About Us

About The NCEL

The History of the National College for Educational Leadership

The National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), in 2011, was established and given the responsibility to develop excellent leadership in the island’s public and independent schools. It leads strategic initiatives to improve leadership, facilitate the provision of support and create local leadership networks in conjunction with the Ministry’s regional offices and agencies.  It serves the developmental needs of school leaders for aspiring, middle leaders, experienced principals and board chairmen.

The rationale for its establishment arose from the 2004 Task Force Report on Educational Reform which proposed that the then Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture (MoEYC) needed to set and maintain standards for leadership and ensure that there was proper accreditation, training and development for aspiring leaders. At the heart of the philosophy of NCEL is the recognition that the preparation of principals for their demanding roles lacks coherence, that there needs to be a better balance between knowledge and skills in leadership development and that the MoEYC needed to have greater control over the identification and preparation of candidates for the post of principal.

The NCEL was therefore established to improve the quality of leaders and managers in education.  The College has, inter alia (i) transformed children’s achievement and well-being through excellent school leadership; (ii) built national policy and priorities into training; (iii) identified and developed future school leaders; (iv) brought coherence to existing training and development leadership programmes in education; and (v) developed the capacity of education officers to operate effectively in a modernised system. To support these aims, the NCEL has adopted national standards for school principals (developed by the Jamaica Teaching Council).  In 2019, the College in an effort to chronicle the experiences of school leaders published the first of its kind, the Principals’ Voice Magazine, as a tool to advance the understanding, practice and development of leadership for the benefit of the education sector.

The Leadership College has benefited from the stewardship of four past Director/Principals who served during the following periods:

September 2021-Present

Mrs. Winnie Berry

June 2017 – September 2021

Dr. Taneisha Ingleton

November 2016 – May 2017

Mrs. Rosemary Campbell-Stephens

January 2013 – October 2016

Dr. Maurice Smith

July 2011- December 2012

Dr. Doeford Shirley

In November 2012, the College delivered its first residential training to over 100 principals through one of its flagship programmes the Effective Principals’ Training Programme which is designed to provide capacity-building support to in-service principals.  In 2014, the College introduced and delivered the Aspiring Principals’ Programme in partnership with the School of Education and the Mona School of Business and Management of the University of the West Indies, Mona. The forty-one participants who were carefully selected to form this inaugural cohort received a fellowship from the Government of Jamaica to pursue the programme; a number of them have since assumed to the post of principal. Other programme offerings developed and implemented by the College include, but is not limited to, Child-Friendly Schools Leadership Programme Leadership and School Policy, Leadership for Safer Schools, Inclusive School Leadership Training Programme, Middle Leadership Training Programme, Strategic Middle Leadership Initiative and the System and School Leadership Training Programme.  

Since its inception, the College has developed several high impact leadership development programmes and initiatives targeting school leaders across the early childhood, primary and secondary levels of the system. It has also forged and sustained several national, regional and international partnerships that have contribute greatly to improved student outcomes.


“The scope of the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) is to develop and improve the quality of leadership in all public and independent schools and supporting institutions through the design, development and delivery of training programmes and provision of services and certification, operating from the Murray Hall Building, Caenwood Complex, 37 Arnold Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica.”


To work closely with our partners and stakeholders to develop and support highly competent educational leaders who can create and sustain effective schools, thus contributing to national and regional development.


To become an internationally recognised organisation that ensures the preparation and continued development of high-quality educational leaders.

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