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ISSUE 104 / MAY 2018





Gone are the days when Deputy Principals (DPs) performed a set list of pre-agreed duties or simply deputised for the Principal on occasions when they were absent. DPs are an integral part of the school’s leadership team.


The View of the Deputy Principal Jan O’Sullivan tells us how the Deputy Principal is a key player in the everyday effective running of the school and in leading teaching and learning in the school.



Staff Wellbeing for Dummies



Deputy Principals as Co-Leaders

Progressing Disability Services

The Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People programme aims to achieve a national approach to delivering disability health services, so that there is a clear pathway to the services needed for all children.

Legal Diary


David looks at what is needed to be GDPR ready.

Under Pressure





+ Leadership


Angela Lynch gives effective tips on how to handle time management in your busy environment.

Irish Primary Principals’ Network, Glounthaune, Co. Cork • 1890 21 22 23 •

Cóilín Ó Coigligh tells us how improving staff wellbeing can improve the happiness of the school community all-round.




Editor: Geraldine D’Arcy Editorial Team: Geraldine D’Arcy, Páiric Clerkin and David Ruddy Comments to: Advertising: Sinead Coakley ISSN: 1649-5888 Design: Brosna Press

The opinions expressed in Leadership+ do not necessarily reflect the official policy or views of IPPN

Signposts ISSUE 104 / MAY 2018


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

PROGRESSING DISABILITY SERVICES for Children & Young People MARION MEANY HEAD OF REFORM, DISABILITY SERVICES, HSE The Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People programme aims to achieve a national approach to delivering disability health services, so that there is a clear pathway to the services needed for all children regardless of where they live, what school they go to or the nature of their disability or delay. Under this programme, all clinical resources from various service providers within a defined geographical area will be pooled to form Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs). These CDNTs, along with HSE Primary Care services, will provide for all children with a disability, based on need, not diagnosis.

Under this programme, all clinical resources from various service providers within a defined geographical area will be pooled to form Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs).

Many children with non-complex difficulties in areas of function and participation will have their needs met by their local Primary Care services (public health nurse, community speech and language therapy, family doctor, community physiotherapy etc). Children with complex functional difficulties will be directed to CDNTs as per the HSE’s National Policy on Access to Services for Children with a Disability or Developmental Delay. 56 such teams are in place and a further 82 are to be established this year to complete the full complement covering the country.


ASSESSMENT OF NEED The Disability Act (2005) provides for an Assessment of Need (AoN) of people with disabilities. Any child born on or after June 1st 2002 suspected of having a disability is eligible to apply for an AoN, which will detail his / her health needs arising from the disability. The Act does not define this assessment and, the process is not standardised across the country, and this has contributed to significant delays in the process. In addition, resources are being targeted in some areas almost exclusively towards assessment with some children receiving very limited intervention. To drive a more consistent approach nationally and a re-focus on interventions for children as soon as is possible, the HSE has recently implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for the AoN process. As required by the Act, an Assessment of Need report for a child must state: a whether he / she has a disability b the nature and extent of the disability c the health needs occasioned by the child with a disability d the services considered appropriate to meet the needs of the child and the period of time for provision of those services. From April 30th, an AoN will include a Preliminary Team Assessment that will identify in addition to the above, initial interventions and any further assessments that may be required and will usually be undertaken by a children’s disability service. While not required by the Act, diagnostic assessments will continue to be provided, as appropriate, and these will be captured in the child’s Service Statement as part of the AoN process.

The preliminary team assessment will provide sufficient information to determine whether or not the child meets the definition of disability in the Act. Children who meet this definition will then receive a ‘service statement’ that will outline the services to be provided and the timeline for same. Children with less complex needs, who do not have a disability, can continue to access services through primary care.

While not required by the Act, diagnostic assessments will continue to be provided, as appropriate, and these will be captured in the child’s Service Statement as part of the Assessment of Need process. Children will, where necessary, receive initial interventions while waiting for any further assessment per their AoN service statement. The following people can apply for an AoN on behalf of a child / young person: A parent / guardian A personal advocate assigned by the Citizen’s Information Board. The Act does not allow for applications to be submitted by teachers. Under the revised Standard Operating Procedure, Assessment Officers can no longer continue to accept applications for AoNs from teachers.

May 2018



as Co-Leaders Deputy principalship looks different in 2018. Gone are the days when Deputy Principals (DPs) performed a set list of pre-agreed duties or simply deputised for the Principal on occasions when they were absent. DPs are an integral part of the school’s leadership team adding positively to the school’s leadership capacity. They are coleaders working in partnership with the Principal and with other colleagues. As far back as 2006, an IPPN publication Giorraíonn Beirt Bóthar promoted a model of distributed leadership for schools through seeking to recognise and affirm Deputy Principals as key partners in providing quality leadership and quality learning in our schools. It was that same rationale that prompted IPPN to automatically include the DP, along with the Principal, as members when a school joined. But, while advocating for and supporting principals down through the years, we now recognise that the specific needs of DPs also need our attention. With this in mind we intend to expand further our services to DPs. We have engaged with focus groups around the country as to how best this should be done. We have also convened a special interest group of DPs to explore how IPPN might develop a mentoring service specifically for DPs. We have been working with Education Centres to set up Deputy Principal Support Groups similar to those attended by Principals. We would strongly encourage all DPs to attend such groups. Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. Along with this we have also expanded our Summer Schools to meet the specific needs of DPs.

PÁIRIC CLERKIN AND DAVID RUDDY In May 2016, we surveyed Deputy Principals - almost 400 responded and 70% suggested that the role is ‘not well defined.’ This could be construed as a positive thing, leaving each school the freedom to develop within its own individual dynamic rather than being constrained by a tightly defined job spec. It might also explain why almost half the Deputy Principals who replied to the survey said that the coleadership role with the principal functions ‘extremely well’. However, there is also evidence to suggest that the absence of a role definition is a cause of frustration for others. Good leadership has for some time been recognised as a key determinant of quality schooling. Good schools always have good leaders. With this in mind, IPPN is happy to see the role of DP enhanced and its importance recognized. The move by the DES last

Good schools always have good leaders. With this in mind, IPPN is happy to see the role of DP enhanced and its importance recognized.

year to allow this position to be filled by external appointment acknowledges this importance. In its Action Plan for Education 2018, under the heading “Improve teacher education and school leadership” the Department of Education states ‘In 2018, we will see significant strides in building a strong leadership team in our schools and across the sector. This will include 2,600 new middle management posts with responsibilities designed to deliver on the school’s plan; systematic engagement by the Support Services with the new distributed leadership to enhance the capacity for self-evaluation, planning and implementation.’ The importance of good school leadership should never be underestimated. Michael Fullan defines school capacity as ‘the collective power of the capacity of the full staff to work together to improve school learning. We must ensure that the senior leadership team in our school maximizes this potential through development of a culture of team leadership, shared leadership, distributed leadership and coleadership.’ Our network is a network, not just of Principals, but of Deputy Principals also. We would love to see a stronger attendance of DPs at our County AGMs in September/October. We would also like to see DPs representing their counties on the National Council and, ultimately in the Presidency of our organisation. Remember, Giorraíonn Beirt Bóthar.




“In God we trust. All others must bring data.”W. Edwards Deming, Statistician

citizens to data privacy. We now have to comply with more regulations regarding storage.

WHERE SHOULD I START? Staff should be aware of the 8 commandments of Data Protection:

Data means information in a form which can be processed. It includes both automated data and manual data. On 25th May 2018, the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will enhance and reform all existing Irish data protection legislation. A new Data Protection Act 2018 will also compliment this European Union regulation. These provisions enhance the rights of Data Subjects’ and place certain onuses on Data Processors and Data Controllers. This will take time to be embedded in our culture. It will be akin to the renewal of baptism vows. Awareness should be our top priority.

WHAT IS GDPR? The new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives data subjects the right to request from schools whatever data is being stored about them and to withdraw consent to its use, effectively ordering its destruction. This request must be free of charge, easy to make, and must be fulfilled within one month. However, a school is entitled to hold lawfullyobtained data about pupils in order for it to carry out its business. As emails can and often do contain personal data, the GDPR requires that schools manage backup and archive copies of them with sufficient rigour.

WHAT ARE THE 8 RULES OF DATA PROTECTION? a. Obtain and process information fairly b. Keep it for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes c. Process it only in ways compatible with the purpose for which it was given initially d. Use and disclose it in ways compatible with these purposes e. Keep it safe and secure f. Ensure it is adequate and not excessive g. Retain no longer than necessary h. A copy of the data must be made available to the data subject on request.

Schools gather, store and process information about people – school staff members, parents, children, suppliers, etc. and are therefore ‘subject’ to the GDPR – ‘Data Subjects’. The school is a ‘Data Controller’.

An additional challenge for schools will be to comply with record retention requirements and respond to an individual’s deletion request without the risk of losing others’ emails. Schools should have a Data Protection Policy in compliance with the GDPR. Some schools may find it prudent to retain emails for as short a retention duration as possible in order to minimise administration of data access requests.

The GDPR emphasises transparency, security and accountability by data controllers and processors, while at the same time standardising and strengthening the right of European 4

WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF DATA PROCESSING? At the time of providing personal information, individuals are made fully aware of: a. the identity of the persons who are collecting it b. to what use the information will be put


c. the persons or category of persons to whom the information will be disclosed. Secondary or future uses, which might not be obvious to individuals, should be brought to their attention at the time of obtaining personal data. Individuals should be given the option of saying whether or not they wish their information to be used in these other ways. If a data controller has information about people and wishes to use it for a new purpose (which was not disclosed and perhaps not even contemplated at the time the information was collected), he or she is obliged to give an option to individuals to indicate whether or not they wish their information to be used for the new purpose. Each school will require a clear, affirmative action e.g. ticking of a box/signing a document, to indicate consent. Consent can be withdrawn by data subjects in these situations WHAT ADDITIONAL WORDING NEEDS TO BE ADDED TO ENROLMENT FORMS? Admission policies will need to reflect this new framework. A data section paragraph of the policy should be dedicated to explaining why you need to collect the particular information and to whom you are obliged to disclose it to, i.e. Tulsa, the DES, An Garda, NEPS, a post primary school. What are the key changes in the legislation? a. Increased sanctions, administrative fines and a right to compensation for the Individual b. Increased obligations of transparency to the data protection principles c. Record-keeping in relation to the processing of data d. Stricter rules around the obtaining of consent and on relying on consent as a legal basis for data processing e. Appointing an independent Data Protection Officer (DPO) in certain circumstances f. Notification of data breaches to the Data Protection Commissioner g. Enhanced rights for Data Subjects h. Requirement to imbed data protection by default in the design of operation of all services.

