ISSUE 66 ● JANUARY 2012
+ Leadership THE PROFESSIONAL VOICE OF PRINCIPALS
Frost Protection for Schools Supporting the Newly Qualified Teacher
Death by 1,000 cuts The loss of teachers from small schools, the gradual elimination of DEIS staffing and resources, the scrapping of the minor works scheme, increased VAT, reduced capitation and changes to the threshold for administrative principalship instantly brings to mind the term ‘death by 1,000 cuts’. With thanks to
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Death by 1,000 cuts by Seán Cottrell and Gerry Murphy While the impact of Budget 2012 is still being digested, it is clear that this budget will be detrimental to many schools.The loss of teachers from small schools, the gradual elimination of DEIS staffing and resources, the scrapping of the minor works scheme, increased VAT, reduced capitation and changes to the threshold for administrative principalship instantly brings to mind the term ‘death by 1,000 cuts’. Perhaps the most vulnerable group of schools (and pupils) to these cuts are those in DEIS and small schools.
The impact on small schools is very concerning. It appears that the chosen strategy of the DES in reducing the overall number of schools is more ‘stick than carrot’. The impact on small schools is very concerning. It appears that the chosen strategy of the DES in reducing the overall number of schools is more ‘stick than carrot’. IPPN has consistently championed small schools, not just for their excellence in the education of children in small communities, but also for their integral role in those communities.The vast majority of small schools consist of Church of Ireland schools, both urban and rural, and Catholic schools in remote areas of the midlands and throughout the country. There is some logic to the argument that small schools are not as financially efficient as larger schools and in financially straitened times, it is to be expected that any opportunity to save taxpayers’ money be explored. However, failing to take into consideration the educational impact of ‘encouraging’ amalgamations is nothing short of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Research on the revised curriculum (Dr Catherine Mulryan-Kyne, St Patrick’s College) found that educational outcomes in small schools were at least on a par with single-grade classrooms in larger schools. The DES has decided to increase appointment/retention numbers for all schools with 86 pupils or less.This will have the direct effect of increasing the challenges of multi-grade teaching, forcing parents to reconsider their choice of school. IPPN research establishes a clear argument in favour of retaining small schools in their current buildings but amalgamating the ‘back-end’ functions, such as board of management, finance, HR, maintenance, secretarial support, staff development, policy development etc. In other words, the education ‘service’ and all the benefits of a small school remain in the community and the non-educational activities are amalgamated across two or more schools. Such a model offers financial efficiency and educational effectiveness. Perhaps the DES might consider balancing the use of the ‘stick’ with some ‘carrot’.The most obvious incentive towards federating small schools is the appointment of one administrative principal to two or more small schools – a model which is proven to work internationally.
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On a more positive note, we are pleased that after several years of persuasion, the DES has agreed to move on a number of issues affecting schools and principals. The concept of devolving more decision-making to school level and trusting principals in this process is finally being recognised and supported formally. In future, principals will have far greater autonomy in the deployment of teachers, both classroom and support teachers, to meet the needs of the children in each school. Another breakthrough relates to the use of grant income - the board may now spend the combined finances from the DES based on the priorities set by the school, rather than having to direct expenditure to a particular grant category. Even more significantly, our battle to enable teaching principals to undertake the role of learning support/ resource teacher (where such a post exists) has finally been won. This is a major policy change which offers some choice to teaching principals wishing to take on the role and is an indication of increased trust in principals from the DES. IPPN will continue to prioritise your agenda as a school leader in our discussions with the DES.
