Page 1

+ Leadership The Professional Voice of Primary Principals ISSUE 29 • DECEMBER 2005

If we are serious about providing Quality Learning for our children in the future, we must invest now in Quality Leadership for our schools.

Expectations are high that Benchmarking 2 will finally address and resolve the crisis that exists in recruiting and retaining Primary Principals. Latest evidence of appointments to Principalships during the Summer of 2005 shows a very worrying continuous decline in the number of teachers applying for the post of Principal.

In 2005 Administrative Principalships attracted an average of 2.5 eligible applicants. 12 vacancies had to be re-advertised due to the insufficient number of eligible applicants. If this is not a leadership crisis, what is?

The average number of applicants per vacant Principalship has fallen to 2.3 in 2005 from 2.9 in 2004. The average number of eligible applicants for Teaching Principalships in 2005 is 2.2.

Beannachtaí ar leith dhaoibh a Phríomhoidí agus Phríomhoidí Thánaisteacha Bunscoile na tíre. Rath Dé ar an obair tábhachtach atá idir láimhibh agaibh.

Value for Money ...............................2 Diary of Meetings November......2 Tomás Ó Slatara ................................3 Forbairt.................................................5 Manage yourself - not time!.........6 IPPN Recommendations to the DES Inspectorate ....................8 WSE - Why wait?..............................9 School Planning & Building .......10

IPPN’s report has been prepared by the IPPN Executive as a result of a three stage process. Firstly, a review of IPPN’s The Value of Leadership? (2001) was undertaken. This was followed by widespread consultation with Principals at our 26 county network meetings. The final input came from an analysis of the results of the recent IPPN ‘Fiche Ceist’ survey. Our report provides a clear, dispassionate, evidence based rationale designed to influence the Benchmarking Body through our Union and the Education Partners to address the salary anomalies of Primary Principals.

In Brief ...................................................11 Questions to the NEWB ...............12 The Visiting Teacher Service ......13 Legal Diary ........................................14 Budget Estimates............................16 Updated Primary School Data...16 Island Schools ..................................16 Public Private Partnerships .........17 One Teacher Schools.....................17


Study Visit to Ontario ....................18 Go Games.........................................20 Online Claim Form ........................22 The National Council for Special Education ................22 Newly-appointed Principals.......23 Empowering Special Schools .....23 ...............23 IPPN Conference 2006 ................24


Guímid Nollaig faoi mhaise ar mhúinteoirí uile na h-Éireann agus ar gach duine a shaothraíonn chun tairbhe an oideachais in Éirinn.

A crucial part of the resolution of this on-going leadership crisis is for Benchmarking 2 to ensure that Primary Principals are financially rewarded commensurate with their leadership function, legal responsibilities and role complexity. If this is to be achieved a separate and appropriate

leadership grade and composite salary structure is a must for Principals. Benchmarking 2 offers the best chance to undo the damage and disappointment of 2002. IPPN has offered to present Principals' views on Benchmarking to the INTO. This offer has been accepted and a report will be forwarded to our Union and made available to our members, the Management Bodies and the DES.

From Rhetoric to Results?

Value for Money

Continued from page 1

A few months ago a Parish Priest and a Chairperson of the Board of Management contacted the IPPN looking for advice on a rather unusual problem; How to get the Principal of the school to spend the money that was in the school’s bank account? There is many a school that would be glad of that problem! However, on examination, the school in question has quite a number of problems of its own, namely a long history of failing to invest in regular maintenance, additional facilities, proper quality cleaning and hygiene and probably worst of all, neglecting to upgrade and maintain high quality teaching and learning resources in the school. How could a situation like this possibly happen one would ask? It seems that in some schools the culture of the BoM is such that Capitation Grants and other "specifically targeting grants" are to be saved for the speculative ‘rainy day’ rather than to fund the ongoing cost of the running of the school. A newly appointed Principal recently revealed that on starting her new appointment she was rather horrified to discover the dearth of educational resource in the school, the poor condition of the building and the acceptance of the staff that this was so because the BoM had no money. She was more than horrified to discover that this in fact was not the case as a considerable sum of money was in fact placed on deposit for no explicable reason. Perhaps some day the BoM intended to buy a holiday apartment in the South of France!

The present ‘salary plus allowance’ system is not targeted sufficiently on Principals who are the only legislated managerial grade in the entire Irish Public Service, or in other OECD countries, that are paid on the same scale as those they manage. By any measure of role assessment, job sizing and reward strategy, the method of remunerating Primary Principals with a base teacher’s salary plus an allowance, is flawed and has clearly failed as a strategy to motivate and attract new entrants into the role. The role of Primary Principal is quantifiably and qualitatively different from the role of Teacher and must be rewarded differently. IPPN believes that we need to liberate principalship from the entrapment of the current ‘basic salary plus allowance’ system and that teaching principalship needs special financial recognition for its unique complexity. Leadership in smaller schools may be perceived to be easier but is, in reality, more complex and onerous, as the 70% of principals who are teaching Principals can verify daily. INTO General Secretary John Carr, in his speech at the INTO Consultative Conference on October 7th ’05, stated that "This time around, Benchmarking must deliver for school leaders". To achieve this, IPPN is calling on the INTO to make a separate submission on behalf of Principals to Benchmarking 2 based on their own and IPPN’s research findings. Principals will no longer accept excuses or promises from our union which is mandated to negotiate on our behalf, from the Management Bodies or from the DES. It is time for rhetoric to deliver results for Principals which will actually stand to the long-term benefit of the entire teaching profession.

The problem described has a number of causes: 1. The long history and continued underfunding of Primary Education has engrained a culture in BoMs and Principals to spend money as if it was their own families’ inheritance. 2. The lack of proper training in financial management and in particular the skill of budgeting frequently results in frugality to the detriment of providing resources necessary to run the school. The purpose of the school is to provide the best possible learning environment and opportunities for the children! It is not to keep the money in reserve for some ‘rainy day’. If the BoM makes use of an appropriate accountant to put in place a financial management plan, including budget lines for the various aspects of income and expenditure linked to grants etc., the Chairperson, Principal and Treasurer can have full confidence in knowing that all resources available to the school can be utilized to the optimum. To conclude with the wisdom of the Chairperson who raised the issue with IPPN, ‘Nobody will thank her for saving tax payers money which is intended to be spent on the school. Anyway, I would much prefer if the school were in debt, at least then we could have a decent fund raising campaign and we would all have something to aim for’.

Diary of meetings held by IPPN on behalf of Principals NOVEMBER 2005

Major international research being undertaken by Professor Michael Fullan for our Conference in February ’06 will underpin and reinforce the experience of IPPN members that there is a direct correlation between high quality leader-ship and high quality learning outcomes for the children in our schools. This must be recognised and reflected in the way that principalship is structured and rewarded. As with other aspects of our role, 19th century solutions are no longer good enough for 2005. Seán Cottrell Director

Tomás O’Slatara President

First meeting of the new IPPN National Executive in Portlaoise Meeting in Athlone with DES and Education partners regarding proposed On-Line-Claims-System (OLCS) Comhdháil Bhliantúil de Ghaelscoileanna i Sligeach. Meeting of One Teacher School Support Group with Johnny Bracken, Principal Officer, DES in Athlone. Meeting in Dublin with IPPN sponsors Allianz Training day in Portlaoise for members of the new IPPN Professional Guidance Team National Disability Authority Conference in Belfield. LDS training for IPPN/LDS Mentor Organisers in Tullamore

The opinions expressed in Leadership+ do not necessarily reflect the official policy or views of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network ISSN: 1649 -5888 Irish Primary Principals’ Network Glounthaune, Co Cork President: Tomás Ó Slatara Director: Seán Cottrell Editor: Larry Fleming


Assistant Editor: Virginia O’Mahony Advertising: Nicole Walsh e: l: 1890 21 22 23 t: 353 21 452 4925 f: 353 21 435 5648 w: Design and print: Brosna Press 090 6454327 •

Tomás has represented IPPN internationally, most recently addressing delegates from all over the world at the International Confederation of Principals in Cape Town on the sustainability of small schools in an international context.


He was elected President on Saturday, October 22nd 2005 at the IPPN AGM held at the Moran Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. Tomás is looking forward to representing Principals and Deputy Principals on issues of professional concern to school leaders in Ireland’s 3,155 primary schools. An issue of particular concern to Tomás is the sustainability of the role of Teaching Principal which is a daily challenge faced in over 70% of primary schools. He believes that the role is becoming increasingly unattractive both professionally and financially as is evident from the very low number of applicants for most Teaching Principalships.

Music features strongly in Tomás’s life. He is a talented musician, choirmaster in the local church and adds greatly to social evenings. He is a comfortable 9 handicap The newly-elected President of IPPN, Tomás Ó Slatara has been prominent on the golfer and ardent follower of educational landscape for the last five years as a Senior Executive Member of the Network. Tipperary hurling. Tomás’s love of the Irish language and culture led him to cotestament to his energy and dedication. He was Tomás is Principal of Grange National School, found in Caisleáin Nua, the Coláiste Cois Siúire inspired and motivated by the Primary Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He has been working Summer School. The school continues to Principals’ Conferences held in Cork and Dublin as a teaching Principal in Grange N.S. since attract a huge number of children with its during the 1990’s and was one of the founding 1982 and previously worked for five years at variety of cluichí, dramaíocht díospóireacht members of the Irish Primary Principals’ Johnstown BNS, Cabinteely, Co. Dublin. Under agus ranganna don aos óg. Network (IPPN) which currently has over 6,000 his leadership, Grange N.S. has expanded from being a three teacher school with 105 pupils in 1982 to an eight teacher school in 2005, serving the needs of 160 children in the local rural community. Tomás has been involved in the co-ordination of Principal’s Support Groups in Tipperary since the early 90’s. The strength of the Network in Tipperary at the moment is

members. He served as PRO from 1999 to 2003 and was Editor of the IPPN Newsletter during that time. He served as Chairperson of the subcommittee that drafted the IPPN Constitution and was also Chairperson of the IPPN subcommittee that researched the report ‘New Horizons for Smaller Schools and Teaching Principalship in Ireland’ that was launched at IPPN Conference 2005.