WHO IS THE DATA PROCESSOR IN A SCHOOL? The Data Processor/Data Processors is/are any person or persons given access to personal data held by the Data Controller (the school) for processing. This would include agencies such as Aladdin, Databiz etc. who process information on behalf of the Data Controller. The data controller out-sources the data to be processed to a data processor. CONTRACTS The data controller will need to draw up a contract with the data processor. This will outline the protections and security that are put in place. WHAT RIGHTS HAVE DATA SUBJECTS? The data protection legislation enables parents and pupils over 18 years to enquire whether schools are processing information about them and, if so, to access that information. It enables these individuals to ensure that personal information about them is being fairly processed and if not, to have that personal information rectified or erased. AGE OF DIGITAL CONSENT This is the age at which children could sign up to online services without parental consent. At the time of going to press the age for digital consent as proposed in the Data Protection Bill 2018 is 13 years. This would be the lowest age in Europe as the GDPR default age of consent is 16 years. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A DATA PROTECTION OFFICER (DPO)? The role of the DPO is to communicate, advise, guide, represent and record. The purpose of a DPO is to assist an organisation in monitoring internal compliance with the GDPR. They will be the cog in an organisation’s data governance structure and will enable compliance through the implementation of accountability principles. The DPO will act as a mediator between an organisation and key stakeholders, such as the supervisory authorities and data subjects. There is a mandatory list of tasks for which the DPO is responsible. DOES YOUR SCHOOL NEED TO APPOINT A DPO? Schools, other than ETBS, are at present not legally obliged to appoint a DPO. Even if you don’t have to appoint a DPO, schools still have to

comply with the requirements of GDPR. Schools not obligated to appoint a DPO can still appoint one if they so choose. Schools can share the services of a DPO for a group/cluster. Section 33 of the Data Protection Bill 2018 states that the Minister for Justice and Law Reform may, following consultation with such other Minister for Government require controllers or processers in that particular sector to designate a data protection officer. WHO CAN REQUEST DATA FROM A SCHOOL? Data Protection legislation, safeguards schools when providing or disclosing information to: a. Any Data Subject about whom the school holds personal data b. The Gardaí c. The Revenue Commissioners d. Department of Social Protection (DSP) e. Applications on foot of a court order f. Tusla (Child and Family Agency). Applications for the release of data should always be in writing (rather than over the phone) and should state the purpose for which it is required. The school Data Protection Policy should clarify what agencies are entitled to this information. If you are in doubt as to whether to release data or not, always seek legal advice or advice from the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. WHAT PRACTICAL STEPS SHOULD SCHOOLS TAKE TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH GDPR? In order to comply with GDPR, every school should ensure that: a. They are aware of what data they currently hold and what data they are processing on an ongoing basis b. Their relevant staff are trained for their roles in relation to GDRP c. All school staff are fully aware of the importance of data protection and that the school is a ‘Data Protection Sensitive and Aware Institution’ d. That all relevant policies and procedures are in place and embedded. On a practical level, this will require the BoM to consider the following Data Audit: a. Staff training



b. Embedding of a data protection culture c. Policies, agreements and notifications d. Administration forms e. Procedures and routines. WHAT ACCESS HAVE DATA SUBJECTS TO NOTES WRITTEN BY PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS? While schools other than ETB schools are not subject to the Freedom of Information Acts 1997-2003, they are subject to data protection legislation. Data subjects have a right to access all data relating to them. This includes written notes. It therefore behoves all principals and teachers to exercise caution when recording such notes. They are advised to record all such notes as though the data subject were looking over their shoulder. Such notes should be factual and, where opinions are stated, they should be capable of being substantiated. WHAT IF DATA IS DISCLOSED UNINTENTIONALLY OR HACKED? Data controllers are under a specific obligation to take appropriate measures to protect the security of such data. A ‘data breach’ occurs where an


incident gives rise to a risk of unauthorised disclosure, loss, destruction or alteration of personal data, in manual or electronic form. In that instance, the data controller must inform the Data Protection Commission Office within 72 hours of the breach. In instances where the data controller believes there is a serious risk to the rights and freedoms of data subjects, they must give immediate consideration to informing the data subjects affected. Such information permits data subjects to consider the potential consequences and to take appropriate measures. In appropriate cases, data controllers should also notify organisations that may be in a position to assist in protecting data subjects including, where relevant, An Garda Síochána, financial institutions, etc. WHAT ABOUT CCTV? Where a school has a Closed Circuit TV system in place, a CCTV Policy must be in place. DATA PROTECTION POLICY It is advisable for all schools to have a Data Protection Policy which defines the school’s use of data and its adherence to best data processing practice. It should have a section

dealing with access requests and also reference GDPR and the new legislation. WEBSITE PRIVACY STATEMENT The Data Protection Commissioner recommends that a Privacy Statement be placed in a reasonably obvious position on the school website homepage. WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO IPPN MEMBERS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THEIR DATA PROTECTION OBLIGATIONS? a. Office of the Data Commissioner website b. IPPN Resource Bundle - IPPN has produced a comprehensive Resource Bundle, to include Principal Advice Manuals (PAMs). These materials will guide you through the GDPR route. c. IPPN Leadership Support Team support. I would like to thank my colleagues, Mairead O Flynn BL (IPPN Board member) and Donal Kerins (IPPN Leadership Support team member) for their input and expertise on this topic.



There is a little low chair in our school secretary’s office, beside the wall and crucially, behind her computer monitor. If perchance, you visit our school and see me sitting there, please do not disturb. If you do, chances are you’ll have ruined my confession.

revolutionary. The secretary introduced a filing system and began telling callers that I was in class. And she could type! When romance and the end of the scheme saw her move away to other parts, I was sad, but certain of one thing - I would never again be without a secretary.

When our secretary sees me in that chair, she knows it’ll be more of a listen than a chat. She knows that a rant, while seldom, is possible. She knows that I talk aloud, figuring out problems or steps to be taken to alleviate them or to stem the tide. If a questionable oath colours the verbal ablutions, it’s from me only as I pore forth on the shortcomings of someone whose words, actions, orders, requests or demands are contrary to my view of the world. She plays the role of the clergy - patient, empathetic, nudging the conversation or the stream of consciousness towards a natural end. For my penance, I’ll usually leave with three suggestions and a promise not to mess up again.

That ‘curate’s egg’, the ancillary grant, early in the new century allowed schools to employ secretaries and caretakers, but unless yours was a very large school, at least one of them would be part-time. In our case, as in many schools, we prioritised the secretary, while the caretaker worked for 2 days per week. The secretary was busy, manually doing much of the work since made more manageable by cloud-based management systems. Once considered a luxury, they were now indispensable. And that was before the pressure really came on.

Twenty four years ago, when the school keys were thrust towards a callow 28 year-old newly-wed whose only gift, on reflection, was his capacity to hide how utterly petrified he really was, there was neither confessional nor confessor. On my classroom teacher’s desk sat a telephone. As Cumann na mBunscol secretary, that phone regularly interrupted class. Parents whose children were absent also called, as did salesmen, sports clubs with announcements and those who knew Walsh Brothers Plumbing and Bathroom Supplies were in Killeigh but didn’t know their number. A Mórthuairisc in that first year didn’t help either! At that time, most teaching principals taught senior classes as they could be set enough work for the principal to write a letter or make a call. A classroom computer in my second year allowed 6th class early finishers to type letters I had previously circulated in my own illegible scrawl. As I knew no better, I got on with it, like every other principal. When a FÁS scheme gifted us a secretary and caretaker after a year in the job, it was

In many schools, today’s secretary liaises with the BOM treasurer managing the school’s finances on a day-to-day basis. They are responsible for the maintenance of large amounts of data, much of it highly sensitive. They are the conduit through which communications flow between parents and school, through phone, text and letter. They are the ‘mudguard’ for the principal, reading each situation that arises and figuring whether the boss needs to deal with the caller, salesman or whomsoever presents at the office. Every anxious parent, sick child, flying teacher or any combination of those adjectives and nouns looks for one person when in trouble. I’m sure too, that I’m not the only principal who sits on a low office chair and pours out his school soul. It’s a service I’d pay good money for. Perhaps the next budget might consider the changing face of school administration and we could pay school secretaries closer to what they are truly worth.

INTO President Joe Killeen Joe is from Corofin, Co. Clare and began his teaching career at Kiltrusten NS, Strokestown, Co Roscommon. Since 1987 he has been Principal of Lough Cutra NS in Gort, Co. Galway. He became INTO Gort Branch Secretary in 1983. In 2008, Joe was elected to the CEC to represent INTO District 6 (Galway and Roscommon). As an INTO Executive member, Joe represented District 6 (Galway and Roscommon) on the Small Schools Task Force set up in 2012 to advise the CEC on opposing proposals by the DES to close small schools. Other issues Joe has been involved with are teacher workload, principals’ issues, disadvantage and special education. IPPN wishes Joe all the best in his role as INTO President and looks forward to working with him to progress issues relating to school leadership and management. 7

LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

IPPN Submissions


OPPORTUNITIES AND POSITIVES Given the importance of STEM education in developing key skills, it is encouraging that the DES is developing and implementing a STEM education policy. IPPN welcomes the focus on integration across primary and postprimary sectors. If STEM is to be encouraged at both primary and postprimary levels, the foundations must be set at primary level, and the appropriate investment made. Adequate resourcing and training will need to be provided to enable primary schools to effectively embed STEM learning at an early age. Indeed, research has shown that if children, particularly girls, do not have an appreciation for STEM by the time they leave primary education, they are far less likely to take up STEM subjects at second level.

While many schools have had significant difficulty finding available suitablyqualified substitute teachers, certain school types have severe difficulty, including schools who teach through Gaeilge, special schools, island schools, those situated in remote locations and oneteacher schools. There is widespread agreement in primary education that, while STEM subjects are valuable, there should not be undue emphasis on them at the expense of other aspects of education, especially the Arts. Most other developed countries have adapted STEM to include the arts, known as ‘STEAM’. There is an opportunity for the DES and the NCCA to develop enhanced curricula to cover all of STEAM. 8

There is also an opportunity to further develop the ‘softer skills’ – particularly communication and interpersonal skills - and pupils’ creativity within the curriculum, alongside enhanced STEM education. These life skills are crucial to any organisation, including those in the technology industry. No mention is made in the STEM discussion paper of the DES ICT Strategy or the Digital Schools of Distinction programme, both of which should be part of an overall framework of which STEM is a new component. There is an opportunity to integrate all of these related strands within an overarching strategy and framework. In terms of theme 2 - Supporting STEM Teachers within the system with a particular focus on CPD - background knowledge is as vital for building confidence in teachers as good lesson content. Approved courses in STEM undertaken during the school year should qualify for EPV days. This would act as an incentive to teachers to undertake CPD and put their learning to immediate use. The DES and NCCA could look at working with the new National Children’s Science Centre in Dublin as a means of providing ongoing CPD and lessons. CHALLENGES AND CONCERNS If the DES is serious about school improvement in any domain, the related issues of under-funding and principals’ workload must be addressed, as well as the ongoing moratorium on posts of responsibility in medium and large schools and its impact on leadership and management capacity in schools. It has become impossible for primary school leaders and Boards of Management to comply with the various directives, given the limited human and financial resources provided. The discrepancies in the funding of primary and post-primary

schools are an ongoing cause of concern and frustration. The current plan to link coding to the mathematics curriculum needs to be reconsidered. Many teachers are passionate about technology in education, yet they are deeply concerned that adding coding to mathematics is narrow-minded and will result in failure. If primary schools are to teach coding, it should be integrated across the curriculum. It has been acknowledged that the current curriculum is out of sync with 21st century learning. There may be a temptation to bow down to economic needs, such as a narrow focus on STEM. The primary curriculum must open children’s minds to other aspects of learning - independent thinking and creative skills. The advantage of the 1999 curriculum is that is gives children opportunities to think, explore and be creative. These must not be lost. If STEM is to happen, it must be recognised that the vast majority of teachers require significantly more training and ongoing professional development in what would be expected of them. Furthermore, all schools must have adequate Broadband infrastructure. This is still not the case in a significant number of primary schools and must be achieved before any attempt is made to enhance STEM teaching and learning. Support for ICT and other materials must be provided. There is little or no ongoing provision for hardware, software, networking and technical support in primary schools. While the government has allocated some funds for ICT, it will be insufficient in supporting the aims of the STEM strategy. STEM resources, outside of ICT equipment, are also expensive. All schools must be provided with regular

May 2018

finance to purchase science, engineering and maths equipment. An efficient approach to achieving this may be to adequately resource all the Education Centres, facilitating a system of sharing among schools. CONCLUSION There is a need to review the primary curriculum to meet the needs of 21st century children. The key advantages of

the current curriculum must be maintained, particularly the focus on holistic development of the child, rather than a narrow focus on subjects and skills. Creativity across a wide range of skills needs to be harnessed and nurtured. This can and should include STEM learning but not at the expense of other learning oppor-tunities. Schools are developing children to become well-balanced individuals with

the capacity for life-long learning and to contribute to society as a whole, not just to the workplace, and this needs to be borne in mind in any DES strategy. It will be crucial to ensure that there is adequate investment in professional develop-ment for all teachers, as well as curriculum resources, ICT infrastructure and resources, if a new curriculum, including STEM education, is to succeed.