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Frost Protection for Schools Guidelines courtesy of Allianz Schools, because they are unoccupied at night, at weekends and during holiday periods, are prone to suffer frost damage during severe or prolonged cold weather. Many schools in the past have been caught off guard and suffered burst pipes causing flooding to classrooms and collapse of ceilings, damage to furniture and equipment etc. The cost of repair in many cases can be very substantial. A surprising aspect of many of these claims is that many of these schools had only been built in the last five to ten years and should, therefore, have had adequate insulation for pipes. Poor or no insulation of the cold water supply to storage tanks in attics and central heating frost thermostats incorrectly set or turned off were the main contributory factors. Here are some precautions you should take to avoid frost damage to hot water heating systems, water services and also subsequent water damage to buildings and contents, during such weather: Ideally, heat should be maintained in the building during periods of severe cold weather. (a) If the heating system is fitted with a frost thermostat, ensure that it is correctly set, i.e. 35° F or 2° C if located indoors, or 32° F or 0° C if outdoors. Test its effectiveness by setting it at the current temperature. If the system does not start up, have it checked by an engineer.
N.B. If a frost switch is fitted, this puts either the frost thermostat or time switch in control of the heating. There is no protection unless the switch is in the ‘Frost’ position.
(b) If the heating system in the school has no
frost thermostat fitted, the system should be started manually and checked periodically by a responsible person and kept running long enough to keep temperatures in the building and the boiler room at a safe level. Remember to protect your oil supply against freezing. Precautions listed above will be ineffective if the oil is frozen and cannot reach the boiler. This may happen if temperatures of 12° F or -9° C prevail. The oil supply pipe can be protected with weather-proof insulation and a tarpaulin cover will provide emergency protection to the tank. Where the heating system is used, internal doors should be left open to protect unheated or poorly heated compartments, but always subject to applicable fire safety rules and regulations which should take precedence. Make sure all radiators are on.
If air vents in the boiler room are closed off, leave sufficient opening to allow an adequate supply of air for combustion. If the system is not to be kept running during periods of severe cold, the entire system (including the boiler) must be drained. Remember to open radiator vents to ensure complete drainage. Where the system is drained or the building is otherwise unheated, all sanitary and domestic water services should be drained by shutting off at the main and running and flushing off all water in pipes, tanks and cisterns. In these circumstances, outside toilets and pump houses should be similarly protected. Make sure that all tanks and pipes in the roof space and all external vent or expansion pipes are well lagged or insulated. NOTE: When a heating system is drained, switch off at the main switch and place a prominent notice on the switch stating - SYSTEM DRAINED DO NOT START. The information provided in this article is intended for use as a guideline only in assisting schools to assess preparedness for frost conditions during severe or prolonged cold weather and to encourage appropriate preventative measures. - Guidelines courtesy of Allianz
Budget 2012 Comment from Pat Goff, Principal, Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts, Co. Wexford and immediate Past President of IPPN ‘A key priority is to continue to prioritise and target available funding at schools with the most concentrated levels of educational disadvantage.’ This is a statement from Minister Quinn and the DES, yet every Band 1 DEIS school has been hit by this budget. Any Junior school who is Band 1 automatically loses 10% of their staff (their pupil teacher ratio goes from 20:1 to 22:1). On top of this, their resource allocation is badly affected by the changes to the GAM. Previous to this budget, DEIS Band 1 schools
received a support teacher for every 80 pupils.This ratio is now effectively changed from 80:1 to 150:1 – that is what the changeover to basing the GAM on actual classes rather than pupil numbers will mean to us. The knock-on effect of this budget on my own school, a Band 1 DEIS school, will be a loss of four teachers. Delivering Equality of Opportunity to Schools (DEIS) is definitely not the outcome of this budget.