Tomás appreciates greatly the support of his wife Sheila and children, Catherine, Conor and Roisin and the good wishes received from his school staff, Board of Management, colleagues and friends.

A Framework for a School Policy on Assessment Dr. Michael O’Leary (pictured), author of A Framework for a School Policy on Assessment which appeared in the last issue of Leadership+, is a lecturer in the Education Department at St. Patrick's College of Education, Drumcondra. We would like to thank both Dr. O’Leary and St. Patrick’s College for their generous contribution with their time and we look forward to hearing more from Dr. O’Leary on the issue of Assessment in the near future.

Pictured above: New IPPN National Committee 2005–06 PAGE 3


FORBAIRT Leading Learning Through Leading People: Leadership Development Programme for Experienced Principals Last October 2004 Leadership Development for Schools (LDS) launched its programme for experienced school leaders. The programme called Forbairt is a fivemodule programme consisting of three two-day residential modules and two school based modules. At primary level more than two hundred school leaders between Principals and Deputy Principals (in the case of schools with Administrative Principals), are taking part in the programme representing over one hundred and fifty five schools. Notification was sent to all schools in June and as a result participants come from all parts of the country and are being hosted in Cavan, Castlebar, Tralee and Waterford.

A Capacity Building Programme Forbairt is a capacity building programme for experienced school leaders. It focuses on identifying and developing the leadership capacities needed to respond to the challenges and complexities of school life in Ireland today. Based on the concept of leading learning through leading people, Forbairt focuses on building capacity in the school leaders to enable them build capacity in others. Capacities for school leadership include Personal Capacities, Professional Capacities and Organisational Capacities. The programme identifies certain capacities that then become the focus of the different modules so that by the end of the fivemodule course, participants will have enjoyed an opportunity to develop what are deemed necessary capacities for leading learning in Irish schools for the 21st century.

Courage to Act – the personal and interpersonal strengths of the leader Sustainability Through the Empowerment of Others – distributed leadership

Generating Understanding Through Action Learning The programme strives for a balance between personal and professional development. Thus, it offers an opportunity to school leaders to step back and reflect personally and professionally on the values and beliefs that underpin practice. Aware of the importance of balancing the theory and practice elements of the programme, an action learning approach is espoused to support the leadership of improvement and innovation in schools. All participants undertake a school-based actionlearning project to imbed the new learning and understandings. It is based on openness and collaborative problem solving approaches and implies, therefore, active participation by participants. The programme actively supports sharing of good practice and professional networking. It is hoped that the action learning

networks will continue as professional learning units long after the Forbairt programme finishes. Forbairt is not just a project, it is about a change of mindscape. Final Word: It is appropriate that the participating school leaders should have the last word “All in all a very exhilarating experience. Go raibh mile maith agaibh!” “A great course! Many thanks!” “Facilitators stimulated, motivated, challenged, encouraged and probed to elicit our own learning. This made people feel they were contributing hugely to effective outcomes for all – their roots in reality added hugely. More of the same.” “Thank you most sincerely for a wonderfully inspiring and encouraging in-service.”

Notification will be going out to all schools before Easter with particulars of Forbairt 2006/2007

Learning Centred Leadership The programme is explicit in putting learning at the heart of what schools are about and leadership for learning-centred schools at the heart of school leadership. The leadership of learning centred schools is seen as being guided by the following five core principles: Moral Purpose – the desire to improve the learning experience of all within the school community Modelling - the school leader as lead learner Situational Awareness- learning improvements based on student data

Back (l to r): Dr Kevin Haugh, Mr Padraic McKeon. Middle from left: Mr Terry Allen, Mr Ultan MacMathuna, Dr Brian MacGiollaphadraig. Front (l to r): Ms Helen O'Sullivan, Ms Siobhan Carter, Ms Teresa McSorley, Ms Gretta O'Shea and Ms Anne Fitzpatrick. Missing from the photo: Ms Anne Hegarty



Manage yourself -

not time! THE WORLD IS FULL OF TIME MANAGEMENT GURUS YET EVERYONE HAS ONLY 24 HOURS IN THE DAY. Perhaps focusing on managing oneself rather than one’s time would be a more fruitful exercise. While the following two strategies may appear too simplistic in their approach to be successful, they are in fact highly effective methods for any busy School Principal to manage themselves.


1 Do not answer the telephone It is amazing the number of Principals who answer the school telephone. This may seem like an odd observation, given the importance of effective communication. While answering the telephone may appear like a good way to deal with things as they happen, it does mean that the Principal is constantly reacting to the information and problem-solving needs of others. Like chocolate, answering the telephone is an instantly gratifying exercise in so far as it is a highly visible activity; it is also a useful contrast to the nature of a Principal’s conversations with children and fellow teachers during the day. Nevertheless it is probably the single greatest waste of the precious time of a Principal Teacher. If you stop and think about people who are really busy and who consistently get a lot of work done, they are often extremely difficult to contact by telephone. They either use answering machines or simply do not return calls unless they absolutely have to. This should be an essential rule of thumb for busy Principals. If the initial call is really important, then the caller will try to reach you again either by telephone or by some other means.

“…it is probably the single greatest waste of the precious time of a Principal Teacher” Answering the telephone is reactive behaviour, forcing us to respond to another person’s agenda, thus disabling our own capacity to address our own priorities on a daily basis. Try an experiment for one week where you never answer the school telephone. Then introduce a message pad or notebook and take time to train your secretary or senior children (in situations where there is only a part time secretary or perhaps no secretary at all) to ask questions, take messages, screen calls and dispatch basic information. Try to fill the information gap for parents by sending them as much information as possible regularly in writing. The absence of constant telephone interruptions can, if utilised properly, significantly increase the amount of a Principal’s time that is freed up to carry out other more important work.

2 Create blocks of time Some Principals and indeed other busy professionals, prescribe an exercise called ‘blocking time’. For most Principals there are five blocks of time in the day. Before school, opening time to break time, break time to

lunch, lunch to the end of the school day concluding with after school while the children are to be collected or make their own way home. It is easy to be sucked into a cycle of constantly responding to other people’s needs every day. This non stop service would keep three administrators going for every school and is clearly unsustainable. Be ruthless and selfish with your own time. For example some Teaching Principals come to school early each morning and this time is blocked and ring fenced for particular work that he/she wants to get done in preparation for the day ahead or to complete work from the previous day. One Teaching Principal has described how she uses both break time and lunchtime to make herself available to other teachers and staff members in the school. This means that she cannot take part in the playground supervision scheme. However the guaranteed time with the Principal is something the staff appreciates and prioritises over having their Principal on the supervision roster. Similar arrangements can be made for a short period after school, perhaps offering that time for parental contact, appointments etc. It is amazing how few parents will come back after school is over for an appointment with the Principal. Such division of the time blocks during the day allows for clearer focus and less jumping from topic to topic in a whirlwind of unpredictable interruptions.

“Every effective leader has to have time back from the front line where he or she can think, plan, organise, strategise…” Administrative Principals, whilst having no timetabled obligation to teaching time, are typically dealing with vast volumes of interpersonal communications every day. One possible approach involves the Principal being available to teachers and other staff each morning during the first time block up to the mid morning break. One administrative Principal describes how she makes it her business every day to visit every classroom and staff member during this time no matter how brief the visit. For the second time block, from mid-morning break until lunchtime, she retreats to her office and barring ‘life or death’ emergencies uses this time to make phone calls, compose letters, fill out forms, prepare agendas, plan events, work out strategies and above all to have time to think. Every effective PAGE 7

leader has to have time back from the front line where he or she can think, plan, organise, strategise, etc. Such activities are essential if one is to be prepared for important meetings and events that have fixed deadlines. The third time block in the day from lunch until school closure is spent in communication with a variety of external agencies as well as parents. Teaching Principals on an administration day have discovered how easy it is to lose half a day being ‘busy’ in reactive mode to other peoples needs. The lesson here is that we can improve our effectiveness in self-management by developing a daily habit of working in time blocks. Colleagues, parents and even pupils can quickly adjust to this pattern once it is clearly explained to them. The benefits become quickly evident to all.

Primary Education Management Manual An essential resource for every Principal, the Primary Education Management Manual, published by Thompson Roundhall, is written by leading experts and practicing Principals and edited by IPPN’s legal advisor, Principal & Barrister, Mr. David Ruddy. The manual is a unique resource bringing together all the essential Legislation, DES Circulars, Policies and initiatives in a single publication and is available in loose leaf binder and/or CD. In order to make it user friendly it is cross referenced and fully indexed facilitating easy access to information on any chosen topic. Because of ongoing legislative and policy changes, the manual is in loose-leaf format enabling an annual update with replacement pages. See page (RH AD) for the Primary Education Management Manuals advertisement and contact details. In the current climate of constant educational change, IPPN strongly recommend that every Principal / Deputy Principal has a copy of this manual.

