What is Oide Mentoring: 

Mentoring is described as ’a process designed to support and encourage professionals to manage their own learning, maximise their potential, develop their skills and improve their performance.’ (Mentoring Matters, Scotland). 

Oide Leadership provides a formal mentoring support for all newly appointed primary and post-primary principals for their first year in the role. 

The Oide Leadership vision of mentoring is that of a community of school leaders, who feel supported and valued as professionals, and who work in schools where mentoring is part of the culture of the organisation. 

The Matching Process 

Oide Leadership uses a mentor database for matching mentors and mentees. The team looks at the experience and expertise of the mentor, their context and geographical location to match them with a newly appointed principal. The principals apply for access to an Oide Leadership mentor through the Misneach application process. 

The Mentoring Relationship 

Generally, the mentoring relationship begins in September and ends in May/June. After the initial meeting between mentor and mentee during which the Mentor-Mentee Agreement is signed, Oide Leadership recommends that there is a two-hour meeting scheduled per month. At the initial meeting, the times and venues for future meetings are planned. A short fortnightly contact is optional. These meetings are usually a mix of face to face and online engagements. At the end of the academic year, Oide Leadership, through the use of a formal data sharing agreement, provides the names of those on the mentoring programme to NAPD/IPPN so that they may organise Group Mentoring for principals in their second year of principalship.  

Development of a Professional Learning Programme for Proposed Mentors  

Based on mentoring research in other jurisdictions like Scotland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, a mentor training programme was developed. This programme reflects the work of the Oide Induction Team which supports the induction of newly qualified teachers through the Droichead Induction Process. The programme development was based around the skills, protocols and procedures of mentoring with keynote speakers identified to support the programme modules. Oide Leadership mentor training takes place over 3 days (2 x 1.5 days) in a central location. Substitute cover is provided for the second day of the training for administrative principals and for both days for teaching principals if the distance to the training venue is significant. This training usually takes place on an annual basis and is promoted on the Oide website and through social media with the collaborative assistance of stakeholders. 

Accessing the Oide Leadership Mentoring Service 

In order to access an Oide Leadership Mentor, a newly appointed principal registers for the Misneach Programme and Oide Leadership will contact the newly appointed principal in relation to arranging a Mentor. 

Overview of Bespoke Mentoring for School Principals

Oide Leadership has developed a formal bespoke 1:1 mentoring process to further support school Principals in their daily work. Bespoke mentoring will complement the other system supports available to school leaders from the IPPN, NAPD, the teacher unions, trust and management bodies.

This support is aimed at:

  • Providing access to mentoring for all Principals
  • Supporting the many demands of Principalship
  • Addressing isolation in the role
  • Focusing on the building of relationships in the school community
  • Highlighting the benefits and privileges of the Principalship role
Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentoring 

The nature of Bespoke Mentoring is formative and developmental, facilitated in a formal one-to-one mentoring relationship. It is about growing the potential and developing the capacity of the principal not only to develop their own professional and personal skills but also those of their leadership team, and the entire school community.

As is the norm with any profession, it is the responsibility of the principal, to attend to his/her professional learning needs. Oide Leadership advocates for continuous engagement with relevant professional learning for principals over the course of their career. If principals decide to engage with Oide Leadership bespoke mentoring, the adult learning principles of confidentiality, participation and taking responsibility for their own professional learning will form basic expectations. Principals who have used the Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentoring support have reported how they enjoyed having somebody to talk to in confidence, particularly somebody who has been a principal and understands the challenges involved.

Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentors

Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentors are recently retired school leaders who have completed the initial Oide Leadership mentor training. Additionally, they have taken part in over 20 hours of specialist training. This training, combined with extensive practice sessions, ensures that they are enabled to assist principals in schools.

The role of the Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentor

The role of the Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentor is simply that of a school leader working with another school leader with a view to improving their leadership and management practice. In providing this service, the Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentor will confine their focus to the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and strategies related to school leadership and management. He/she will be guided by the vision, mission, and values of the Oide Leadership Mentoring Support for newly appointed Principals, and the importance of supporting principals to support the learning of their students.

Referral to the Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentoring Support

Access to this bespoke support will be by direct contact from the principal. However, stakeholders working with principals, school boards, the DE (Department of Education) and professional colleagues may encourage principals to avail of this support. Nevertheless, only the principal themselves can make the decision to engage and to sign up for the service.

Engaging with the Support   

The principal will contact the Oide Leadership Director/Coordinator primary or post-primary. Alternatively, this support may be accessed through the IPPN Professional Guidance Service on 1890 21 22 23 of the NAPD Office on 01-6627025. IPPN/NAPD will contact the Oide Leadership Deputy Director/Coordinator who will then match the principal according to context and geography. 

The principal will be requested to confirm that they wish to attend an initial exploratory session with that mentor. An alternative mentor can be arranged should the principal deem that it is not professionally appropriate to engage with the suggested mentor. 

The Oide Leadership Bespoke Mentor will contact the principal to set up the location and date of the initial session. Oide Leadership envisages that face to face meetings are preferable for this bespoke service. However, mentors and principals engaging with the support may also meet online on occasion if both parties agree.

  Length of relationship

The length of the relationship will depend on the specific circumstances in a principal’s school. Generally, the principal is expected to engage in three meetings of one-and-a-half-hour duration with the possibility of another three if deemed necessary.


If you would like to avail of this confidential service, please contact Oide Leadership directly by emailing: or   

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