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Supporting the Newly Qualified Teacher by Mary Burke, Co-ordinator of the National Induction Programme for Teachers (Primary) The first year in teaching is recognised as a specific phase on a newly qualified teacher’s (NQT) professional journey as a teacher which may determine subsequent success or lack of success throughout his/her career. In this unique stage in the life of a teacher, the term induction is used to describe many concepts. FeimanNemser et al talk of three key concepts – transition, socialisation and sustained support. ‘Transition’ refers to the process of transitioning from student of teaching to teacher of students, ‘socialisation’ refers to the introduction into the norms of the school and the teaching profession and ‘sustained support’ refers to both off-site professional development and school-based induction activities over the course of the first year in teaching. Induction is therefore a distinct and critical phase on the continuum of teacher education that builds on the learning and experiences from initial teacher education and prepares newly qualified teachers (NQTs) for continuing professional development/ lifelong learning as a teacher. The National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT) provides support and professional development for newly qualified teachers at primary and post-primary levels and other primary teachers who are completing the probation process.The programme offers support at five different levels:
f. A school can help ease the transition from student teacher in college to newly qualified teacher in a number of ways: a. Nominate and train a teacher from the staff to act as a mentor to NQTs. NQTs value having someone assigned to them from the staff they can ‘go to’ with
their questions. School-based support is critical for a successful induction experience and the presence of a mentor is seen as central to facilitating this. A mentor is usually an experienced teacher who undertakes to support the newly qualified teacher as they begin their professional journey. NQTs describe a mentor as someone who is approachable, a good listener, empathic, trusting, nonjudgemental, open and willing to guide, challenge and give advice. The National Induction Programme for Teachers recommends that teachers wishing to train as a mentor should be nominated by the principal to undertake the mentor role; be fully probated; have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience and be registered with the Teaching Council. An application form for initial mentor training is available on the homepage of www.teacherinduction.ie. Ensure that the position assigned to the NQT is a position in which the NQT can be probated. Ensure also that the class assigned to an NQT is not the most challenging class in the school and, if possible, do not assign junior infants or 6th class to a newly qualified teacher as these classes are key transition points for a school. Encourage NQTs to attend the workshop programme in the local Education Centres. There are twelve workshops being run in the twenty-one Education Centres on topics such as Working as a Professional, Planning, Classroom Management, Working with Parents, Child Protection, Assessment, Differentiation, Literacy, Gaeilge, Behaviour Management, Inclusive Practice and Numeracy. Prepare a welcome pack for teachers new to the school – visit www.teacherinduction.ie for templates Talk through key policies, particularly code of behaviour, homework, child protection and health & safety Provide opportunities, if possible, for the NQT to observe other teachers teaching, to co-plan with other teachers and to meet with key staff members in relation to special education, home-school and so on Encourage NQTs to seek support early on in the year. A school visit can be requested by completing the School Visit PAG E 5
Request form on www.teacherinduction.ie and posting it to NIPT, c/o St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. h. Develop a school induction policy, not just for NQTs but for all staff who come to work in the school, even for very short periods. i. Provide NQTs with access to monthly progress records (cuntais mhíosúla) as many NQTs will be working in a substitute capacity and the cuntas míosúil is a source of valuable information. j. Ensure NQTs are aware of the supports that are available to them and that it is a sign of strength to ask for support. We know as a teaching profession that many NQTs are very concerned about finding a job and many are also worried about future job prospects. One NQT described the fear of ‘losing all I have learned because I have no opportunity to apply my skills or practise my teaching’. Some describe the feeling of despair when being told by the principal, when they arrive to deliver a CV, that he/she will put it with the hundreds of other CVs. It is at times like these that NQTs value a smile, a handshake and a genuine display of empathy – these small gestures can do wonders for the spirit. It is important for NQTs to know that as a teaching profession we empathise with regard to the current job situation because many teachers have found themselves in similar situations throughout their careers. Our key message is to encourage NQTs to stay positive and hopeful - knowing that they are not alone and that as a teaching profession we do care can be re-assuring. For further information on induction and mentoring please contact Mary by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Mary is currently seconded from Carragh N.S. Co. Kildare to the post of Co-ordinator of the National Induction Programme for Teachers (Primary) and is working on her Ph.D in the area of Induction and Mentoring of newly qualified teachers. [Reference to Feiman-Nemser et al, c.f. Achinstein, B. and Athanases, S. 2006. Mentors in the Making – Developing New Leaders for Teachers. New York:Teachers College]