IPPN Recommendations to the DES Inspectorate concerning

WSE Review Procedures IPPN welcomes the invitation to comment on procedures for review regarding the Inspection of schools and Teachers under Section 13(9) of the Education Act 1998. This is a timely and important review especially in light of the envisaged publication of WSE reports and the increased public interest and focus on how school evaluations are conducted which will be generated with the publication of these reports. The need for fairness, consistency and transparency will be paramount for Teachers, Principals, Boards of Management, Parents and the Inspectorate. With this new context in mind we invited our Executive to contribute their views on the procedures. The following are IPPN’s key recommendations: 1. IPPN recommends the use of the word ‘Evaluation’ rather than ‘Inspection’ in the revised procedures. ‘Whole School Evaluation’ and ‘Teacher Evaluation’ are more userfriendly terms than ‘Whole School Inspection’ and ‘Teacher Inspection’ and suggest a more collaborative approach. 2. IPPN Executive members believe that the objective criteria to be used in the different stages of the review procedure for inspections on schools and teachers should be clearly stated and included in the Procedures Document. 3. A staged approach for review should be introduced which could involve the following steps where failure to resolve the issue would require advancing to the next stage: a. Informal discussion between the Teacher/ Principal/BoM as aggrieved party (AP) and the Inspector in question b. Formal letter between the AP and the Inspector c. Formal letter to the Assistant Chief Inspector d. Formal letter to the Chief Inspector requesting review e. Chief Inspector to instigate review of evaluation

f. Internal review carried out and reported g. Formal letter requesting Independent external review if required h. Independent external review carried out and reported IPPN’s expectation is that most of the appeals can and will be resolved at the informal and formal stages of consultation with the Inspectorate but those that are not satisfactorily resolved should proceed to independent review stage. This would ensure fairness, consistency and transparency and also protect the integrity of the Office of the Inspectorate and the role of Chief Inspector. An independent review would be conducted where there are still unresolved professional differences of opinion, regarding a school visit or evaluation, following the application of the informal and formal review procedures by the Chief Inspector at the request of a teacher, Principal or BoM of a school. This independent stage of review may only be required in a few cases but it is very much in all education partners’ interests that it is put in place. 4. IPPN recommends that the grievance procedures to be followed where there is any allegation of adult bullying/harassment be clearly referred to in the procedures. This may only arise in a very small number of cases but agreed procedures in line with those currently agreed between INTO and CPSMA for schools and/ or procedures agreed within the civil service should be in place when and if required. 5. The existing guidelines enable the Chief Inspector to allocate another Inspector to review an inspection. In such instances the Inspector appointed should be of a more senior rank than the Inspector whose work is being reviewed. Ideally an Assistant Chief Inspector should carry out the review. Where clear guidelines exist to review an evaluation of a Teacher, Principal or a school, the guidelines must be followed in full. Regardless of which stage is involved, should the review process depart from the PAGE 8

guidelines, the party seeking review should be entitled to trigger independent arbitration. 6. IPPN recommends that this independent review process be carried out under the auspices of the office of the Ombudsman established under the Ombudsman Act 1980. This would be very much in line with current (and proposed) best practice in other sectors and organisations nationally and internationally, where the importance of having the option of independent adjudication is acknowledged. Current allegations against clergy, teachers, accountants, insurance brokers, lawyers and police forces are focusing all our minds on the importance of independent review. Such a review would also protect against any public perception that the Inspectorate is less than transparent. 7. The fourteen-day limit of right to seek review following receipt of a report is inadequate. The impact of a report may not be self evident in such a short length of time. The length of time / statute of limitation enabling one to seek a review should not be linked with the duration of the review process once triggered. It is commonplace in civil law that one would have several years after an "incident" to consider exercising the right to appeal or take legal action. There is no general understanding that a student has up to three years after reaching the year of eighteen during which s(he) may take action for negligence etc. which would have occurred at any stage during his/her education – an incident which may have happened as much as fourteen years earlier. We suggest that in the case of the right to seek review of an inspection, a period of one calendar year would be a more appropriate duration. With reference to the review process itself, the time scale of 42 days must be revised if the further stage of independent review is included, as must the publication of any WSE report pending the completion of an independent review by an Ombudsman or other agreed person or persons.

WSE Why wait?



WSE should be about identifying and affirming the good things that happen in schools and helping to share and spread good practice by pointing to areas where things might be better.


So why not do this yourself? Why wait for the formal WSE? You are constantly looking for ways to make teaching and learning better for your children. Why not record, document, evaluate and publish this?

SURROUNDS THE PROCESS. SOMETIMES, IT IS ABOUT HOW “THEY” DID NOT TAKE “THIS” INTO ACCOUNT OR FAILED TO MENTION “THAT”. The Minister for Education and Science has stated that from January, the results of all Whole School Evaluations will be published and available to anyone who wishes to see them. Evaluation of schools is a reality. The publishing of the results of these evaluations is also a reality. You mention at a staff meeting that you have been notified of an impending WSE. Something like a gasp emerges and knowing looks are exchanged. Then, almost immediately, someone asks the question along the lines of "What do you think they will be looking for?" and someone else says, "I heard he is a fanatic on handwriting". Have you had an experience like this? Almost immediately, the focus moves to the external evaluation. Of course, this is natural. However, we should stop for a moment and ask ourselves, "What is the purpose of evaluation?" There can be many answers, but I would like to suggest that the only valid answer for us as educators is "to help to make things better". School Evaluation is a process that helps to make learning better for our children. And of course, that is part and parcel of what schools and school leaders do all the time – at staff meetings, in between staff meetings, at breaktimes, in the corridor, in classrooms. We are all constantly evaluating what is going on and trying to make changes that will make things better. Maybe we do not document or formalise this all the time. But just think of all the things that occupy your mind as a Principal on a daily basis and look back six months, a year, two years. Have things changed? Are they better? The answer is, invariably, yes.

"More work!" I hear you say. Yes, probably, but maybe worth it…The criteria that the external evaluators use in looking at schools are set down and readily available. These criteria, and details on the ways in which WSE reports will be published will, no doubt, be clarified in the coming months. The DES has already published the following which can be used to devise a framework for schools to use to selfevaluate and self-report. Looking At Our School: An Aid to Self Evaluation in Primary Schools (DES, May 2003) 50 School Reports: What Inspectors Say (DES, Dec 2002) Professional Code of Practice on Evaluation and Reporting for the Inspectorate So how would a DIY school evaluation work? The answer is that you are probably doing most of it already. You could start by taking out the various headings used in “Looking at our School” and doing a quick stocktaking exercise. "How well are we doing this?" followed by "How do we show we are doing this?" You will probably find that in one sitting, off the top of your head and without having to do extensive writing, you will be able to jot down a couple of sentences on each heading. This is a way of taking a quick measure of what a WSE report might say about your school if it were written right now. Take a little time at each staff meeting, get others to take some of the headings between each staff meeting and, over a period of a few months, write your own report on the school. The story of each school is different. Each school has it’s own unique history, situation, clientele and context. Each school has things it does very well and things it needs to get better at. How disarming for an external evaluator to be presented with an ongoing self-evaluation PAGE 9

which affirms and accords with their own findings. This is our school. This is what we do here. This is how we plan. This is how we show what we are doing. This is how we show how well we do it. These are the challenges we face. This is how we are dealing with those challenges. We welcome any help we can get in dealing with those challenges. Of course, we all know that there are a myriad of complex and detailed factors that spread out like tentacles from each main heading that we might consider about our school. There is a danger of becoming overwhelmed when we try to take an overview of the whole operation. Problems loom large and deficiencies stick out like sore thumbs. We are inclined to overlook what is good and what is working, we are inclined to take things for granted because they work well or work OK at the moment. We spend our lives fire-fighting and jumping from one crisis to the next. If you decide to do your own Annual Report, take the time to write-up the things that are OK right now, that you do well right now and don’t be afraid to identify things that you know are problem areas. And then what? At the end of the year, or the beginning of the next school year, publish an annual report. For teachers, staff, Board of Management, parents and anyone else who might like to see it. It might be five years before you have a formal WSE. How less anxious everyone will be if you have, as a matter of routine, an evaluation and reporting process in place that has already published five annual reports in the same format as the WSE report will be written. And, if there are particular challenges that you are struggling with, maybe you will have a history of five years of showing how you address challenge. Take the fear and anxiety out of waiting for your first WSE under the new system to be published. Publish your own annual report. John Curran

School Planning and


Roles and Responsibilities – Planning Section The Role of the Planning section is to ensure sufficient pupil places, to authorise projects and to identify the need for new schools. The Unit also has responsibility for the overall School Building Programme. Traditionally, action is triggered in response to individual applications for capital investment and widespread consultation follows. An in depth analysis of current provision in the immediate area is first undertaken with particular reference to the most recent Census figures available. Cognisance is also taken of Local Authority Area Development Plans and the DES Area Development Plans. The DES Development Plans are drafted in association with the CSA (Commission on School Accommodation) and two plans have already been completed with a number of others in the pipeline. These plans will determine all the capital funding decisions in a given area for the following decade. The Summer Works Scheme (SWS) also comes under the remit of the Planning and Building Unit. This Scheme, which was introduced in 2003, provides capital grants for small scale works which can be completed during the summer months. The Scheme replaces all existing minor works schemes except the Devolved grant.

The School Building Programme The School Building and Modernisation Programme is updated regularly and published on the DES website. The Prioritisation criteria

was outlined in detail in issue 27 of Leadership+. A brief synopsis of the Priority Band Rating applied is as follows. BAND 1 ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL WORKS This rating provides for new schools in a developing area, specialist provision ( e.g. Autism, Special Needs), structural issues and amalgamations. BAND 2 ESSENTIAL This Band provides for the replacement and refurbishment of substandard buildings and inclusion of additional mainstream classrooms. BAND 3 Band 3 caters for the replacement and refurbishment of poor buildings without the requirement for additional mainstream accommodation. BAND 4 Band 4 provides for additional ancillary accommodation e.g. GP rooms, where existing accommodation is deemed adequate.

Factors Influencing Provision The main factors which impact on School Planning and Building include: Special Education Provision A decision to site a special class in a mainstream school requires an immediate response from the Planning and Building Unit. The Demand for Diversity A growing number of parents in this pluralist society are demanding specific educational provision. This is best demonstrated in the growing number of Gaelscolanna and Educate Together schools coming on stream. PAGE 10

Demographics Changing rural and urban landscapes have to be factored into future planning.Major housing schemes and Area Development Plans often dictate where the next new school is to be built. The Pupil-Teacher Ratio The recent announcement of additional Primary Teaching posts by the Minister For Education will have an impact as will the roll out of the General Allocation System which has resulted in an expansion of teacher numbers in some schools. Withdrawal of Religious Orders This phenomenon has resulted in increased amalgamations countrywide, with a consequential need for new buildings. Other factors which impact include the acquisition of sites and curricular reform. School Building The annual Capital Funding Allocation to the Building Section for 2005 was €430m. This has allowed for the completion of almost 100 large scale projects in the current year, whilst another 122 large scale projects went to tender and construction. Design has been initiated on 43 new projects and continues on another 124 projects. In addition, 760 schools were authorised to undertake small scale work on a devolved basis. The Devolved Grant for minor works remains and the per capita rate for Special Schools increased 4 fold in 2004 from €12.70 per student to €58.80. Overall, there are 1,200 projects on the Departments books at present.

