a PDST advisor with further information.



School Requirements



  1. An enthusiasm for and commitment to professional leadership development.
  2. Each participant is required to fully engage in each programme module.
  3. Each school team must conduct a school-based action learning project focusing on the leadership and management dimension of Looking At Our School 2022 quality framework.
  4. Upon completion, a report must be submitted on each action learning project.
  5. Each school team will present their action learning project at the annual national Forbairt showcase event.





“While our engagement with Forbairt on this occasion is coming to an end, the project is very much in its infancy, we will continue this important work next year in our school next ”.


“ The feedback from the initiative was very positive and next year we plan to roll out the initiatives with all 2nd and 3rd Year students”


“Our Experience of the project is that it has been of huge benefit to the school”



Forbairt 2023/2024 Expression of Interest Form


Schools can apply to take part in the 2023/2024 Forbairt programme by completing the application form at this link.