Inspecting Changes by Damian White, Principal of Scoil Shinchill, Killeigh, Co. Offaly I have an abiding memory of a sketch from my 6th class history book long ago, which showed a hedge school teacher with his ditchful of scholars while behind, in the middle distance, sat a lone boy, a lookout, ready to warn the teacher at the first sight of the militia. The roles of teacher and lookout seemed equally attractive – sitting on a rock away from the main group would give the mind a great chance to wander, while teaching in such circumstances was adventurous and dangerous in equal measure. The teacher as a Spailpín Fánach was possibly the first plantation in my mind of the potential of the position to be one of adventure, possibly even heroic. In any case the text books of the 1970s had achieved their objective in ensuring that the children of the decade carried forward a very certain view of the nation’s past. That picture came to mind again recently as I found myself engaged in the umpteenth conversation with an excited teacher relaying news of who was the latest victim of the 9.30 flash mob, otherwise known as the incidental visit. At the moment, teachers everywhere are like a herd of wildebeest on the African Plains, running from danger and hoping the cheetah in the field bites someone else’s leg. Information on what different inspectors want to see dominates conversations. The inspector who is satisfied with a Cúntas Míosiúil in which a copy of the previous month’s planning notes are merely ticked to indicate ‘job done’ is at odds with another for whom a bulging file with a withering list of long and short term objectives rewritten each month is a basic requirement. I can say for certain and without doubt that Irish teachers are more organised and better supported with plans and notes than ever before. When news of a WSE hits a school, the reaction would cause a psychoanalyst to extend his graph upwards to cater for extremes of human behaviour. While on the phone to another Principal this week, he informed me that with an impending WSE he was likely to be laminated if he didn’t move from where he was standing. Another teacher said that if they didn’t have the children in school for the next 3 weeks they’d be fully ready for their WSE. The effect of the WSE notification is akin to that invoked by pumping smoke into a beehive. Those already busy creatures go slightly haywire with their new circumstances before collapsing into a stupor when it’s all over. So when exactly did the spectre of the Inspector begin to have the effect of an air raid siren on the behaviour of teachers? Believe it or not, it’s going on since before Michael Cusack considered pushing cricket as Ireland’s national game. Teachers back then had to have a timetable on the wall so that the austere Cigire of the late 19th century could rush in and check that the teacher was sticking to it. An unfortunate teacher in my own primary alma mater was fined some of her meagre wages when she was discovered to be teaching needlework without thimbles. Stories abound of work spreading from railway stations and local guesthouses via the bush telegraph to the school principal that the schools Inspector had arrived in town and booked in for the night. Then somewhere, somehow, principals began to see the inspector as their friend or at least not someone to fear. Calls to the inspector for advice or support began to happen. Cynically it was even suggested that the way to keep your Inspector away was to call them with a problem. The truth is, the language softened between both parties and it became commonplace for inspectors to praise good work as well as question the issues they found when visiting schools. The profile of inspectors also changed with many young teachers following up their masters and/or a spell with PCPS with a move to the gamekeeper’s role. A large increase in the number of teachers as class size went down, and an increase in special needs support meant more regular principal /inspector contact as diplomas were completed by PAG E 6
thousands of new teachers in the early 2000s. Suddenly the inspector became a regular visitor. They became a sounding board for principals and teachers as the revised curriculum was being implemented. That was up to 2 – 3 years ago. A major question to be answered now by teachers is ‘what was the learning out of that lesson’? Can I with respect, ask – what is the learning outcome from the sea change in teacher /inspector relations where a briefcase-carrying, well-dressed visitor can now spawn panic in a staff where their only aim may be to sell band aids or cleaning fluids! I might add, having recently played host to an incidental inspection, that it wasn’t an unpleasant experience. A lot of positive remarks were passed and the tips were useful and clearcut. It was a bit like the night out you were dreading which turned out quite ok. I clearly remember some inspirational teachers I had. I remember them for their love of subject, intuition, kindness, or genuine interest in my progress. I don’t remember them for the size of their folders or how these were received by inspectors. I suspect the hedge school master would never have stayed ahead of the militia had he a wad of files to hawk around. And the lookout would never had the chance to ponder and dream.