Value for Money The DES is placing increased emphasis on value for money in recent years. In 2005 already, an increasing number of projects are being delivered on time and within budget. The DES is achieving this value for money through the use of: Innovative pre-engineered building methods. Design and Build contracts Standard designs. Devolved responsibility to school authorities

STAGE 3 A detailed design is submitted at this stage and the brief and cost parameters are defined. Planning for the operation of the school during the construction phase is agreed and Health and Safety issues including the removal of asbestos are timetabled. The school authorities must also apply for the ‘Per Cent for Art Scheme’ at Stage 3. This is a scheme which allows for 1% of the total cost of the building project (excluding VAT and the contingency sum) to be set aside for a work of art/heritage which can be positioned within the School or on the school grounds.

How a project evolves When the DES decides a project is warranted, a Brief is decided, a Design Team is appointed and the project is included in the School Building Programme. The Design Team is appointed by the Department. This Design Team is responsible to the Board of Management (the client) and NOT the DES. As a consequence significant issues such as Health and Safety legalisation must be addressed by the BOM in conjunction with the Design Team. If is often a good idea for the BOM to appoint a Buildings Committee which does not necessarily have to consist of Board members but rather individuals with expertise in the areas of construction, safety and design and who can ‘drive’ the project on the Schools behalf. The Design Team consists of: Architect Structural Engineer Mechanical and Electrical Engineer Quantity Surveyor

STAGES 4 AND 5 These stages encompass the final design, planning permission and preparation of tender documents. Tender Documentation format is agreed and Fire Certificates obtained. There is also a need for a ‘Plan B’ to be documented in the event of the lowest tender exceeding the agreed budget. STAGES 6 AND 7 These stages deal with the tender and construction process. The school authorities must notify the DES before proceeding to tender. The tender process must be open, fair and objective. The Planning and Building Unit must be advised of the tender outcome before the contract is awarded. If a tender is within budget and documentation such as bonds, pensions and insurances etc. are in order, the successful contractor can go on site and begin work. A Contingency Sum is set aside in the event of unforeseen expenses e.g. flooding, rock breaking etc.

In Brief Call for Mentors Each year approximately 200 new Principal Teachers are appointed. As already mentioned, IPPN and Leadership Development for Schools (LDS) coordinate a Mentoring Programme for these Newly Appointed Principals (NAPs). Each county has a Mentor Organiser whose function is to bring together the new appointee and an experienced Principal Mentor. LDS provides an excellent programme of training for mentors to enable them understand what being a mentor means both in terms of what reasonable practice is for a mentor, what is expected of him/her and equally, what is not part of their role. If you match the following criteria and are willing to provide mentoring support to one NAP this year, please contact the IPPN Support Office or send your details to Suitability as a mentor – possible criteria: • has three or more years experience as a Principal • one who ‘networks’ with other Principals in the normal course of his/her work • has a common sense approach and a practical nature • is willing to give some time on the telephone to an NAP • is both professionally and personally approachable

Once a brief is decides, 15–18 months is spent on design and the contractor is between 12 and 18 months on site.

Stages in the Process STAGES 1 AND 2 These stages involve the early architectural planning and outline sketches. The site is identified and a budget is set for the project.

STAGES 8 AND 9 These stages deal with the competition of the project and the handling over of the new building. During the following 12 months, any snags or defects are made good by the builder (contractor). The final account for the project is agreed and at the end of the defects liability period, provided all parties are satisfied with the finished project, final payments are made.

Martin Hanevy Asst Sec. General

School Planning

School Buildings

Third Level/ Finance

Technical Divisions

Tony Dalton Anne Killian


John Murray PPP David Gordon

Larry McEvoy Martin Heffernan Tony Sheppard


The Planning and Building Unit of the Department of Education and Science is located in Tullamore. The structures within the unit are illustrated left.

• has a sense of professional and personal generosity • is a good listener

Mentoring Service for Newly Appointed Principals One of the very first services IPPN developed was a mentoring facility for newly appointed Principals (NAPs). Taking on the challenge of Principalship today is a far steeper learning curve than years gone by, and every possible support for the newly appointed Principal is generally very much appreciated. Since the establishment of Leadership Development for Schools (LDS), IPPN and LDS have worked together to enhance this mentoring service for NAPs. If you have been appointed to a Principalship since 1st January 2005 and have not been offered the services of a mentor, please contact either IPPN’s Support Office on 1890 21 22 23 • or LDS on 065 6842930 • for details.

As a result of a meeting between IPPN and senior officials of NEWB, which took place last June, the NEWB responded as follows to a list of Principals’ queries as submitted by IPPN.

Questions to the NEWB from IPPN 1. Will the NEWB use the legislation to prosecute parents of persistent non-attendees for whom all other strategies have failed? Yes. The NEWB will use the full powers available to it to ensure that children's rights to education are vindicated. The NEWB has already issued 28 School Attendance Notices and prosecution will be considered in the light of each individual circumstance. 2. Would the NEWB be willing to replace the current multiplicity of absence categories with two more useful categories as follows? 1. Satisfactorily explained absence 2. Unexplained absence The new Reporting system outlined in Reporting Student Absences and Expulsions is designed to reduce the requirement for schools to report via letter every time a student is absent for 20+ days, expelled, suspended for a total of 6 days or more, transferred to another school. The NEWB requires the information outlined to enable Officers to priorities chronic attendance difficulties without engaging in further extensive consultation with schools. However, Officers will not normally make direct contact with a parent without first checking with the school. The NEWB acknowledges that schools have not been categorising absences for the earlier part of this year before the publication of the Guidelines, and that there will be a short "changeover" period. Almost 2000 Primary Schools are already using the new system. 3. Would the NEWB be willing to accept a total of three returns annually, i.e. one per term in place of the present system?

The 5 Reporting periods are designed to ensure that children's absences are reported to the NEWB in a timely manner, so that officers have up-to-date information about children .If a school is using the online reporting system, it will only be necessary to provide updates on information already supplied. 4. What happens to returns that are submitted on paper? Returns submitted on paper are entered onto the system by the NEWB. The data is then made available to EWO's for follow-up as required. The data is then available for the absence information to be updated by the individual school removing the need to repeat the student details, as would be necessary using the paper format. 5. If a school makes returns on paper is it necessary to repeat the same information with every return? If a school is making a paper based return it will be necessary to repeat data already submitted and update data where additional absences have occurred. This is due to the cumulative nature of the reporting. However if you use the website, once the student data is entered on the system it only requires updating of the absence data. 6. What are the advantages of making returns online using The main advantages to using the website are: 1. Student data only needs entry once 2. Absence data is readily available to both school and NEWB 3. There is a standardised format for reporting absences PAGE 12

4. It removes the need to report every time a student reaches 20 days 5. School can produce individual student absence reports or class / year reports. 7. The school year ends officially on 31st August. Why then is the deadline for the end of year report not scheduled for September? Section 21(6) of the Act requires that a school's Board of Management return the Annual Attendance Report, "not later than 6 weeks after the end of (the ) school year." The NEWB's view is that the date set for return of the Report is not later than 6 weeks after the end of the school year. The Act has also enabled the Board to determine the form and content of the Report [Section 21 (7)] The data that we collect through this Annual Attendance Report is used for: 1. Planning the future needs of the service. 2. Making submissions to Government for Resources. 3. Advising the Government on Policy on matters that affect school attendance. 8. What is the role of the NEWB in encouraging good attendance for children less than six years of age? The Act does not require under 6's to attend school. However, good habits start early in life, and the NEWB is committed to encouraging parents to send their young children to school regularly. This will be done through working with Principals of schools, a public information campaign for parents, and the development of guidelines for School Attendance Strategies. If a Principal has a concern about a particular child then the local EWO should be contacted.

9. Some families now regard missing school for up to 20 days as their entitlement and as an acceptable level of school absence. How is the NEWB going to change this perception?

13. Given that attendance is now under the legislative remit of NEWB, what plans are in place to modernise Roll Books, Attendance Books and Registers in line with today's requirements?

The NEWB has an obligation to persuade parents that every (school) day counts in a child's life, and this is the principal thrust of the Board's Strategic Plan 2005-2007. A public information campaign will form an important part of the implementation of this plan. The NEWB cannot of course change this perception on its own – schools are a major partner in the process, working with parents and students on the ground through the implementation of the School Attendance Strategy. The NEWB recommends that each school develop its own Attendance Policy (in consultation with parents), which should be communicated to parents in a timely fashion. This should include the school's expectations re attendance, notifications of absence etc. The Guidelines on Reporting of Absences recently issued contain template letters that can be used by schools in implementing this Policy.

Under the Act, responsibility for school registers and attendance is shared between the DES and NEWB. We are working with the DES to bring clarity to the situation.

10. Hospital schools and Special schools have particular difficulties making returns on the forms as they are currently designed. Are there any plans to modify the forms to take account of these particular types of schools? We have already agreed to meet with the Principals of the Hospital Schools to discuss the implementation of the Guidelines, and would welcome a meeting with the Special Schools. 11. Particular difficulties arise when a child leaves a school, as the 15-day rule (for taking the child off the roll) no longer applies. What will NEWB do about the illogicality of continuing to mark a child absent indefinitely, in the absence of any notification from the receiving school, which may be situated abroad? The NEWB is working with the DES in finding a practical solution to this issue that enables compliance with the Act, ensuring no child "falls through the cracks". We expect to be able to communicate with schools on this issue in the near future. 12. An electronic pupil database for primary school pupils could reduce considerably the administrative burden on schools in relation to attendance. Are there any plans for the development of such a database? The DES is already working on such a database and the NEWB is actively supporting and encouraging its development.