IPPN SUMMER SCHOOL 2018 BLENDED COURSES FOR SCHOOL LEADERS IPPN’s summer schools are designed by school leaders for school leaders. They are ‘blended’ courses – a mix of online and face-to-face professional development – and provide you the opportunity to share and discuss different aspects of your leadership role, as well as improved personal and professional self-care.

Modules include: I Quality Framework – School Self Evaluation I Leadership & Management I Communication & HR Management I Time Management I Child Protection I Policies in Schools I Stress Awareness & Self-care I Having Difficult Conversations I Developing Personal Leadership

Key Information I Register online - I Commencing on July 2nd – 6th inclusive I Online Learning July 2nd & 3rd I Face to Face July 4th, 5th & 6th I €95 – Course Fee I DES approval for three EPV days

What are the benefits of attending? I Reflect on and advancing leadership skills I Improve planning as leaders I Discuss and exchange elements of best practice with other school leaders I Collaborative learning and professional dialogue I Develop strategies for school self-evaluation I Reflecting on self-care within a challenging work environment I Practical ideas in developing pupil and teacher well-being.

Who should participate? There are two courses running for (both acting and permanent): I Principals I Deputy Principals

WHEN & WHERE I Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd July – Online learning I Wed 4th to Fri 6th July in the Lucan Spa Hotel, Dublin or Rose Hotel, Tralee, Kerry.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT Jennifer McCarthy, Course Administrator • 9

LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

Thoughts from Across the Pond

Service, not Servant, Leadership RICH BURCHILL

In the January 23, 2017 issue of Time Magazine, a featured article was entitled, ‘A Survival Guide to the White House from Team Obama for Team Trump.’ Members of the Obama administration shared their total sense of being overwhelmed in assuming their leadership positions. Two quotes struck me as being so connected to being a principal...

veteran with a gleam in his eyes replied, ‘No, that is not what I mean. I mean I want to work LESS!’ Later that year, he took a week of vacation with his wife during the school year. That might seem unbelievable to many of you who every day cannot figure out how to deal with the ridiculously increasing heaps of responsibilities bestowed upon you by others who don’t want to assume them.

I think most school principals would identify with that description. During my career, I was the beneficiary of being in a principal support group for about fifteen years. I always felt it was the most important professional development in which I participated. One of my favourite memories involved a highly-respected, veteran principal (I thought of as an icon) who was part of the group. During one meeting, he stated, ‘I’ve decided that I want to work less.’ Another member (more of a Type A) jumped in and said, ‘I know just what you mean. I also want to learn to work more efficiently.’ At which point, the

In our roles as principals, I think that we often assume that we are exempt from the normal work expectations of other professions. We embrace (or sometimes preferably, hold at arm’s length) the notion that we are on call 24/7. I have always felt that we bring a parent’s mindset to our principal’s work and, based on that, are used to sleepless nights, constant availability, and unending sacrifice. Probably an extension of our teaching background. But at some point, we all have to consider how important our own health is to our leadership. We need to be at our best to do our best. And despite what we often

think, we need to model for our faculty how to have a healthy work/life balance. If not us, who? I know of no association that has done more to champion this for its membership than IPPN. Major international companies are now mandating that employees not check work e-mail during vacations and, in many cases, mandating vacations themselves. I in no way mean to say that our work is comparable to theirs. We deal in the lives of young children. But there is a long history of ‘supposedly successful’ business practices (e.g. continuous improvement) being introduced to education. So why not this? I encourage you to move from being a ‘servant leader’ to a ‘service leader.’ You will benefit, your school community will benefit and your family and friends will benefit.

To get in touch with Rich, email him to

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I have been teaching in Corpus Christi Primary School in Limerick City for over thirty years and I have been Deputy Principal there for eighteen years. Thirty years ago, the deputy principal, known then as the vice principal, was required to assist the principal in the day-to-day organisation and supervision of the school. In many primary schools, the deputy was unknown and did not play a major role unless they had to ‘act up’ in the principal’s absence. I see my role as much more significant than that. I am a key player in the everyday effective running of the school and in leading teaching and learning in the school. Tiernan, the Principal, and I have a shared vision for the school and we have a very supportive staff, Board of Management and Parents’ Association, which allow us work towards the realisation of that vision. We strive to lead change with an open mind, prioritising areas that meet the needs of the school. We have an open and honest partnership where there are opportunities to reflect, question, discuss, listen, challenge and support. The principal/deputy principal relationship is one based on mutual respect and trust, immersed in dedication, care, energy, enthusiasm, fun and humour. The complexities and challenges that a large DEIS band one school faces on a daily basis require the combined wisdom and expertise of the Principal, Deputy Principal and the whole staff. It is this combined effort that makes this school a happy place to be, a place of positivity, a place where everyone is valued and there is a strong desire to succeed and be the best you can be. Tiernan and I both have a very strong belief that education leads to

As well as furthering academic attainment, we are also very committed to the promotion of mental health and wellbeing in order to build resilence in our students, and help prepare them to cope with the range of life events they will encounter throughout their lives. opportunity and have introduced and continue to implement many numeracy, literacy and educational initiatives to support and improve academic attainment. Initiatives, methodologies and practices are reviewed regularly and continue to develop, evolve and improve. As well as furthering academic attainment, we are also very committed to the promotion of mental health and wellbeing in order to build resilence in our students, and help prepare them to cope with the range of life events they will encounter throughout their lives. There are many different facets and aspects to our wellbeing programme such as Mindfulness, Incredible Years Programme, Roots of Empathy, Equine Assisted Therapy, Art, Music, Drama and Play Therapy, Woodwork Classes, Gardening, Zones of Regulation work, Sport, After School Clubs etc.

Christi are given the opportunity to develop their leadership capacity through sharing effective practice, giving presentations and workshops, teach meets, feeding back information from workshops etc. This promotes confidence and professional practice. I firmly believe the teaching staff is a very valuable resource in a school. In spite of a reduction in salary, disparity in pay, work and new initiative overload, I witness on a daily basis the commitment, goodwill, dedication and care shown by teachers. One of my roles as a Deputy is to help create a climate where there is effective recognition of staff, and colleagues are aware they are vital ‘cogs in the wheel’ and bring added value to the school. This notion of being valued is fundamental and underlies the ethos of Corpus Christi School - every member of the school community, no matter what their status, is valued and appreciated and has a significant role to play in the education of the children and in the effective functioning of the school. The dual leadership structure that is part of the fabric of the school is the core dynamic that makes things happen in Corpus Christi Primary School.

Schools are complex organisations and the principal and deputy principal cannot be the sole leaders of teaching and learning. Teachers in Corpus


IPPN Deputy Principals’ Conference 2018

LEADERSHIP without borders This year’s event was a resounding success. More than 300 deputy principals registered for the event and the feedback this year was particularly strong. Special Interest Groups were expanded this year to include discussions for newly-appointed deputies as well as those in DEIS, Irishspeaking, special schools/schools with Autism Units and also those who wanted to discuss potential support groups and mentoring for deputy principals.

and Minister Bruton provided much food for thought and were well received by attendees. It is worth noting that this is the first time a Chief Inspector or Minister for Education has addressed a deputy principals’ conference. We look forward to further engagement with the Department in relation to the critical role of deputy principals.

IPPN is working closely with the Education Centres through ATECI – the Association of Teacher Education Centres of Ireland to develop Support Groups for deputy principals, which will be hosted by each Centre. 150 deputy principals signed up at the conference to join their local Support Group. Any deputy who would like to join should contact Pat Goff at in the first instance.

Seminars were a key focus point for attendees this year. Inputs from the DES Inspectorate, the NCSE and from school leaders prompted much debate with many sessions going on well beyond their time-slot!

The Keynote inputs from Dr Anne Looney, Chief Inspector Harold Hislop

In his address, Dr Hislop confirmed that we have ‘very good leadership in Irish schools’. He cited findings in the

Chief Inspector Harold Hislop addresses attendees

Minister Bruton confirmed his commitment to middle and senior leadership and reiterated how important it is for schools to make full use of the additional middle leadership posts now available to them. He could

Jan O’Sullivan welcomes attendees IPPN President Damian White facilitated the event


recent Chief Inspector’s Report 201316 that the quality of in-school management was good or better in 85%-89% of primary schools and that the vast majority of schools are well run and well managed. While paying tribute to the work of voluntary boards, he said that a small minority of boards and schools experience serious challenges. He also clarified that school self-evaluation and the Inspectorate’s Looking at Our Schools quality framework are both tools to help school leaders improve teaching and learning. They are designed to support and complement the work that schools do on issues such as implementing curriculum change or DEIS actions or Gaeltacht policy actions - they are not separate tasks to be done in isolation.

May 2018

not be drawn on a commitment to provide assistant principal posts to all schools that had lost promoted posts; nor on when CSL coaching and mentoring programs could be made available to deputy principals! Dr Looney who is Executive Dean of the largest teacher training college in Ireland – the Institute of Education at DCU - highlighted the need to promote the positives of the teaching profession, lest Ireland end up in the situation she encountered while working in Australia in recent years – where there is a profound negativity towards the profession endemic across the media not even challenged by those in the profession. She told attendees that in Ireland we simply do not have a crisis in education – we are continuing to attract very high–calibre students into teacher training and we should ensure their experience is a positive one. Teachers are at the border between the past and the

future – we should aim to make them learning-ready, rather than classroomready. IPPN CEO Páiric Clerkin outlined IPPN’s priorities for deputy principals, including support groups and mentoring as well as additional CPD offerings, and told attendees he wants to see deputy principals represented on IPPN’s National Council and Board of Directors, and ultimately in the role of IPPN President. IPPN President David Ruddy outlined the various challenges facing deputy principals, including the consequences of an ill-defined role and the importance of the relationship between principals and deputy principals, as well as developing as a leader. Seminars were a key focus point for attendees this year. Inputs from the DES Inspectorate, the NCSE and from

school leaders prompted much debate with many sessions going on well beyond their time-slot! The topics ranged from improving teaching and learning through SSE, to child protection, restorative practices, developing leadership for learning and assessment & planning for SEN. The Education Expo was busy, with 37 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of products and services for schools. Having them all available in the same place is invaluable to school leaders who want to research the various offerings available prior to deciding whether to place an order. Seminar materials, keynote speeches and Dr Hislop’s presentation are available to view/download from – CPD & Events – Deputy Principals’ Conference - Deputy Principals’ Conference 2018.