14. Are schools obliged to notify parents when their child has missed 20 days from school or will it suffice to send a general notification of this policy to all parents at the start of each school year? See answer to Q 10. If a child reaches 20 days absence, the school should inform the parent that it is informing the NEWB in line with the school's attendance policy. 15. Is the NEWB supportive of the standardised Student Transfer Form devised by IPPN and NAPD? This form is used for the transfer of all relevant information between schools and provides evidence of enrolment by the receiving school. The NEWB will examine this issue in the near future. In general, the Board is supportive of any initiative that supports children's education. 16. What plans have NEWB for areas of the country that do not have a satisfactory level of service from an EWO at present? Having EWO's covering all areas will depend on resources. The NEWB is currently in the process of appointing Officers to counties which do not have an Educational Welfare Officer - Cavan / Monaghan, Longford, Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Mayo, Galway / Roscommon. Leitrim will be served on a partial basis by the new Senior Educational Welfare Officer based in Sligo town. In addition 2 officers will be appointed to cover long-term leave (maternity, sick leave etc). Further deployment of staff will be decided by the Board as resources permit. 17. How will the NEWB meaningfully consult and work with IPPN in the future order to support Principals in their efforts to comply with legislation and to improve school attendance? The NEWB has regular meetings with IPPN and is committed to this arrangement on an ongoing basis.


The Visiting Teacher Service The Visiting Teacher Service began in 1967 but was not formally established until 1972 as a response to newly identified educational needs of deaf and hearing impaired children enrolled in mainstream schools. It was later expanded to include children with visual impairment and other disabilities. Currently the Service comprises 69 teachers who have experience, expertise and a post-graduate qualification in the fields of hearing impairment, visual impairment and learning disabilities. It is structured into regional groups managed by Divisional Inspectors of the Department of Education and Science. The visiting teacher is involved with children and their families from the diagnosis of the disability - this may be from birth. The visiting teacher is the only professional involved in providing a continuum of support from diagnosis to the end of the pupil's formal education, which is usually at third level nowadays. This work involves: Support and guidance for students, parents and teachers. Direct teaching and demonstration teaching. Provision of information. Recommending and monitoring of specialist equipment. Disability awareness programmes. Monitoring progress. Recommending reasonable accommodation in examinations. Curricular planning and modification. Assessments and evaluations. Liaison and co-ordination with other professionals and agencies.

Risk To laugh is to risk appearing a fool To weep is to risk appearing sentimental To expose true feelings is to risk exposing your true self To place dreams and ideas before the crowd is to risk their love To love is to risk not being loved in return To reach out is to risk involvement To live is to risk dying To hope is to risk despair To try is to risk failure But the greatest Hazard is ‌‌.. To risk nothing For he who risks nothing, does nothing, Has nothing, and finally is nothing He may avoid suffering and sorrow But he cannot feel, change, grow, love! Chained by his certitude he is a slave He has fortified his freedom Only one who risks is free

School Absenteeism The National Educational Welfare Act 2001; Success or Failure? The National Education Welfare Board

d) Munster

e) Meetings with other agencies

(NEWB) published the results of it’s

e) West/North West.

f) Case Conferences

School Attendance Data for the period

g) Legal Notices

January to September 2005. NEWB has

The chart below details the numbers of

h) Court Appearances

divided the County into 5 regions :

a) new cases

i) the number of Education Welfare

a) Dublin City

b) School Visits

Officers in place (EWOs).

b) Leinster North

c) Home Visits

c) Leinster South

d) Letters to Parents

NEWB Region

New Cases

School Visits

Home Visits

Letters to Parents

Meetings with other Agencies

Case Conferences under Children Act 2001

Legal Notices Issued

Court Appearances


Dublin City

Leinster North Leinster South Munster West/North West

2616 2646 1416 1523 785

1193 836 542 1152 444

2085 1836 1137 1780 852

2590 1595 1586 2520 1084

512 497 343 453 252

62 29 20 18 18

7 11 0 13 0

0 0 0 1 3

22 14 14 14 9











Any interpretation of the above chart will indicate a high level of activity on the part of the EWOs and the NEWB. Any school with its own dedicated Education Welfare Officer (EWO) is indeed very fortunate as the service is hopelessly underfunded and resourced. Educational Welfare Officers are persons of the highest professional calibre who do an excellent job in difficult circumstances. However by their own admission the N.E.W.B is becoming a

reactive, firefighting service rather than a Proactive Prevention Focused Service as envisaged by the Education (Welfare) Act 2000. Hence the NEWB is seeking a 78% increase in it’s budget. At the start of 2005 there were 73 (EWOs) this was recently increased by 10 to 83. The Board needs 46 extra (EWOs) as a matter of urgency to provide a basic minimum service. Best international practice would indicate that there should be at least 300 Education Welfare


Officers to provide the Proactive Prevention Focused Service that the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 envisaged. If Minister Hanafin and her officials need any more convincing all they need to do is look at the levels of attendance nationally for Primary & Post Primary Schools (next page). Also note the Data for Absences of 20 days or more.



School Attendance Notices


Post Primary


94.2% or 10 days absence on average for each student

91.6% or 14 days absence on average for each student

Percentage of students absent 20 days or more

10% or 1 in 10

18.8% or almost 1 in 5

The fact that 10% of all Primary Pupils miss 20 days or more is alarming. The figure for Primary Pupils in the most economically disadvantaged areas (Rapid Areas) is shocking at 19% (see the chart below). TABLE 2: DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEVELS OF ATTENDANCE IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN RAPID AREAS AND THOSE IN NON RAPID AREAS Primary Schools


Non RAPID Areas


91.9% or 15 days absence on average for each pupil

94.4% or 10 days absence on average for each pupil

Percentage of students absent 20 days or more

19.3% or almost 1 in 5

9.3% or almost 1 in 11

An examination of the difference in levels of attendance between rural and urban schools shows the countryside pulling ahead in both the most disadvantaged areas. The most disadvantaged urban schools show a massive 24.2% of pupils missing 20 days or more. TABLE 3: DIFFERENCE IN LEVELS OF ATTENDANCE IN URBAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS Primary Schools

Least Disadvantaged

More Disadvantaged


94.9% or 9 days absence on average for each pupil

90.5% or 17 days absence on average for each pupil

Percentage of students absent 20 days or more

6.9% or 1 in 14

24.2% or almost 1 in 4


Least Disadvantaged

More Disadvantaged


95.2% or 9 days absence on average for each pupil

94.5% or 10 days absence on average for each pupil

Percentage of students absent 20 days or more

5.5% or 1 in 16

9.4% or almost 1 in 11

Article 42 of the constitution states that all children in our state have a right to a Primary Education. The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 extends that right to 16 years of Age or 3 years Post Primary Education. Article 42 states that the Primary Educators of the child are the parents. The constitution and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 require parents to ensure that children attend school. Every child is entitled to an appropriate minimum education. Schools are vastly different from the institutions our parents attended. Schools are and should be welcoming places for pupils and parent. An emphasis is put on care and welfare as well as on education. Pupils learn at their own level and the curriculum is modified and adapted to suit different levels of ability. School attendance strategies are used to promote better levels of attendance in school.

Why is it that, 5 years after the enactment of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 that 47,000 Primary School Pupils miss more than 20 days from school each year? Is it that the Act has been a complete failure? It was not a case of the new Act having to deal with a green field site in relation to school attendance. The 2000 Act replaced the School Attendance Act of 1926. The old Act was enforced by School Attendance Officers in the major cities and by the Gardaí nationwide. The Act was framed negatively rather than positively, focusing on punishing offender’s parents rather than assessing the causes of non attendance. Fines were levied on parents for persistent non attendance. A pupil could be removed from a family and placed in an industrial school. PAGE 15

This brings me to Section 25 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000. This Section deals with School Attendances Notices and enforcement. If in the opinion of the NEWB a parent is failing or neglecting to cause his/her child to attend school, an Education Welfare Officer can serve a School Attendance Notice. The notice also informs the parents that it is an offence not to comply with the notice. All reasonable efforts to consult with the parents and the principal of the school will be made before such a notice is served. Parents who contravene such a notice can be prosecuted in the District Court by an EWO. The judge can impose a maximum fine of €635 or one month’s imprisonment or both. If after the initial conviction the parent continues to offend with non attendance by their child, a further prosecution can be brought with a fine of €254 and/or one month’s imprisonment. The court will accept as a full defence by a parent if they can show they have done all that is reasonable to cause the pupil to attend school i.e. the pupil is out of the parent’s control. In such a case the pupil will be referred to the Health Service Executive. Giving the alarming statistics in relation to poor school attendance published by the NEWB as custodians of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, one must wonder have they the bottle for the task? Out of a total of 9000 worst cases, only 31 School Attendance Notices have been issued, i.e. 0.03%. How can we sit easy when there are 47,000 pupils missing 20 days or more and only 31 School Attendance Notices have been issued? To compound this further there have only been a total of 4 court appearances and at the time of print not one single conviction, not one single fine! It is interesting to note that 3 out of 4 court appearances nationally occurred in the West / North West which only has 10% of the Case load. Is it the policy of the NEWB not to pursue convictions in the courts? If so it is a serious error of judgment and a source of grave concern to school Principals and Teachers who are doing their utmost on a daily basis to tackle this problem. This is all carrot and no stick. The Act will not be taken seriously until some of the most extreme cases of school non-attendance and non cooperation with the service are sanctioned by the imposition of a fine. The NEWB state that "absenteeism is one of the strongest factors associated with early school leaving. The strength of this link between missing school and early leaving is confirmed in several research studies". Many schools report that as a result of the Act, parents are less inclined to take pupils out of school for annual holidays. Minor offenders have improved attendance. In general, parents are aware of the Act and do their best to comply with it. Many pupils who are unwell struggle into school each day rather than miss the coveted school attendance certificate. The success or failure of this Act will be decided over the next two or three years. Many school Principals see the NEWB’s efforts as an accountancy exercise as opposed to a care exercise. This is seen as creating massive bureaucracy for schools and not making a meaningful difference. Many school Principals wonder already if it would be better to expand the Home School Liaison Service rather than further resourcing the NEWB. In summary the Minister should recognise the scale of the problem by: a) Giving adequate resources to the NEWB b) Direct the NEWB to implement Section 25 of the Act i.e. more Legal Notices, more court appearances, and ultimately fines for the most blatant offenders. SOURCES 1) Pre Budget Submission 2006 "Highlighting the Cost of School Absenteeism – NEWB". 2) The Education (Welfare) Act 2000.