Business All-Stars Accreditation 2018 On Thursday 19th April, IPPN was presented with Business All-Stars Accreditation 2018 as a ‘National Education & Leadership Advocacy Body’. IPPN was put through a rigorous matrix-based, four-step judging process to be deemed a worthy recipient of this accreditation. The Accreditation was presented by Bobby Kerr of Dragon’s Den to Páiric Clerkin, IPPN CEO, and Claire O’Donovan, IPPN Marketing and Business Development, at the recent All-Ireland Business Summit in Croke Park. IPPN is now included in the 2018-19 All-Stars Roll of Honour.





‘I’m being swamped’. ‘I never get to do what is really important’. ‘I can’t say no’. ‘I have too much to do’. ‘ I feel guilty that I can’t spend time on the teaching and learning in the school’. These are just some of the comments that the Leadership Support Team hear on a regular basis. Do they resonate with you? We began looking at the area of time management in a previous Leadership+ article. In this issue, we look at Stephan Covey’s work on Dwight Eisenhower’s Time Matrix. Covey maintains that ‘the struggle comes when we sense a gap between the clock and the compass – when what we do doesn’t contribute to what is most important in our lives.’ Becoming aware of where we spend most of our time is essential to the process of managing that time more effectively. Our aim is to spend as much time as possible in quadrant 2 where the focus is on teaching and learning. It is a constant struggle to focus on this area when we, as school leaders, are constantly being pulled away by the urgent and important in quadrant 1, the urgent and not important in quadrant 3 and the not urgent and not important in quadrant 4. Time spent in Quadrant 1 means dealing with the urgent and important - crises such as a child being sick or injured, child protection issues, as well as pressing problems such as the boiler breaking down or a drive-by visit by the inspector, and deadline projects such as staff meetings, BoM meetings, POD and OLCS. We have no choice in these matters but to deal with them as they occur. DO THESE FIRST.


Quadrant 3 includes not important but urgent matters, where most of the items come in the form of interruptions or requests for ‘favours’ from other people, and often involve helping them to meet their goals and fulfil their potential. Writing a reference (now!) comes to mind. DELEGATE THESE TASKS. This will require some reflection. Refer to the questions posed at the end of the article. Only delegate to those who have a competency in this area. Quadrant 4 are the not urgent and not important tasks, such as surfing the net or browsing through the latest edition of the Viking catalogue - they may be enjoyable but they achieve nothing and are time-wasters. DUMP THESE. We arrive at Quadrant 2 – the important but not urgent. This includes teaching and learning, vision and policies, planning and preventing, building relationships, team-building and wellbeing. Time spent here gives the greatest yield in terms of planning, mission and goals. You are in proactive rather than reactive mode. DO NOW OR SCHEDULE NOW FOR LATER.

Managing your time is the work of a lifetime, not easily achieved without continuous reflection and awareness of where and how you spend time. As a starting point, to set you on the journey, you might take some time this week to consider the following questions: Am I as a school leader, doing something that someone else could be doing? That someone else should be doing? That someone else is being paid to do? ‘Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.’ Carl Sandburg Note: The IPPN publication Priorities for Principal Teachers: in Clear Focus provides guidance in establishing your priorities and reflecting on where you currently spend most of your time. It is available on Advocacy – Publications.

May 2018

Creating an effective learning environment in the classroom DONAL KERINS IPPN LEADERSHIP SUPPORT The core function of schools is to provide a safe and effective teaching and learning environment for all children. To motivate and enable children ‘be all that they can be’ in terms of learning, we aim to: develop each child’s potential to the full encourage a love of learning help children to develop skills they will use all their lives. A respectful atmosphere is the most important factor in helping pupils feel safe and valued. The teacher, as the adult in the relationship, must model respect. Without appropriate respect for ourselves and our pupils, we cannot expect them to respect one another or us. Teachers act in ‘loco parentis’ and are expected to care for their pupils as would good parents. Pupils have diverse personalities and abilities. Liking the pupils is optional, but caring for each of them is not. There will be personality clashes and children will push the boundaries, but the teacher is the adult and is there to model caring behaviour. Motivation is our ‘reason for doing’ – our reason for realising our goals. Our goal for children must be selfmotivation. We become self-motivated when we feel valued as people, when our efforts and what we have achieved are acknowledged and when we are appropriately challenged by SMART goals. Setting such goals for each child is the professional responsibility of a competent teacher. Self-motivated children are more persistent at tasks, feel in control of what they are doing and will develop into flexible, resilient and independent lifelong learners. Children who feel able to achieve their goals feel good about themselves, enhancing their mental health and wellbeing.

Honest, measured praise allows children realistically understand their strengths and develop areas of weakness. ‘Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí’. Research has consistently found that praise and encouragement from significant adults in a child’s life makes a positive difference. Effective encouragement directs responsible behaviour and increases effort, initiative and persistence in attaining goals. Children’s self-worth develops through diligence, perseverance, achievement, positive feedback and affirmation. Honest, measured praise allows children realistically understand their strengths and develop areas of weakness. To grow in confidence and independence, children need truthful valuation, sensitively and respectfully delivered. Children accustomed to continuous applause may develop anxiety about their abilities, a fear of failure, reluctance to try new things and are ill-prepared to cope with future setbacks.

threatened or uncomfortable in our classrooms. We must continuously examine and reflect on our own behaviour to ensure that it does not contribute in any way to negative feelings in a child, however nonintentionally. Reality is based on perception and it is easy for a child to construe a mountain where a teacher sees a molehill! A cross word, a disapproving look or an unintended slight can loom large in the mind of a child and cause distress. The fear of failure, of not being as good as others, of not meeting homework standards, of unequal comparison, of arbitrary ‘unfair’ decisions, of not being asked for your opinion are examples of possible stressors, are real to children and can be detrimental to a developing sense of self-esteem. We must tread carefully lest we damage what we seek to build.

Effective praise focuses on a child’s effort rather than on what is actually accomplished. Genuine praise, both formative and summative, that is specific, spontaneous and welldeserved, encourages continuous learning and increases effective competition among students. Negativity, fear and anxiety are the antitheses of a healthy classroom environment. A child who is anxious or fearful cannot flourish and develop his/her full potential. We must be ever alert to ensure that no child feels


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals




Pádraic Carney was a force to be reckoned with; one of those largerthan-life personalities that filled the room as soon as he entered. He was full of personality and enthusiasm and wore his heart on his sleeve. As we approach the first anniversary of his passing, it is still hard to fathom that he has been taken from us. It is hard to believe that, this time last year, Pádraic would have been cycling to school in the mornings, launching straight into work in his office, highfiving the students on the corridor, kicking football at break-time, bounding up and down the stairs, bursting into the staffroom, making phone calls and writing emails to the Department of Education and Dublin City Council as he pursued his vision of extending the school build. He threw himself into the role of principal and dedicated himself so passionately for the benefit of our school. His energy was infectious and his presence is sorely missed. Pádraic began his teaching career in St. Colmcille’s school in Knocklyon, where he worked for 25 years. He then moved to Scoil Áine Naofa in Lucan, where he was principal from 2010 to 2014. He became principal of St. Louis Senior School in September 2014. Pádraic was a wonderful leader and educator. He established a warm rapport with students, staff and parents alike and had many friends in teaching circles around the country and in IPPN. Pádraic was an approachable principal; a forwardthinking teacher and leader; he strove to ensure that high-quality teaching and learning was accessible to all students in his remit and very much promoted the dignity and integrity of each individual. Pádraic met his wife Áine while working in St. Colmcille’s. Áine and his 16

three daughters Cialann, Laoise and Aisling were the light of his life; his absolute pride and joy. He was so proud of them and spoke of them often to his colleagues.

His presence, smile and humour were infectious. It’s comforting to know these traits and characteristics have not been forgotten and people speak freely of the Mr. Carney we all knew. A week does not go by that Pádraic’s name is not fondly mentioned in the class or in the staffroom. It is these memories of Pádraic that sustain us when the reality of his sudden passing hits us again. Many of our students fondly remember him getting involved in PE lessons; hitting a home run in rounders, for example, or Irish dancing in the hall during Seachtain na Gaeilge. The true beauty that can be found in this is that it is not contrived, not forced and certainly not a rose-tinted lens that loses the sense of who Pádraic was. We remember his famous impersonations, his presence at social gatherings, his assemblies, his staff meetings, his day-to-day chatter and all those traits that combined to make Pádraic Carney. The stories are numerous and do not get old with the retelling. Every story inevitably ends up with everyone at the table warmly laughing, and lingering smiles. The students feel comfortable to casually mention Mr. Carney in their conversations in their classrooms; perhaps denoting him as the first male principal of St. Louis or

mentioning how he used to pat them on the head when he passed them by. The nature of Pádraic was that you could not ignore him. His presence, smile and humour were infectious. It’s comforting to know these traits and characteristics have not been forgotten and people speak freely of the Mr. Carney we all knew. A reflection read at Pádraic’s funeral spoke of the desire to leave an afterglow after someone has passed on. Pádraic has definitely left that. No matter what type of day he had faced, he was always able to radiate a warmth that made you feel at ease; that made you feel you had a friend in the hot seat of the school and that if you had any type of problem – big or small – you could talk to him and he would listen. It is fitting now as a result, that when you come to the front of the school, you are greeted by a photograph of Pádraic – broad beaming smile included – with a memory box bursting with the children’s written recollections. This is how he is remembered, with a happy afterglow. AFTERGLOW I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one. I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days. I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun of happy memories that I leave when life is done. Unknown

May 2018

School Leaders

We Have Lost

Over the past two years, we have lost far too many members, far too early. As the end of the 2017/2018 school year approaches, we would like to pay our respects and offer our sincere condolences to their families, their colleagues, their friends and the wider school communities they served. Fionnuala Doyle, Deputy Principal of Scoil Bhríde, Croghan, Offaly, who passed away in early March.

Patricia O’Donoghue, recently retired principal of Scoil Eoin Baiste, Clontarf, Dublin 3 who passed away, following a short illness, on 29th January 2018. Rosemary Fahey, principal of St Ultan’s Special School, Navan, Co. Meath, who passed away peacefully on 26th December 2017. John Nestor, deputy principal of Patrickswell NS, Limerick City, who died unexpectedly on 10th August 2017.

Teresa Moran, principal of Fatima NS, Cloone. Co Leitrim, who passed away in early February 2018.

John Meaney, principal of St. Colmcille’s NS, The Quay, Wesport, Co. Mayo, who died very suddenly on 1st February 2018.

Padraic Carney, principal of St Louis Senior Primary School in Rathmines who died suddenly on 20th June 2017 – see page 16.

Fiona O’Reilly, principal of Scoil Bhríde, Oldtown, Naas, Co. Kildare, who passed away on 28th September 2016. Alan Hawe, deputy principal of Castlerahan Central NS, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan who died on 29th August 2016 Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha Please don’t assume IPPN is aware when a member passes away. A quick call or email to the Support Office – - would be very much appreciated – so we can offer support to the school.

John Ring, principal of Divine Mercy SNS, Lucan, Co. Dublin who died, after a long illness, on 14th February 2016.


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

Teaching Council REGISTRATION

Information for School Leaders MARIA FITZGERALD HEAD OF REGISTRATION, THE TEACHING COUNCIL This article is written in response to regular queries from principals about teacher registrations. NEWLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS (NQTS) The Council operates a fast-track NQT registration system which ensures registrations are finalised before September. Where the NQT fully cooperates and has completed vetting in advance, registration can be completed within 5-10 working days.

From September 2018, Droichead will be the only route of induction available to NQTs working in schools with 16 or more mainstream class teachers or in SET positions. Key clarifications 1. Teachers applying for registration i.e. not registered when employment commences, cannot be paid a State-funded salary 2. Registration cannot be backdated, therefore pre-registration work is not reckonable for a State-funded salary 3. Vetting via the Council is required for all new registrations 4. By utilising the Search the Register option on the Council’s website, a teacher’s registration status, registration route and any conditions can be checked. Searching via the school roll number provides a list of teachers linked to that school.

DROICHEAD From September 2018, Droichead will be the only route of induction available to NQTs working in schools with 16 or more mainstream class teachers or in SET positions. The National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT) delivers Professional Support Team (PST) training. STUDENT TEACHERS AND REGISTRATION We regularly receive queries about the registration of final year Bachelor of Education (BEd) and Professional Masters of Education (PME) students. Key clarifications 1. There is no such thing as a student teacher/provisional/temporary registration number 2. PME students holding an undergraduate level 8 degree can register with conditions under the Further Education route 3. Only vetting via the Council is acceptable for registration 4. Teachers registered under Further Education or Post-primary who undertake substitute work in primary are not subject to the 5day rule. RETURNING FROM A LEAVE OF ABSENCE Each August, teachers who are returning to work after a leave of absence realise they are not registered. Under the law, a re-registering teacher must be treated as a new applicant. This requires a full application form, supporting documentation such as transcripts, a new vetting application and possibly overseas police clearance, which can take time. Documents on file don’t have to be re-supplied.

WHAT CAN PRINCIPALS DO? Please check if returning teachers are registered. If not, encourage them to begin the registration processes as soon as possible by contacting the Council and clarifying what inform-ation is needed. If the teacher leaves it until the peak August period, we can’t guarantee that registration and vetting will be finalised before the start of term. VETTING FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES The Council carries out vetting of teachers for registration purposes and in a conduit role for employers. The vetting Disclosure is made available to the teacher via Digitary, a secure online portal, allowing the teacher to share the document with employers and move between schools without being revetted. RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION Many teachers are afraid of missing their renewal date. We send over six communications to teachers in advance of removal (post, email and SMS). The Council also informs the paymasters (DES and ETBs) so that they can follow up with their employees. RETIRING AND RETIRED TEACHERS Teachers who are retiring must remain on the register until such time as their salary ceases, even if it is during the holidays. Registration is not required for pension payment purposes. Retired teachers doing substitution, or working for the State’s Exam Commission, require registration.

THANK YOU We would like to thank you for your support throughout the year, especially during the Retrospective Vetting project. Please note there are a range of FAQs available on the Council’s website tration/ 18

May 2018



In Ireland annually, cancer is diagnosed in an average of 137 children under 15 years. Currently, one in every 600 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 15. The most common cancers diagnosed in children are leukaemia, lymphoma and brain and central nervous system cancers. Many of these children are of school-going age and so most schools will at some point have to support a student who is being treated for cancer. Our Lady’s Hospital School (OLHS) operates within Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and, in collaboration with the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), provides an education service to the patients on St John’s Ward, the centre of excellence for paediatric cancer in Ireland.

During treatment, many schools feel that education is no longer a priority. However, access to education enables students to focus on something other than treatment and gives them hope and direction. Following diagnosis, hospital appointments and admissions for treatment and infections necessitate frequent absences from school, which interrupt both academic progress and social connections within school. This causes stress, which may prolong the absence beyond when patients are deemed medically fit to return. The education service is provided either in a ward classroom or at the bedside. To maintain connections with teachers and friends, schools are encouraged to keep in touch with

patients at this stage. Contact can be made by liaising with parents or OLHS or by communicating directly with the patients.

CONTACTS For students currently receiving treatment please contact the hospital teachers at:

During treatment, many schools feel that education is no longer a priority. However, access to education enables students to focus on something other than treatment and gives them hope and direction. Keeping up to speed with their studies, or at least staying connected, promotes a faster transition back into school.

Our Lady’s Hospital School Tel: 01 4096414 Web: Email:

The Home Tuition Service (HTS) may facilitate education during the transition period between the hospital school and the return to student’s base school. Attending their own school when possible is vital and the home tuition service should not be used to substitute normal school attendance. Schools can support service users by helping source local teachers for parents. Fatigue during the school day for patients receiving cancer treatment is a common complaint. As tiredness sets in, the pace of learning may slow down and attention and concentration wane. Students may become overloaded emotionally and cognitively as they try to keep up with the academic demands of a busy classroom.

For advice regarding medical fitness to return to school, contact MDT: Multi Disciplinary Team for Haematology/Oncology Tel: 01-4096100 and ask for Haematology/Oncology CNS Barrettstown offers an excellent school education outreach programme for primary schools. It aims to create a fun, interactive and child-friendly approach to explaining cancer, whilst dispelling myths associated with it. The programme is tailored for each returning student and delivered in their own classroom. Barrettstown Eva Caulwell Outreach Manager Tel: 045863173 Mob: 0879603735 If you’d like to get in touch with Fergal about the article, he is contactable by email to

The team at St John’s has found that the most successful method of reintegration is a staged return to school, starting with one or two classes and gradually increasing attendance to the full school day. Allowing extra breaks for the student to conserve energy will facilitate learning. The development of an individualised learning plan and strategies to support social reintegration may be helpful. On request, the MDT will support schools in their applications for extra assistance in the form of SNA support or resource hours.


OnYourBehalf Highlighted below are some examples of IPPN’s advocacy and representative work on behalf of principals and deputy principals, through meetings, events and submissions, since the last issue of Leadership+:

ONE-TEACHER SCHOOLS The 2017 IPPN Health, Safety and Welfare report was forwarded to all principals who participated in the survey and school visits. Follow up school visits are being planned to hear at first hand the feedback of the school leaders on the report’s findings and recommendations, and to discuss the best ways in which the report can be used locally and nationally, as well as discussing any other ways that IPPN can support these principals with their leadership role.

MEETING REPORTS TUSLA - School Completion Programme, Dublin - 25th April There was a presentation on Early School Leaving: Predictive Risk Factors by Dr. Louise Flynn, whose report was commissioned by Tusla. This report was the backdrop for the School Completion Programme Intake Framework and 7-step process. Escéals in April and early May outlined the process in detail. The process in essence operates via a new referral system. All new pupil entrants to the SCP must go through a referral system. The new system will bring to an end widespread ad-hoc practices. It has been piloted in 30 schools. 84 further SCP clusters will be trained in the Autumn. TEACHING COUNCIL - Fitness to Teach - Stakeholder Briefing - 19th April The briefing session outlined the Complaint Process, which comes in 3 stages; I Stage (1) Investigating I Stage (2) Inquiry/Hearing I Stage (3) High Court See E-scéals in April for details. DES - Child Protection - 23rd April Briefing on Department and Inspectorate’s oversight role in relation to child protection. The DES will seek child protection compliance in all school inspection models. Compliance is not checked during probationary visits and SSE


visits at present. Once an inspector has noted non-compliance, the Inspectorate will continue to engage with the school until deficiencies are addressed. Compliance with child protection will be referred to in all published reports. If a school becomes compliant between the in-school inspection and the post evaluation meeting, the report will refer to the initial non-compliance and the subsequent compliance. The checks completed are either: Level I Checks In force since March 12th 2018 - SEN, Curriculum evaluation, Incidental inspections. There are three compulsory checks: 1. Name of DLP and Child Safeguarding Statement are prominently displayed near the main entrance 2. The Child Safeguarding Statement has been ratified by the BOM and includes an annual review and risk assessment. 3. All teachers visited have read the Child Safeguarding Statement and are aware of their responsibilities as a mandated person.

7. The school is making full provision for the relevant aspects of the curriculum (SPHE, Stay Safe, RSE, Well-being). 8. Child protection records are stored in a secure location. Level 3 Checks This model is not in place and is being developed over the next year. The DES are looking for schools to participate in a pilot project. May 10th is the closing date for interested parties. 1. DLP & DDLP appointed in line with the procedures 2. Board of Management (BoM) aware of responsibilities to provide information to all personnel and to provide training to some or all of the staff, if required 3. Vetting responsibilities discharged 4. The Child Safeguarding Statement meets the requirements of the Child Protection Procedures 2017 and is available to all relevant personnel 5. Risk assessment has been conducted in line with the procedures

Level 2 Checks In force since March 12th 2018 - WSE, WSE-MLL, DEIS, Youth Reach, High Support Units. There are eight compulsory checks: 1. Name of DLP and Child Safeguarding Statement are prominently displayed near the main entrance

6. Correct record-keeping procedures are in place

2. The Child Safeguarding Statement has been ratified by the BOM and includes an annual review and risk assessment.

9. Procedures are in place to deal with allegations against school personnel

3. All teachers visited have read the Child Safeguarding Statement and are aware of their responsibilities as a mandated person. 4. The Child Safeguarding Statement meets the requirements of the Child Protection Procedures 2017.

7. Child Protection Oversight Report is provided at each BoM meeting in line with the procedures 8. The procedures to report allegations of abuse are fully implemented

10. The school is making full provision for the relevant aspects of the curriculum (SPHE, Stay Safe, RSE, Well-being). Timeline 2018 April

Briefing of Partners

5. The Minutes of the three most recent board meetings contain a child protection oversight report.


In school research


6. The BOM has provided information to all school personnel on the Child Protection Procedures 2017.

Development of Materials


Briefing of Partners

May 2018

November December

2019 January

Revise draft and formal consultation Finalise guide after consultation

Mainstreaming of model

HEALTH AND SAFETY AUTHORITY - 17th April Meeting with the HSA regarding the issues impacting one-teacher schools. The HSA will consider the report and IPPN’s request for further HSA supports for smaller schools. DES TEACHER ALLOCATIONS SECTION - 11th April Issues discussed: I Workload and the calendar of reform I Report on the One Teacher Schools and DES follow up actions I Update & clarification re Child Protection and the oversight report to BoM. I EducationPosts redevelopment and our future plans for an online portal. CSL STEERING GROUP - 9th April of the draft Consideration implementation plan for Phase 2, including resource implications and timeframe for same. ETBI – 5th April Introductory meeting to matters of mutual concern.


ICT Digital Framework seminars.