Budget Estimates for Education CLASS SIZE The allocation of funds for 400 extra Primary School teachers, while very welcome, will not significantly address pupil-teacher ratio in the short term. As significant percentage of these additional teachers will be allocated to disadvantaged areas, as the Minister indicated last February at the IPPN Conference, and will be introduced into the system over a two year period. An increase of €110m has been announced in the allocation for teachers pay in the current year. This may indicate that the government is preparing to tackle class size for children under 9. More details may emerge in the budget.

BOARDS OF MANAGEMENT At the recent NAMBSE Conference in Tullamore, the Minister hinted at increased funding for Management bodies. The recent debates on School Governance has brought the issue of volunteerism to the fore and the time is fast approaching where a model of funding for Management Bodies must be put in place.

CAPITATION GRANTS A modest increase has been provided for in Capitation rates for schools. Provision has been made for an increase of €13 per child and an increase of €6 on the Secretary/Caretaker grant. Special Education Funding has been increased by €80M up to €650M.

SCHOOL BUSES Deadlines have been introduced for the fitting of seatbelts to all school buses and €35 m has been allocated for 2006. This will alleviate overcrowding and bring a welcome improvement to the safety of children. The overall School Transport Budget is up 30% to €152M. The Minister also announced that additional resources would be directed towards Professional Development. Funding is also to be made available for improvements to standardised testing of pupils at primary level at a cost of €3M.

Island Schools One of the most challenging posts for a Principal teacher is that of being Principal of a school in one of our island communities. The added level of isolation brings with it a whole new dimension to the sense of being removed from the 'system'. As a response to recent conversations with Island school Principals a specific mailing list has been set up to facilitate professional dialogue, resource sharing and general peer support. Any Principal of an island school can join this list by sending an e-mail to


Updated Primary School Data There are 3155 primary schools in the state 26 new schools have been recognised since 2003 1439 schools have 4 teachers or less. This represents 46% of the total number of Primary Schools in the state 867 schools have between 5 and 9 teachers. This represents 27% of the total number 849 schools have 10 or more teachers, i.e. 27% There are 719 primary schools in the state with fewer than 50 pupils i.e. 23% of all schools €206m has been invested in the primary sector in 2005

“Schools are places where young people go to watch old people work”

Public Private Partnerships A new method being introduced for the delivery of pubic infrastructure and services is the concept of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). Already, significant projects such as the Cork School of Music, the National Maritime College and the Grange Gorman Project are proceeding through this method.

What Are PPPs? Private Public Partnerships are contractual arrangements between the Public and the Private Sectors for the delivery of projects which up to now, would have been provided via traditional Private Sector procurement. The main characteristic of the process is that there is a significant level of risk taken on by the Private Sector, particularly in relation to construction and operational risks. The contractual arrangement lasts for 25 years, and management reverts to the Department at the end of the contract period. The Department of Education recently announced the allocation of €300m for 27 new school projects to be delivered through the PPPs, four of them being primary schools. All of these schools will be completed by 2009. The schools are bundled into projects on a geographical basis. A bundle normally consists of 4-6 schools. The bulk building reduces overall cost and ensures accelerated delivery of

schools as there is no payback to the private sector operators until the project is finished and operational.

Characteristics of a PPP The private sector shoulders a high level of risk when taking on a project bundle. The main risk is in ensuring the project is on time and within budget. The next significant step is an operational one. For the 25 year duration of the contract, the operator is responsible for cleaning, maintenance, security and ancillary staff. However it is important to stress that the management and day-to-day running of the schools remains the responsibility of the school authorities. The state also retains legal ownership of all the properties. Unitary payments to the operator are subject to a satisfactory performance over the 25 years of the contract. A financial penalty is automatically imposed if a satisfactory level of service is not delivered on an ongoing basis. The operator will get a good return on his investment only if he delivers an optimum product. This can only be to the benefit the school authorities in the long run. The first bundle of four midland schools has been announced and will go to market in mid 2006. The procurement process to select a preferred bidder takes about a year. The remaining bundles will be rolled out during 2006/07.

Since September these principals have: Founded a support group Identified their priority need to have a second adult in the school because of Health and Safety concerns. Written to all 166 TDs. Held a meeting with the DES regarding their concerns. Achieved significant media coverage on the health and safety issues which are specific to one teacher schools. Set up a communications structure through IPPN for the group using phone, text and e-mail.

Would you like to be able to send a brief message to the parent in your school at short notice? Unpredictable events e.g. enforced school closure no heating etc Last minute timetable change e.g. cancellation of sports day Timetable change e.g. a reminder of early closing for staff meeting Happy announcement e.g. victory in sports final For large schools – reminding staff about a particular event.

One Teacher Schools Support Group Impressive progress has been made by this Principals’ Support Group since their formation in September 2005. They have involved IPPN in providing professional guidance and support. The INTO is addressing issues of pay and conditions.

Established a Professional Resources section which is accessible through the IPPN website. Arranged for an IPPN Professional Development Facilitator to plan for future.

How can I use texta-parent to send messages to the parents in our school? Arrange for the collection of the parents’ mobile telephone numbers

Led by Sligo Principal, David McVeigh, the Network is now actively pursuing additional funding to ensure a second adult is available to the Principal at all times on Health and Safety grounds. The Department of Education has already agreed that an additional mainstream class teacher can be appointed with immediate effect to schools with a minimum of 12 recognised pupils.

Log on to

IPPN was very happy to assist with the formation of the group and hopes that the current campaign will be continue to be successful.

Follow the on-screen instructions which enables you to type your short message & specify the mobile telephone numbers to which the message will be sent


Register your contact details Send cheque to IPPN to purchase "credit" for the cost of the text messages When your cheque is received, a text message will be sent to you informing that your account has been set up and is ready for use

O Study Visit to

ntario Peter Long, Principal, Scoil Ide, Corbally, Limerick

IPPN were invited by the DES to nominate a Principal to be part of a delegation to visit Ontario and view the Canadian education system. I was fortunate enough to be invited. Minister Hanafin had planned to lead the delegation but was disappointed that urgent government business prevented her from travelling. Travelling apart, it was a four-day trip, which was hosted by the Council of Ontario Directors of Education. It was fascinating to see another system closeup, and after a day in the Ministry being briefed on many aspects of the system, going out to schools to see policy in action. I’ll briefly outline some of the aspects of the visit and how I think they compare to our system. Literacy and Numeracy The Ministry has established a Secretariat to deal exclusively with this and there is huge public consciousness of the their importance. Work is underway on identifying "lead teachers" in schools and enabling them to use their experience to improve teaching in these areas. We saw one "demonstration classroom" where three teachers could come and watch a "lead teacher" at work. This has huge possibilities in our system as many schools have very experienced teachers who might feel more comfortable in passing on their expertise in small settings in their own schools. The teacher we spoke to had her own ideas gained from classroom experience and was using these as examples rather than "singing" from a Ministry "hymn sheet". What were described as "turnaround teams" were said to be available to schools, which had difficulty in

improving scores. These teams were to come into the schools to work directly with teachers in improving teaching and learning. Assessment Looms large for everyone in the system with province wide assessment for all children at certain ages. On a grading scale on A, B, C, D in Literacy and Numeracy, the stated aim is to have 75% of children at, or above B grade level by 2008. The tests used will be Curriculum based rather than Standardised. The tests are available on Many schools acknowledge that they will have difficulty in achieving this. While realising that there is no direct co-relation, it seems to me that if 75% of children are achieving above a given level then that level is the equivalent of the 25th percentile. For the last couple of years in my own school we have used comparisons between standard scores in literacy, numeracy and a non-verbal reasoning test to give us an indication if pupils are scoring at their ability level- aiming extra help at those who don’t. The Canadian system seems to be politically driven, possibly to the extent that the scores are meaningless. All schools publish their scores in relation to what percentage of pupils have achieved the grade required. Teacher Evaluation The Principal evaluates each teacher every three years. This takes the format of a preevaluation meeting setting down what will be looked for and at, the evaluation itself during PAGE 18

which the Principal watches the teacher at work and examines the preparation and record keeping of the teacher, a post-evaluation meeting outlining the observations of the Principal and a written report is given to the teacher and the District. This is the inspection process, which in one form or another is done by our inspectorate at the moment. Principals in Ontario were seeking to have the period extended to five years as it a hugely time consuming job.

If this is what lies in the future for us as Principals – and this would seem to be the intention of the DES - it needs to be very carefully considered. Specialist Teachers PE and Music teachers are employed. The larger schools have their own and smaller schools are catered for with what they describe as "itinerant " teachers. I found this particularly interesting; as I believe personally it is a route we should follow. I think it is unrealistic to expect excellence from classroom teachers in such a wide range of subjects and not enough time is dedicated to these subjects at pre-service. It has the added bonus of freeing class teachers to undertake Professional Development in this time.

Career Structure If a teacher is interested in becoming a Vice Principal they must undertake certain recognised courses, which incidentally are provided by the Ontario Principals’ Council, which has direct links to IPPN. With these courses done, application is made to the District for a VP post. A number of interviews are undertaken and if successful the person is placed on a waiting list for appointment. When a suitable post becomes available the person is appointed but not in his or her own school. Similar courses are undertaken for Principalship but you cannot become a Principal without having first been a VP. Again after a successful period as VP, you can be appointed as Principal but again in a different school. Principals are moved to new schools every five or six years. Principals may apply for posts as Superintendents and then as a Director. There is a clear career path to follow for those interested.