OTHER MEETINGS/CONFERENCES ATTENDED/HOSTED March/April I Education Forum - Maynooth University I IPPN Children First briefings, various locations I INTO Congress, Killarney I CSL Mentor training – Sligo, Athlone I NAPD symposium, Dublin I Hibernia College research conference – Celebrating innovation in teaching I An Foras Pátrúnachta 25-year anniversary event, Maynooth I IPPN National Council meeting, Portlaoise I IPPN Annual Deputy Principals’ Conference, Citywest Convention Centre I IPPN Board of Directors meeting, Portlaoise I CSL professional learning day, Athlone I Educate Together, Dublin I Teaching Council – development. May IPPN County Network CPD events in Waterford, Tipperary, Monaghan, Donegal, Galway, Wexford and Limerick – Topics vary from GDPR and Managing adult relationships to SEN new developments









CSL Final Mentor Training, Athlone CSL, NAPD, DES, Dublin - Group Mentoring Quality Assurance Children’s Rights Alliance AGM, Dublin DES Social Inclusion Unit, Dublin Review of Out of School Education Provision NAHT (NI) Annual Conference, Newcastle, Co. Down Healthy City - Healthy School, City Hall, Cork NCCA Review and Redevelopment of the Primary School Curriculum CSL Professional Learning, Athlone The Wheel National Summit NCCA Briefing, Dublin - The Transition to Primary Education: Insights from the Growing up in Ireland Study

FORTHCOMING EVENTS IPPN Board of Directors meeting, Citywest, Dublin I IPPN National Council meeting, Citywest, Dublin I IPPN Summer Courses in Kerry and Dublin: G Principals’ Leadership & Learning Blended Summer Course G Deputy Principals’ Leadership & Learning Blended Summer Course I Ciall Ceannaithe – IPPN’s online facilitated summer course. I


INTO CONFERENCE - 2nd & 3rd April IPPN was represented at the INTO conference in Killarney and received a warm welcome from the INTO leadership and CEC reps. As widely reported in the media, pay equality for the post 2011 entrants was the big issue. Supports for school leadership was also very much on the agenda. The increased collaboration between INTO and IPPN was acknowledged. It is worth noting that 16 of the 19 CEC members are Principals/Deputy Principals. NCCA - Primary Curriculum, time and structure - 21st March The first seminar in the series looked at the purpose of a primary curriculum, its values and principles. IPPN Board member Pat Connaghan has been appointed to the board of NCCA. PDST - 13th March and 4th May I Merging of the Headstart and Misneach programmes

An Seilide agus an Míol Mór Scuabtha chun Siúil Ar díol i bhfoirm leabhair. Ar fáil chomh maith mar scéalta á léamh ar an ardán - cuardaigh scéalta Gaeilge

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SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IN 2018? NOEL KELLY DIRECTOR OF EDUCATIONAL WELFARE SERVICES, TUSLA School attendance, participation and retention are key drivers of educational outcomes. The recently published Department of Education and Skills (DES) report1 on Retention Rates of Pupils in Second Level Schools (students who commenced postprimary in September 2010) indicate that Leaving Certificate completion rates continue to increase and reached 91.2% for this cohort. It is also notable that completion rates in DEIS) schools reached 84.4% for the 2010 cohort. The gap in retention rates between non-DEIS and DEIS schools has also reduced from 16.8% for the 2001 cohort to 8.5% for the 2010 cohort. These figures provide evidence of the positive work being done in schools to support school attendance and school completion and the positive impacts of DEIS supports where these are provided. While more students are completing the Leaving Certificate, almost 9% of students drop out of school early and the school attendance of approximately one in eight students is of concern. In the most recent Annual Attendance Report (AAR) for the School Year 2015/20161 we know that on average 59,900 students miss school each day (32,600 primary and 27,300 post-primary). This equated to an average loss of 11 school days for each primary student and 13 school days for each post-primary student in the 2015/2016 school year. While occasional absences may not impact negatively on a student’s educational outcomes, missing a significant number of days undoubtedly will have a negative impact. 12.3% of primary students (68,000) and 14.9% (51,400) of postprimary school students missed in excess of 20 school days in 2015/2016. In my early teaching days in the 1980s, truancy or ‘mitching’ as it was better known, was common. However, while 22

‘mitching’ is almost non-existent in 2018, we now have new challenges such as school refusal, mental health issues including anxiety, and families taking holidays during term-time impacting on school attendance. Promoting positive school attendance in partnership with parents needs well thought-out and effective strategies to support and encourage positive attendance habits among all students.

While occasional absences may not impact negatively on a student’s educational outcomes, missing a significant number of days undoubtedly will have a negative impact. The Education Welfare Act, 20001 (Section 22) set out a requirement for schools to develop a Statement of Strategy for School Attendance. In response, Tusla Educational Welfare Services (EWS) developed a set of guidelines for schools1 to assist them in preparing attendance strategies. As of 31st March 2018, just over 80% of all schools (83% of primary and 68% of post-primary) had submitted attendance strategies to Tusla. On behalf of Tusla EWS, I would like to thank the 2,693 primary principals who have returned strategies and remind our colleagues in the 550 primary schools yet to submit a strategy to do so. Completed strategies should be returned by email to: Tusla EWS works with schools to support the implementation of the provisions of the Education Welfare Act, 2000. While demand exceeds capacity, Tusla EWS is committed to building the EWS service and has increased the number of Educational

Welfare Officers (EWOs) by almost 50% since 2014, when Tusla was established. Currently, we have 89 EWOs supported by 11 Senior EWOs providing a service to 3,950 schools. We fully understand and acknowledge frustrations that exist as we are unable to respond to all school attendance referrals currently. However, as we incrementally increase the number of EWOs and enhance integration with the HSCL and SCP programmes, our capacity to respond to referrals and engage in more preventative work to support better school attendance will be enhanced.

Tusla Educational Welfare Services includes three strands: 1. The Home School Community Liaison Scheme 2. The School Completion Programme and 3. The Statutory Educational Welfare Service. Noel has over 35 years of experience working in the field of educational disadvantage. He took up his current role of Director of Educational Welfare Services with Tusla in 2016. Noel started his career as a primary school teacher in Darndale and became one of the first Home School Community Liaison Coordinators in the early 1990s. He developed and managed an Early School Leavers Initiative, worked as Education Manager with Northside Partnership, where he developed and managed the Preparing for Life programme, an evidence-based prevention and early intervention programme. Noel has also served as a director and chairperson on a number of local and national boards in the education, community and state sectors.

May 2018

THE TEACHING PRINCIPAL’S ROLE: Should it be restructured to include the option of a step-down facility after a length of time? ADELLE SALMON PRINCIPAL OF TANG NS, BALLYMAHON, CO. LONGFORD In 2016, as part of a Masters degree, I conducted a small mixed-methods study on the role of the Teaching Principal, with a particular focus on the inclusion of a step-down facility. A selection of Teaching Principals and teachers in their schools were asked to complete questionnaires. A small number of interviews with Teaching Principals were also carried out. Focus was on the following three areas: Sustainability of the Teaching Principal role Restructuring of the role Option of a step-down facility. SUSTAINABILITY When asked if they thought the Teaching Principal role was sustainable in the long-term, 77% of Principals and 72% of teachers disagreed. Whilst 59% of Principals would put themselves forward again for the role, they would possibly consider the size of the school, the stage of their career and the other responsibilities they had before doing so. The opportunity to lead and manage the school is the driving factor motivating most teachers to apply for the role, but the current stagnation of movement between schools, due to a lack of open competition teaching positions, has also been a reason for teachers taking on the role. This means many Principals find themselves in a role they otherwise would not have considered. Excluding respondents who will be due to retire within the next 10 years, 45% of remaining Principals stated that they will not be in the role in 10 years’ time. Reasons given were increasing workload, burnout and demands on personal lifE. RESTRUCTURING Findings from the study highlighted the need for the current organisation of the role to be examined and explored further. The following were suggested:

The opportunity to lead and manage the school is the driving factor motivating most teachers to apply for the role, but the current stagnation of movement between schools, due to a lack of open competition teaching positions, has also been a reason for teachers taking on the role. Providing more secretarial and administrative support. Every school should be provided with a secretary on a daily basis, whether full-time or part-time. Reducing teaching responsibilities by increasing release days to at least one day per week. This could be facilitated by a shared substitute teacher among a cluster of schools, thereby reducing the time trying to source a substitute teacher, and providing consistency for the Principal’s class. Creating clusters of small schools, whereby the principal would lead all schools in the cluster, and would be ‘administrative’. These options need to be considered to in order to protect the future of the role and avoid burnout. AN OPTIONAL STEP-DOWN FACILITY An overwhelming proportion of Principals (97%) and teachers (93%)

surveyed felt the option of a stepdown should be available to them after a certain period of time. Almost threequarters of Principals surveyed would consider stepping down, if the facility existed, whereby they could still retain some seniority within their school. The majority of participants stated that 10 years would be the optimum number of years in the role before a step-down should become an option. It is understandable why many chose a tenure of 10 years, as this ensures that there are not too many changes of leadership in a short time frame. Introducing a step-down facility would not be without its implications. While some participants thought that it would be a positive move, others had reservations, particularly with regard to redeployment and loss of seniority in their school. Fear of how it would be perceived by members of the community was also a concern highlighted. Overall, increased supports for Teaching Principals would be widely welcomed to prevent burnout in the role. The study suggests that there is a need for a step-down facility option after a number of years in the role. The next step is to tease out how such a facility would operate within the primary education sector. If you would like to get in touch with Adelle regarding her research, she is contactable by email to You can access her full dissertation on by putting ‘Adelle Salmon’ in the search field. Adelle Salmon Dissertation.


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May 2018

Staff Wellbeing FOR DUMMIES! CÓILÍN Ó COIGLIGH PRINCIPAL OF BUNSCOIL MHUIRE, BAILE ÁTHA TROIM, CO. NA MÍ Health Warning: This is not another initiative, per se, but rather a few ideas to get the ball rolling It all started back in 2007 with a gift from a friend of a book called The Fish Philosophy!, a short, easy read that tells the story of fishmongers in The Pike Fish Market in Seattle who have fun selling fish. They have to get up at an unearthly hour and work in cold, smelly conditions but a happier bunch of workmen would be harder to find. The philosophy was discussed by our staff over a period of years. They were open to the idea but we were all a little unsure of where to go next. Scéal na hAstrála In 2010, as part of a teacher exchange scheme, I worked in St Patrick’s Primary School, Koroit, Victoria, in Australia. One of their ‘pupil-free days’ was designated to Staff Wellbeing, and we all headed off one Thursday after school to a nearby hotel. We had an evening meal and then rose the next morning at dawn to do Tai Chi before breakfast and then the rest of the day was spent doing Art Therapy, mindfulness and self-care. Ár scéal Returning in 2011 with more awareness of staff wellbeing, a presentation was made to the BoM and a fund was earmarked, which allowed us to get together with three other schools and book an after-dinner speaker. Board members were also invited and the feedback was very positive. A dinner and speaker was then adopted as an annual event in our school, every February. We have also booked wellbeing speakers through PDST. A recent survey of staff wellbeing in our school asked staff to describe our school in one word. The following are the words they chose: Hectic, Progressive, Hardworking, Welcoming, Teamwork, Education, Dynamic, Fun, Busy, Holistic, Happy, Flourishing, Intense, Cool, Supportive Some reasons for these positive comments: Employment or staff: To quote Jim Collins: ‘You’ve got to get the right people on the bus’




Supportive environment: It’s okay to make a mistake; affirm the good, shared leadership, empowerment, ownership, be part of team, have fun at work, resources. As Benjamin Franklyn said during the American War of Independence “Either we hang together or hang separately” Mentoring: Shows we are interested in supporting teachers through a stressful time. Whole-school support

In my opinion, a happy staff produces happy pupils, produces happy parents and happy school communities. I

Wellbeing is clearly identified as important, on a regular basis - posters around the school, agenda item in staff meetings, Croke Park Hours, notices on Aladdin


Food for every occasion e.g. Fáilte Breakfast, Heaven at Eleven, Munch at Lunch, Parent Teacher Meetings and end of year BBQ


The Fish Philosophy! pulls it all together. It has four key principles: 1. Choose your attitude 2. Be there 3. Make their day 4. Have fun!


Fun together: an integral part of the Fish Philosophy and of wellbeing in our school - Gospel Choir, Guitar group. Staff go to fitness classes after school


Social Committee: Examples include Mystery Tour, Karaoke Night, Laughter Yoga, Ice Cream Party; Halloween Party, Treasure Hunt, Pizza Party, Escape Rooms, Christmas Party, Comedy Night, Mystery Foreign Tour and Themed Retirement Night


Staff Meetings: Start with a positive - Dea Nuacht. Finish with a positive - Focal Scoir.


BoM Fund suggestions: G Staff Wellbeing Library Books and CDs G Summer Courses on wellbeing G Staff Wellbeing Dinner: Optional - Not Croke Park Hour G CPH: Comedian, Gospel Choir director. Food. Zumba dancing G Social Committee Events: once a year e.g. Laughter Yoga.

Don’t be put off by this list - it has taken nearly 20 years to build in the school. Just take one idea and make it work for your school. In my opinion, a happy staff produces happy pupils, produces happy parents and happy school communities. By ‘staff’, I mean all those who work in a school, and also the principal! Please feel free to email me to if you have ideas to share. 25

LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

Turn on, Tune in,


SEÁN DELANEY REGISTRAR, MARINO INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION EDUCATION PODCASTS AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Imagine a form of continuing professional development (CPD) that’s free of charge, always available, and as convenient as your phone, laptop or tablet. Think of CPD that can be shared, discussed, questioned or challenged. It can be paused, saved, fast-forwarded or replayed. You can access it at home, at work, or on the daily commute. Many principals and teachers are turning to education podcasts as a way to encounter new ideas about teaching and to solve problems that arise in their work. Podcasts are like talk radio programmes but more flexible. You can listen to them directly on your web browser, download them to a USB key and listen in the car, or listen on an app (like Apple Podcasts or Overcast). IRISH EDUCATION PODCASTS Since 2009, I have uploaded to the World Wide Web over 325 half-hour podcasts on education topics from an Irish perspective. My inspiration for starting the podcast was the broadcaster John Quinn who presented a series of education programmes, including The Open Mind, on RTÉ from the 1970s to 2001. Inside Education podcasts are based on a weekly radio programme I present on 103.2 Dublin City FM. The typical format is an interview with an education practitioner or researcher where I tap into their knowledge and experience to seek and share insights about teaching and learning. SAMPLE CONTENT Among the practitioners, researchers, policymakers and other thinkers that have featured on past podcasts are Páiric Clerkin, Maria Doyle, Andy Burke, Anne Looney, John Coolahan, Mark Patrick Hederman, John Quinn, Fionnuala Waldron, Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Áine Hyland, Jim


Cummins, Jacinta Kitt, and Mary Roche. Topics covered include teaching methods, grouping, conditions like dyspraxia, dyslexia or Asperger syndrome, union matters, most curriculum subjects, school leadership, and ethos. Listeners are encouraged to suggest future guests or topics for the podcast.

By becoming familiar with the available podcasts, a principal may be able to recommend one that is suitable for a colleague who encounters a particular teaching puzzle or dilemma. A new podcast is typically uploaded every Wednesday at 3pm. To view a menu of all podcasts published to date, by topic or by guest, go to and select a guest or topic that interests you. USING PODCASTS IN YOUR SCHOOL In addition to listening to a podcast yourself, you can share it with colleagues or friends. Podcasts and excerpts from podcasts can stimulate discussions at staff meetings. For example, Rob Evans’s explanation of the difference between congenial and collegial relations among colleagues might stimulate an audit of staff relations in your school. Alternatively, staff members could choose different podcasts and share ideas from them with colleagues during a staff meeting.

By becoming familiar with the available podcasts, a principal may be able to recommend one that is suitable for a colleague who encounters a particular teaching puzzle or dilemma. OTHER PODCASTS Inside Education podcasts are developed with an Irish audience in mind. But many other excellent education podcasts exist. Specific recommendations can easily date and so I recommend doing an Internet search for them. Please share any good ones you find. CREATE YOUR OWN PODCAST You may decide to create your own education podcasts and that is easy to do. I record interviews with a Zoom H4n recorder and a Sony ECM-MS957 microphone. I edit each programme using the free-to-download Audacity software and I upload each episode to Whether you create your own, discover and share new ones, or draw from the Inside Education archive, podcasts can enrich the CPD resources available to school communities everywhere. Seán he is the author of the book about teaching, ‘Become the Primary Teacher Everyone Wants to Have’. He can be contacted by e-mail at

May 2018

ATTITUDES AND EXPECTATIONS among primary school students in urban DEIS schools DR SUSAN WEIR


The DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) programme is aimed at addressing the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Educational Research Centre has been conducting an independent evaluation of the programme at primary level since its introduction in 2007. While the programme’s impact is being monitored in a wide range of areas including student achievement (in which significant improvements have been documented since 2007), other outcomes such as students’ attitudes towards school are also being monitored (e.g., Kavanagh, Weir & Moran, 2017). Questionnaires were completed by students at the time of taking achievement tests as part of the evaluation in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. The questionnaires sought information on a variety of issues including students’ scholastic self-evaluations and leisure and reading activities. A forthcoming report will examine these and other issues in detail, but this article limits itself to describing Second class students’ liking for school and the educational aspirations and expectations of students in Sixth class. Comparisons are made possible on both of these issues because similar items were completed by representative national samples of Second and Sixth class students in the 2014 National Assessments (Kavanagh, Shiel, Gilleece & Kiniry 2015).


LIKING SCHOOL In 2016, Second class students in DEIS schools were asked to indicate whether they liked being in school by answering ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘don’t know’. A majority (58%) reported that they liked being in school. It is interesting to note that the same percentage (58%) of Second class students in the 2014 National Assessments reported liking school. One in five students in DEIS schools (20%) indicated that they did not like being in school, although the proportions of students in this category decreased over each of the data collection phases, from 25.5% in 2007 to 20.2% in 2016. EDUCATIONAL ASPIRATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS Sixth class students in both studies were asked how far they would like to go in school and how far they thought they would actually go (Table 1). The aspirations of students in DEIS schools were slightly lower than those of Sixth class students nationally, with 76% of students in DEIS schools aspiring to attend college or university, compared to 83% in the 2014 National Assessments. There was greater disparity, however, between the two groups in terms of educational expectations, with 58% of Sixth class students in DEIS schools expecting to attend college or university compared with 70% nationally. Aspirations and expectations for educational attainment in DEIS schools increased substantially since 2007, with more Aspirations (how far ‘I would like to go’) DEIS sample National sample

students in 2016 aspiring and expecting to attend college or university than on any previous occasion. CONCLUSION The finding that liking for school among students in DEIS schools increased since the evaluation began suggests that the achievement gains observed between 2007 and 2016 have not come at the expense of students’ enjoyment of school. The increase in the educational aspirations and expectations among students in DEIS schools is also welcome. However, a substantial gap (of larger magnitude than that found in the national sample) remains between the aspirations and expectations of students in DEIS schools, indicating that there is scope to further raise expectations in this group. Further reading: Kavanagh, L., Shiel, G., Gilleece, L. & Kiniry, J. (2015). Dublin: Educational Research Centre. Kavanagh, L., Weir, S., & Moran, E. (2017). Report to the Department of Education and Skills. Dublin: Educational Research Centre. All DEIS evaluation reports may be found at

Expectations (how far ‘I expect to go’) DEIS sample National sample

Finish primary school




Do the Junior Cert





Do the Leaving Cert





Go to College or University





Don’t know










* The ‘Finish primary school’ option was not given in the National Assessments questionnaire

Table 1. Educational aspirations of Sixth class pupils in the DEIS evaluation in 2016 and in the 2014 National Assessments of English Reading and Mathematics 27

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May 2018

THE GLOBAL CHANGELEADERS’ Gathering in Lyon, France SIOBHÁN KEENAN-FITZGERALD PRINCIPAL OF EGLISH NS, BALLINASLOE, CO. GALWAY AND RECIPIENT OF IPPN’S LEADERSHIP AWARD IN JANUARY 2017 In early February, six primary school principals of Irish ‘Changemaker’ schools: Maeve Corish, Donabate ETNS, Aoife Slacke, St. Ultan’s, Miriam Hurley, Dalkey School Project, Siobhán Fitzgerald, Eglish NS, John Farrell, Galway ETNS and Frank Keane, Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla attended the Global Change Leaders (GCL) Gathering in Lyon. The GCL is an international community of collaborators with a common vision of a world in which everyone enjoys learning experiences throughout their lives that develop their full potential as active contributors to our collective wellbeing. This gathering brought together 250 ‘Change Leaders’ from 40 different countries. A unique opportunity to connect and collaborate with teachers, principals, researchers, funding agencies, social entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe to share various experiences in the realities of changing systemic mechanisms and mind-sets, the emphasis was on deep listening, radical transparency and collaborative action. Ashoka ‘Changemaker’ schools provide children with opportunities to develop the ‘changemaking skills’ of empathy, creativity, leadership and teamwork. This is transforming the experience of education, mind-sets and mechanisms around the world creating thriving learning ecosystems for all. The changing role of the teacher will put a specific focus on the careful design of optimal learning environments for students.

speech is the highest faculty of the human being”. Similarly, we believe in the profound importance of oral communication for self-development and broader success in the world. All of this is integrated into the curriculum. We encourage, empower and enable our students to let their voices be heard and become forces of change in the world. Other Changemaker schools have equally interesting and inspiring initiatives in their schools. Through the Changemaker network, we have the unique opportunity to learn from, support and collaborate on projects. It may help the many more Irish teachers and principals out there who are doing equally inspiring work to know that there is a network that supports and connects such schools. During the 3-day summit in Lyon, there were many structured opportunities to network with fellow educators and other Change leaders from Canada to China. The collective wisdom of those present was captured through sharing best practises of empowering experiences and sharing contact details so that we can continue to collaborate via technology on this very important work into the future.

Many students go through school performing at a suboptimal level. Many of our extremely diligent and creative teachers are frustrated with the constant pressures of an inequitable examination system that gives no attention, value or encouragement to a wide range of skills and talents our students have. What kind of a world do we want our children to grow up in? What kinds of skills will our students need to survive and thrive in that world, in the 21st Century? It was beyond reassuring and deeply inspiring to see the energy and passion of 250 leaders from 40 different countries in Lyon, coming together, at their own expense, to create collaborations and weave innovative system-changing projects to actualize the potential of education. Andreas Schleicher, the Director of Education and Skills of the OECD said to Conference attendees: “Now is the momentum to cultivate among young people the human qualities that will make a better world”. If you would like to get in touch with Siobhán about her article, email her at

In Eglish NS, we provide a broad, active education ranging from outdoor education, structured public speaking training for all students to opportunities that encourage creative, entrepreneurial skills and global citizenship and foreign exchange through eTwinning and Erasmus +. We also begin training our students in leadership skills at a young age. Worldrenowned clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson stated that “articulated Irish Global Change Leaders in Lyon 29

LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals Latest resources If your school has a policy or plan that is not available on, or which would supplement available resources, we would appreciate if you would submit it for review by email to The following are the new resources available in the different sections of the website:



0029/2018 - Secondment Scheme for Registered Teachers in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools


0030/2018 - Adjudication Process – Contracts of Indefinite Duration.