Principals and Deputy Principals are prohibited from Teacher Union membership since the late ‘90’s. Opinion on the ground among Principals seems evenly divided as to whether this is a good development. Professional Development Professional Development is a major feature in schools with most staff meeting time dedicated to Professional Development and curricular focus. Districts also organise PD for teachers are well as Principals and Vice Principals. In our system our main role in school – Instructional Leadership- takes a back seat to less important but more urgent matters. Poor policy development particularly in relation to Special Ed. has absorbed much of Principals’ time as have maintenance issueshandled at Board level generally in Ontario. Extra focus on this area would benefit the children in our schools greatly. I was also struck by the generally positive attitude of teachers and school leaders. The focus was on what was possible rather than what wasn’t. The Ministry also seems to have a positive focus, motivated by improvement first, rather than running a bare bones operation. Our education system lacks the "joined-up" thinking that makes change possible. Special Education Integration of children with special needs is central to the system but an interesting comment from one Principal was that "the child was integrated in the school rather than in a class". Various techniques were used including individual teaching, withdrawal of groups, team teaching- much as we do. All schools we saw had smaller resource rooms for

withdrawal of children. Psychological support was available through the District system rather than through outside agencies- another example of "joined-up thinking". Interestingly speech therapy/pathology was provided through an Educational model rather than the Health model as is done here. Immigrant Children Canada experiences huge immigration each year and is struggling like ourselves to cope at school level. The debate on multi-culturalism is an on-going one with the Premier of Ontario recently declaring that there would be no "faith-based law" instituted. This was in response to growing demands for Sharia Law in some areas. A curriculum has been developed for language learners and is available on Much of the research in this area has been done by Prof. Jim Cummins- an Irishman living in Canada. School Facilities Even though some of the schools we saw were built in the 1950’s the maintenance was excellent. The newer schools had a teacher input to their design. It makes sense to ask those who use a building what it should look like. The newest building in my school was built in 1999- we weren’t given any input to its design. All primary schools we saw had purpose built gyms dedicated to PE. We were told that smaller schools shared facilities with some high schools and the children were bussed to these. The district also operates the bus fleet so cost to schools is not a factor. Computer Labs were spacious and well stocked. It is clear that there is a serious political will to value teachers and educationsalaries and facilities are good. Accountability for the educational outcome is part of this equation. Class Size A lesson for our own Government: Promise made- Promise kept! The Government is on track to reach its target of 20 children in all classes from JK to Grade 3 by 2007/2008. This includes the commitment to specialist teachers, as they believe that it will enhance the educational experience of children. Catholic Boards A sense of purpose is a vital ingredient of most successful ventures. I was impressed by the Catholic Boards’ clear vision of their role. They know who they are. They say what they do, and by and large they do what they say – and not a cleric in sight! Maybe a vision for the future! In Ireland we lack the "joined up thinking" that has great support benefits for Principals and schools. There is huge focus and acknowledgement in Ontario of the leadership role of the Principal and attempts to allow the Principal to focus on the core business of every school-the child. Perhaps the time has come to promote similar acknowledgement in Ireland. PAGE 19 The fastest way to find a substitute teacher for your school. Simply log on and upload the contact details of the school, the nature of the vacant class and the minimum duration for which the sub is required. This information is then automatically sent by text message to all substitute teachers who have registered their mobile phone numbers with Hundreds of teachers, in all counties, registered to receive text-a-sub notifications Only the substitute teachers that are available will receive your text message. The Principal / DP can offer a school, home or mobile number to receive a call from subs The Principal / DP then chooses from the most suitably experienced / qualified teachers that reply. This service is totally free!

"I have noticed that happy people are constantly evaluating themselves and unhappy people are constantly evaluating others." Dr. William Glasser

Go Games Traditionally in Gaelic games, there has been a tendency to nurture the perceived best and to the neglect of the rest. This has arisen from the adult training and adult conditions that we have expose our young players to, and has led to a situation where many players who - for a variety of reasons - develop at a different rate to their peers drop out of Gaelic games due to a lack of confidence in their ability, a lack of playing time and lack of fun. In recent years, there has been a greater appreciation and increased recognition of the need to ensure that a child-centred approach is adopted where the promotion and development of Gaelic games is concerned. In other words, it should be a case of children first, winning second.

What are the Go Games? The GAA has responded to this need by designing six individual skill development games, known as Go Games. Go Games are small-sided, modified rules games in both Hurling (Go Hurling) and Gaelic Football (Go Gaelic) called First Touch (under 8), Quick Touch (under 10) and Smart Touch (under 12). Each of the games is accompanied by a series of coaching classes which provide coaches with the ability to develop the specific skills for each game. The games are progressive in terms of the Technical, Tactical and Team Play challenges they present as the children become more competent, while the physical demands are also increased as the children develop physically.

Why are Go Games important? The Go Games are the first step in the Pathway to Elite Performance (PEP). The Pathway has been designed to ensure that all participants Play to Learn, Learn to Compete and, with time, Compete to Win as they progress through its four stages: the Recreation Stage (Fun Do), Talent Identification Stage (Can Do), the Talent Transfer Stage (Want To) and the Elite Performance Stage (Will Do). In essence Go Games provide the fundamental playing opportunity for young Gaelic Games players.

Research on the Go Games Small-sided games have been used for many years in a wide range of sports as a way of developing the tactical and technical abilities of players of all ages. However, to date there has been a distinct lack of scientific research to validate their use. Research conducted at DCU, under the guidance of Prof Niall Moyna has shed some light on this, and was a crucial reference in the development of the Go Games. The research, conducted by Mickey Whelan, was based on a number of hypotheses: The physical response would be greater during a 7-a-side game than a 15-a-side game. Individual involvement – in terms of intentional ball contacts – would be greater during a 7-a-side game than a 15-a-side game. Levels of enjoyment and perceived competence would be greater during a 7-aside game than a 15-a-side game. Modifying the playing area of the 7-a-side game to ensure that each player had the same playing area to ‘work’ in allowed researchers to negate any influence of a greater playing area on the physical or technical data. By tracking the same 7 players in a 15 and 7-a-side game (each of 30 minute duration) the data showed that the players were subjected to a greater physical demand in the small-sided game, while the number of intentional ball contacts, over a range of skills – including catches, kicks and scoring attempts, were significantly higher in the modified game. Players also reported a greater level of enjoyment and had higher levels of perceived confidence playing the 7-a-side game than the PAGE 20

15-a-side game. Players worked harder, got possession of the ball more often and had an increased number of opportunities to score in the small-sided game – who wouldn’t enjoy it more!

Playing Go Games A summary of the Go Games playing rules is illustrated in figures 2 and 3. These playing rules are not necessarily set in stone – there is no reason why the rules cannot be modified to meet the varying needs and abilities that coaches meet ‘on the ground’. However, the philosophy of the Go Games - to promote full participation and fair play while catering for the developmental needs of the participants – is central to their success, as is the principle of ensuring that each player gets to play the entire game and experiences a number of different playing positions during each game. These are the true value of Go Games.

Refereeing Go Games Go Games are not only about Fair Play in the sense that all participants should get the opportunity to participate fully in the games. They are about Fair Play in terms of developing sportsmanship and in terms of respecting the opposition, respecting the match officials and respecting the game and a number of rules have been included specifically to reinforce these elements. Go Games also provide an ideal opportunity to introduce young Referees to our games. It is recommended that children as young as 12 would referee Go Games and to this end a course has been developed to provide them with the knowledge and capabilities to do so. With positive support and mentoring there is no reason why they cannot!

Implementing Go Games The Go Games were launched nationally on the 14 th of September at Croke Park, by Minister for Art, Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue along with GAA President Sean Kelly and Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, John Treacy. Each County is currently in the process of appointing a Go Games Coordinator – one for Hurling and one for Gaelic Football, if needs be – and these, in turn, will have responsibility for training Go Games Coordinators in every Primary School and Underage Club. Over 3,000 Primary Schools throughout the country will receive vouchers to redeem against Go Games equipment to aid with the promotion of the games. The national Primary Schools Gaelic games organisation – Cumann na mBunscol – will implement the Go Games as part of their series of initiatives in the coming school year. Other initiatives in the Fun Do stage of the Pathway to Elite Performance (PEP), including the ABC/Have-a-Ball Nursery Programmes,

Coaching Classes, Ú Can Skill Awards and Summer Camps, provide focussed assistance in ensuring that dropout is reduced, participation is maximised and every player is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential. The Go Games concept has been devised and developed by Pat Daly (GAA Head of Games), in conjunction with Jimmy D’Arcy (Coaching and Refereeing Coordinator) and Peter Horgan (National Projects Coordinator) Go Games development by the Provincial Games Managers: Hurling: Joey Carton (Munster), Noel Delaney (North Leinster), Lester Ryan (South Leinster) and Tom Fitzpatrick (St Patrick’s Teacher Training College, Drumcondra) Football: John Tobin (Connacht), Ger O’Connor (Dublin), Terence McWilliams (Ulster) and Pat O’Shea (Munster) More information on the Go Games is available on the Games Development section of the GAA website: Email:

Extensive Range of School Stationery, Art and Resource Materials O’Connell Street, Birr, Co. Offaly Contact: Tom Kelly Tel: 086 3259625


Under 8

Under 10

Under 12





Pitch Dimensions

45m x 40m

65m x 40m

100m x 40m


3 Zones

3 Zones

No Zones

Duration Sliothar Outfield Play

4 x 7 mins 4 x 8 mins Size 1 Size 2 • All on the ground • On the ground • No solo Catch & strike • No kicking Lift, catch & strike • No solo • No kicking

2 x 20 mins Size 3 • Catch & Strike • Lift & Strike • No solo • No kicking


Under 8

Under 10

Under 12





Pitch Dimensions

45m x 40m

65m x 40m

90m x 40–50m


3 Zones

3 Zones

No Zones

Duration Football Outfield Play

4 x 7 mins Size 1 • No solo • No fist/hand passing • No kicking • Pick up allowed

4 x 8 mins Size 2 • Limited solo • Pick up allowed • Non-Dominant Qrts 2,4

2 x 20 mins Size 3 • Limited solo • Pick up allowed


Electronic Version of the Substitute (Casual/Non Casual) Claim Form being developed. There is good news on the horizon in relation to the substitute claim form used to provide information to the Department for the payment of substitute teachers in Primary Schools. The Department of Education and Science is currently developing an Online Claim System referred to as O.L.C.S. The On Line Claim System is a web based system which will enable Primary, Secondary and Community/ Comprehensive schools to input claims for the payment of casual and non casual teachers and teacher absences online, using a P.C. in the school. The OLCS offers a number of advantages over the current system. There will be a reduction in the overall level of administration in submitting claims. For example:the requirement to complete all personal details each time a claim is submitted will be eliminated if the person has been employed in the school previously, Less time to complete details of absences as system provides more options to choose from.