RESOURCES SCHOOL POLICIES Child Protection I Children First Act – IPPN Briefing Seminar Presentation I

Principal’s Oversight Report Template to the Board


Q&A From Child Protection Seminar - Conference 2018

DES CIRCULARS The DES published a number of Circulars on 21st December in relation to Salary Increases from 1st January 2018 – relevant to SNA’s, Primary, Post Primary and third level: I 0011/2018 - Grant Scheme for ICT Equipment for 2017/2018 School Year I






0012/2018 - Scheme of Temporary Re-Assignment For Registered Teachers In Recognised Primary Schools 0016/2018 - Re-engaging with the School Self-Evaluation (SSE) process in primary schools. Amendments to requirements of circular 0039/2016 0018/2018 - Management of Safety & Health, including Fire Safety, in Primary and Post Primary schools 0021/2018 - Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme for Primary Schools and Special Schools in Gaeltacht Language-Planning Areas - Next Implementation Phase 0025/2018 - Sick Leave Scheme for Teachers - changes to Critical Illness Provisions (CIP) from 31st March, 2018 0026/2018 - Sick Leave Scheme for Special Needs Assistants changes to Critical Illness Provisions (CIP) from 31st March, 2018


0027/2018 -Provision to allow for certain education and training sector staff to be retained in employment beyond their Compulsory Retirement Age of 65 years until they reach the age of eligibility for the Contributory State Pension

PLANNING PROMPTS A new prompt is uploaded each week to this section, outlining activities that schools may wish to consider at that particular time of year. This section will act as an online archive of planning prompts, which are also issued via E-scéal.

SUPPORTS LEADERSHIP+ Note: There will not be a June issue this year. The next issue will be published in early September 2018. All issues of Leadership+ #1-104 are now available in an ePublication format. 2017/2018 I Leadership+ Issue 103 – March 2018 I

Leadership+ Issue 104 – May 2018.

E-SCÉALS A new E-scéal is uploaded each week to this section, outlining key information that is relevant to school leaders – deadlines, decisions, planning prompts, research etc. This section will act as an online archive of E-scéals.


Submission to the DES re. Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (Jan 2018)

CPD & EVENTS DEPUTY PRINCIPALS’ CONFERENCE Deputy Principals’ Conference 2018 Keynote speeches and presentation materials are now available to view/download from Keynote Speakers I Chief Inspector Harold Hislop (presentation slides) I

IPPN CEO Páiric Clerkin (speech text)


IPPN President David Ruddy (speech text)

Seminars: 1. Martin Whyte and Leo Kilroy, DES Inspectorate - Improving Teaching and Learning through School SelfEvaluation 2. Kathryn Corbett - Our SchoolDeveloping Leadership For Learning 3. Ann Ryan and Richie Walsh Restorative Practices 4. Donal Kerins - Child Protection – ongoing awareness 5. Madeline Hickey, Sarah Barnes and Carmel Ni Laoire, NCSE – Assessment and Planning for Students with Special Education Needs (Primary).


November 18th 2017 - AGM.

ADVOCACY PRESS RELEASES I Media coverage of IPPN Principals’ Conference 2018 SUBMISSIONS Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills in relation to the shortage of substitute teachers (IPPN CEO Páiric Clerkin attended the JOC and presented on 20th Feb 2017)


NEW Data Protection Resource Bundle – See

May 2018

Centre for School Leadership Report


‘Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears and never regrets’ Leonardo da Vinci MENTORING FOR NEWLYAPPOINTED PRINCIPALS To date, 500 mentors (400 at primary level) have completed the formal training, which was developed from research carried out by the CSL team on mentoring in Scotland, Canada and Australia. The training comprises two professional learning sessions of 1.5 days and a shared professional learning day. 60% of primary mentors are administrative principals, 40% are teaching. 10% are from Gaelscoileanna, a further 4% are from the Gaeltacht and 7% are from special schools. Mentors and mentees meet during the school year once per month for two hours and have fortnightly contact by phone or email. A Contract of Agreement is signed, including a confidentiality clause. After the first year, mentees have the opportunity to access group mentoring provided by IPPN and NAPD. Both mentors and mentees benefit from the mentoring relationship. Mentees avail of much-needed support as they get to grips with the leadership role. Mentors appreciate the learning and networking available to them, as well as the opportunity to ‘give something back’ to the profession. CSL Cairde (of which there are currently 24 at primary level with another 10 due to be trained in September) provide an extra layer of support for the mentors. The most appreciated aspect of the mentormentee relationship is the coprofessional dialogue with a principal colleague, and the discernible positive impact on the practice of both mentor and mentee. UNLOCKING POTENTIAL THROUGH COACHING CSL Coaching was launched in January 2017 and is a confidential, one-to-one personal service now available to all school principals. It is a powerful tool to develop individual and

organisational performance by unlocking potential and capability. The service is fully funded by the DES and over 420 principals benefitted from coaching this year. Principals face a wide range of challenges and goals that can benefit from coaching, as it offers the time and space to reflect on both. It can also: I Help create a coaching culture in schools I

Enhance capacity to work in a changing environment


Increase ability to prioritise and manage demands


Enable more successful management of change


Renew enthusiasm for the job.

To engage with the service, principals can go to and access 40 coaches in six regions around the country. A ‘chemistry check’ is available followed by six further meetings over a one-year period, and a final review six months after the last meeting. 40% of those accessing the service are teaching principals, 25% are from DEIS schools and 27% have special classes in their schools.

(UL, NUIG and UCD) and offers a blended model to suit the needs of busy practitioners. The team is also piloting a Quality Assurance Framework and process to ensure that both aspiring and serving leaders have access to high-quality leadership programmes. STRATEGIC PRIORITIES FOR 2017-18 CSL will continue to monitor mentoring, coaching and PDSL programmes over the coming year, with the ultimate goal of improving learning outcomes for our school communities. In addition, CSL will aim to I Work collaboratively with stakeholders to elaborate, continuously update, and present a detailed and evolving bestpractice continuum, responsive to all needs I

Build awareness of the work and role of CSL, including the potential of mentoring and coaching as leadership tools


Refine the Pilot QA framework and process to ensure teachers and school leaders can access quality professional learning at every point along their career path


Explore and build upon existing innovative approaches to high quality professional learning provision


Reaffirm CSL’s central long-term focus as a centre of excellence, spearheading the reform and modernisation of school leadership professional development and performance in Ireland.

Testimonials from principals demonstrate the effectiveness of coaching as a leadership tool. A CONTINUUM OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING FOR SCHOOL LEADERSHIP CSL is looking at the whole continuum of professional development for school leadership, from teacher leadership, to middle leadership and the development of aspiring leaders, to newlyappointed senior leaders and also to established and system senior leaders. The Post-graduate Diploma in School Leadership was set up, through CSL, by a consortium of third-level colleges


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

PRESENTATION TO PAST IPPN PRESIDENTS At the IPPN Principals’ Conference in January, the Board of Directors presented an IPPN plaque and a framed photograph to each of the past IPPN Presidents: Jim Hayes - Founding IPPN President, 1999-2003 Virginia O'Mahony - IPPN President, 2003-2005 Tomás Ó Slatara - IPPN President, 2005-2007 Larry Fleming - IPPN President, 2007-2009 Pat Goff - IPPN President, 2009-2011 Gerry Murphy - IPPN President, 2011-2013 Brendan McCabe - IPPN President, 2013-2015 Maria Doyle - IPPN President, 2015-2017

The IPPN plaque is made by Wild Goose Studios in Kinsale, Co. Cork and is a hand-made framed bronze inscription of IPPN’s mission statement ‘Tacaíocht, Spreagadh agus Misneach’. We feel the plaque is a fitting memento of their work on behalf of and for school leaders. We thank each and every one of them for their significant contribution to IPPN and for their ongoing support.

Maria Doyle is given a special presentation by President David Ruddy at the opening of the IPPN Principal's Conference at the CityWest Hotel in Dublin.25th January 2018

Denise Ward presenting to Brendan McCabe - IPPN President 2013-2015

Íde Ní Dhubháin presenting to Jim Hayes - Founding IPPN President 1999-2003

Louise Tobin presenting to Tomás Ó Slatara - IPPN President 2005-2007


And Finally…


We must combine the toughne ss of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart .

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) American leader

THE OLD ALLEY CAT One day an old alley cat is out for a walk when he notices a kitten chasing its tail around in circles. Slightly amused, the old alley cat watched this go on for quite some time. Finally he walked up to the kitten and said, “Excuse me little Kitten…I’ve been watching you for quite some time chasing your tail in circles, what exactly are you doing?” Without stopping, the kitten replied, “I just got out of Cat Philosophy School…Today we learned two things…The first…is that the most important thing…to a cat…is happiness.” There was an awkward silence as the kitten was clearly out of breath. “And the second thing?” asked the old alley cat. The kitten took a deep breath, “The second thing is that…happiness is found…in our tail…So I’ve been…chasing my tail…because… when I catch it…*gasp*…I’ll have a hold…on…eternal happiness.” The old alley cat was amused. “You know, I may have not had the same advantages you’ve had in life. And I never went to Cat Philosophy School. But I’ve been out on the streets for the last 13 years and I’ve learned the same thing.” “Really…” said the kitten, “Did you…catch your tail…and get…eternal…happiness?” The old alley cat shook his head, “No…I never caught it.” The kitten stopped chasing his tail and turned to face the alley cat, “Well…what happened then?” The old alley cat said, “It’s true that happiness is the most important thing in the world for a cat. And it’s true that it is indeed located in our tail.” He paused before continuing. “But I’ve discovered that if I go about my business…and live my life the way I want to…my tail follows me wherever I go.” (Credit: Wayne Dwyer)


The greatest fault is to be conscious of none. Unknown



REACHING OUT As school leaders, we think that we should be self-sufficient, able to solve all problems, manage our workload and deal effectively with the stresses that go with the role. When we are living through tough times, it becomes more difficult to help ourselves. It is all too easy to become overwhelmed and reach a point of crisis, both personally and professionally. The Leadership Support Team at IPPN has much to offer. A call to the Support Office will ensure that a member of the Professional Guidance Panel will contact you for a confidential one-to-one discussion on a situation in your school which may be divisive, worrying or distressing in some way. There will be times also when you are overwhelmed by your workload or may experience a lack of motivation. A conversation with an experienced principal who may have dealt with similar circumstances is often what is needed to re-focus and help you to see the way forward more clearly. Sometimes, more sustained support is needed. An experienced principal from the Leadership Support Service will work with you over a period of time to support you, both personally and professionally, in regaining the confidence you may have lost during a particularly difficult time. We often speak of team in the school context. Team equates to Together Each Achieves More. A call to the Leadership Support Team at 1890 21 22 23 or an email to is the first courageous step in accessing the help and support you need.

Leadership+ Issue 104 May 2018  
Leadership+ Issue 104 May 2018