The posting of each claim will also be eliminated as the data submitted will be transferred directly to the payroll. All previous claims and leave records will be accessible for viewing by the School Authorities. The development of the system is progressing satisfactorily. A number of Principals, teachers ,chairpersons and school secretaries will assist the Department with the user testing of the system to ensure that it is working satisfactorily. It is hoped to commence the user testing in April, 2006. It is hoped to commence a pilot in a small number of primary schools in early May. The Department will hold meetings with the IPPN representative on a regular basis in 2006 to keep us advised of progress on the system. It is hoped to begin the rollout to the larger primary schools in late 2006/early 2007. Personnel using the system will be given training in advance. There will also be user manuals issued to all Boards of Management to assist in using the system. A helpdesk facility will also be provided to assist with any difficulties that may arise.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) The Role of the Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO) There are 80 Special Education Needs Organisers appointed to date. Their role is by and large a facilitating one. At present the SENO has a deciding role around the allocation of Resource teaching hours and SNA hours to schools with Special Needs pupils. The SENO also has a recommending role in relation to assistive technology and school transport for children with SEN. Special Needs Assistants are allocated by the SENO to a student who has specific care needs. This care need arises when the student has needs attributed to an identified physical, medical or behavioural disability. Care needs are not learning needs and should be clearly recommended and outlined in a relevant professional report. PAGE 22

The simplest way to advertise vacancies in your school Free Unlimited Advertising for Teachers, SNAs, etc. Adverts uploaded online – no paperwork Adverts automatically removed after closing date Repeat Adverts as required – service totally free! 2,711 teachers currently registered for automatic email alerts

Newly-appointed Principals IPPN offers its congratulations to the following Newly Appointed Principals who were not listed in the last issue of Leadership+. This list includes first time Principals, Acting Principals and experienced Principals who have taken up new appointments. Derek Grant, Kilmore Central NS, Cavan

Deirble Nic Conghamhna, Scoil Neasain, Dublin 5

Patricia Foley, Ratoath Junior NS, Meath

Ena Kilcoyne, Drumkilly NS, Cavan

Mairead Mhic Donncha,Scoil Mhic Dara, Galway

Colm Gallagher, Scoil Muire Naofa, Meath

Noel Murphy, Ballycar NS, Clare

Maura Burke Hardiman, Ballymacward Central NS, Galway

Carmel Gildea, Deravoy, Monaghan

Sheridan, Scoil na mBráithre, Clare

Orlaith Breathnach, SN Inis Meain, Galway

PádraigÓ Cuinneagáin, Gaelscoil Eois, Monaghan

Helen Walmsley, SN Seandrona, Cork

Anne Walsh, SN Oilibhear Naofa, Kerry

Anne Ryan, Kilronan NS, Roscommon

Carmel Ní Chiardha, Scoil na nÓg, Cork

Diarmaid ó Déasúnaigh, Convent NS, Kerry

John Mahon, St Ronans NS, Roscommon

Máire Dhuibhir, Scoil Mhuir, Cork

Cathal Fitzgerald, Scoil Réalta Na Maidine, Kerry

Phelim Henry, Cloontuskert NS, Roscommon

Dónal Conway, Scoil Eoin, Cork

Sheila Egan, Rathmorrell National School, Kerry

CatherineMcGinty, Scoil N Mhuire, Sligo

Lawrence Collins, Scoil Íosagáin, Cork

Fiona O' Reilly, Scoil Bhríd, Kildare

Frank O'Sullivan, Rathcormac NS, Sligo

Angela Keane, Little Angels School, Donegal

Robbie Jameson, Rathmore NS, Kildare

FionaRyan, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Tipperary

Bláithín NicLoingsigh, Scoil Treasa Naofa, Donegal

Rachel Treacy, Wandesforde NS, Kilkenny

Louise Tobin, SN na Grainsí. Tipperary

Jacquie Campbell, St Andrews College JS, Dublin

MoiraConnor, Kolbe SS, Laois

Evelyn Smyth, Roscomroe NS, Tipperary

Mary Hogan, Scoil Cholmcille, Dublin

Laura Tully Nicholson, Diffreen NS, Leitrim

Fidelma Gaffney, St Tola's NS, Westmeath

Leah Ní Mhaoláin, Gaelscoil Uí Earcáin, Dublin

Nuala Taaffe, St Josephs NS, Leitrim

Pauline Coughlin, St Marys NS, Westmeath

Terry Allen, St Mochtas NS, Dublin

TeresaKearney, St Mels NS, Longford

Mary Costello, St Oliver Plunkett BNS, Westmeath

Fintan McCutcheon, Balbriggan Educate Together, Dublin

Edel Uí Bhroin, Scoil Aonghusa, Louth

Tony Heuston, Gusserane NS, Wexford

Tom Mullins, St Marys BNS, Dublin 14

Marie Fallon, St Johns NS, Mayo

Eithne Doyle, St Brigids NS, Wicklow

Suzy Doyle, Notre Dame Junior School, Dublin 14

Gerard Conroy, Irishtown NS, Mayo

NiamhCampion, Newtown NS, Laois

Sean Sheehan, St Ciarans NS, Dublin 15

MarieMaughan, SN Beal an Mhuirthead, Mayo This is a ‘closed’ mailing list, meaning that it is a private mailing list for Principals who have been appointed in the calendar year 2005. The purpose of the mailing list is to provide Newly Appointed Principals (NAPs) an opportunity to engage in professional dialogue on-line where they can share experiences, pose questions, consider scenarios etc. The added value for NAPs subscribed to arises from the facilitation role played by Angela Lynch (IPPN Executive). Angela will on a weekly/fortnightly basis, introduce topics that are current for the particular time of the year e.g. Parent/ Teacher meetings, class allocation etc. NAPs will engage in their own problem solving and sharing of ideas whilst under the facilitation and support of Angela. This mailing list facility is designed to act as a supplementary and complimentary service to both the Misneach (Residential) Programme and the Mentoring Service, all of which blend together to provide a more comprehensive level of support and guidance for NAPs. If as a NAP you haven’t received an e-mail to date from, simply send an e-mail to with your name, roll number and mobile number to subscribe.

Empowering the Special Schools ‘The role of the special school is becoming more challenging in responding to the needs of children and parents – parents who are dealing with particular emotions themselves’. So stated Minister of Education Mary Hanafin when she recently addressed the National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education (NAMBSE) Annual Conference in Tullamore.

PROVISION OF SUPPORT The Minister pledged support for Special Schools and Special Classes as Centres of Excellence through: Financing the training of Boards of Management through the local Education Centres Enabling the National Council of Special Education (NCSE) to become increasingly specialised in delivering a quality and co-ordinated service Empowering the NCSE to guide policy into the future in relation to the Special Education Appeals Board which becomes active in April 2006 PAGE 23

Making it more attractive for Occupational and Speech and Language therapists to work in a special school setting Facilitating the Special Education Support Service (SESS) to offer enhanced services in the areas of Autism, Dyslexia and Challenging Behaviour. Enabling the SESS in involving more second level schools to make provision for Special Needs as the ‘tsunami of change’ approaches Providing Professional Development in 3 phases to whole school staffs in the form of summer courses through local Education Centres. Completing a review of Special Schools and Classes with the information gathered being used to enhance the work of the NCSE. The Minister Stressed that policy formation would remain the remit of Special Education in Athlone. The Minister also stated that the proposed publication of WSE reports would reflect positively on Special schools they would allow the public an opportunity to appreciate the top quality delivery of service that is being provided in these Centres of Excellence.

IPPN Conference 2006 Thursday 2nd February to Saturday 4th February 2006 CityWest Hotel, Dublin Workshops include...

Keynote Speakers

Clarifying the Role of Principal / BoM Managing Irresolvable Conflict Leadership Development Newly Appointed Principals Long Serving Principals The Teaching Principal Child Protection - No Room for Error Special Ed - Looking to the Future Multiple Intelligences Effective School Communication Staff Meetings - Getting it right SDP - From the Shelf to the Class Room Code of Professional Conduct What is expected of Teachers & Principals

Mary Hanafin, TD Minister for Education & Science

Prof. Michael Fullan Ontario Institute of Education

Prof. John West Burnham Learning & Educational Leadership

Paddy Flood National Co-ordinator LDS


Conference Facilitator: John Bowman Chair of Education Questions & Answers

Accommodation is not reserved by IPPN. It is up to each attendee to arrange his/ her own accommodation and to settle accounts in full on departure. A special rate has been negotiated for you by IPPN with CityWest Hotel. There is ample accommodation in this hotel for everyone attending the conference.


Conference Application Forms have been issued to all schools and places are allocated on a strict first come first served basis. The closing date for application is Wednesday, 14th December, 2005. IPPN Conference 2006 is open to IPPN Members Only. Please ensure you have renewed for 2005/6. 18 Workshops will be offered to the participants attending IPPN Conference 2006. In order to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity in selecting their choice of workshop, the allocation of workshops will be processed in advance through Once the Workshop Registration Facility has been made available in Mid-December, you will be notified by e-mail and by SMS text message. Correspondence will only be sent to the e-mail address provided in our membership database. We would ask you to ensure this address is active and up-to-date.


CityWest Hotel, Saggart, Co Dublin. Tel: 01 401 0500 â‚Ź100 Single B&B per night Please quote 'IPPN Conference' at time of booking â‚Ź120 Twin/Double per night

Leadership+ Issue 29 December 2005  
Leadership+ Issue 29 December 2005