ICT Tips Literacy & Technology by Peter Creedon, Principal of St. Aidan’s Primary School, Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford. In St. Aidan’s we have a number of special needs classes. Early this year, we began using the iPad tablet to support teaching and learning in these classes. Our pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties use their iPads to increase their independent learning. An app such as Speakit allows them to type in a word they encounter and it says it back to them. Simpleminds is a mind mapping app which allows the pupils to plan their writing beforehand. They then use Keynote to present the topic as a multimedia show using text, images and video which they have previously found on the internet through the Safari browser. This opportunity to present their work in a digital form is of great benefit to pupils who have difficulty with the more traditional methods of literacy. With the use of a connection cable they can demonstrate their work on an interactive board. Apps such as Sightwords and Chicktionary are spelling games which reinforce high frequency words. Reading fluency is improved through a fun app called Timedreading which times the length of time a pupil takes to read a selected piece of text. Once they have finished reading they are able to listen to their attempt, which can be evaluated by themselves or their teacher. Apps such as Dodgedot, Spot the Difference, Hiddenpictures are visual discrimination games of different sequential levels.
Our pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties use their iPads to increase their independent learning. An app such as Speakit allows them to type in a word they encounter and it says it back to them. Pupils in our two speech and language classes use language specific apps. Storybuilder helps the children to work independently on their narrative skills and sentence formation. The pupils are shown a picture and a jumbled sentence which they must correct. The pupil’s
phonology is improved through the use of Artikpix. This displays and speaks words and then records the pupil’s attempt. Pupil and teacher are then able to play back the pupil’s efforts and identify areas of sound which need further development. The pupils find this auditory feedback really useful for self correction. Verbs with Milo is a very good, highly visual app which improves sentence structure, with a particular emphasis on verbs.
In choosing apps for our pupils with mild general learning difficulties, we aim for apps where the level can be geared for their individual needs and with high quality graphic and auditory content. The use of the iPad for children in our ASD classes focuses on social skills. Model Me is a social skills app which uses video modelling to demonstrate appropriate social behaviour in a number of different settings. This is particularly useful in preparing the pupil for a new social event e.g. a visit to the doctor. Social skills such as turn-taking, gestures, rules and reciprocal play are further developed through apps such as Stories to Learn, which use real life pictures to break social skills into small steps. Pupils learn to recognise and interpret facial expression and body language through the use of Emotions and Touchemotions. A fun app is Look in my Eyes which is a game that develops eye contact through encouraging the pupil to maintain eye contact with the face in the iPad by issuing rewards. For older pupils, iConversation helps to improve the pupil’s ability to initiate and respond appropriately to conversation. The app has many different scenarios and levels at which pupils are challenged. Pupils record their responses and are corrected by the device. In choosing apps for our pupils with mild general learning difficulties, we aim for apps where the level can be geared for their individual needs and with high quality graphic
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and auditory content. Pupils enjoy creating stories with the help of apps such as iLanguage, Storypatch and Storybuilder. They help the pupil create a story through oral questioning which they can then recreate in written and image form. Jungle/time/fractions/coins/maths is a series of maths apps which offer graphics, sound effects and immediate rewards to help encourage the pupil to work independently. Find Sums is particularly good at teaching number bonds. Sound Bingo is one of many apps which can be used for developing auditory discrimination. In the short time that we have been using iPads, we have found them to be very beneficial in assisting teaching and learning in the SEN area. The large touch screen of the iPad suits pupils that have poor fine motor skills and facilitates tactile learning. Auditory and visual learners are assisted through the multimedia aspects of the device. Pupils find the devices ‘cool’ and enjoy having them in their hands, which in turn increases their motivation to stay on task. We have seen individual learning opportunities increase and pupils’ self esteem rise accordingly. The worksheet is being replaced by the iPad. The ease of mobility of the devices allows free movement between pupils and classrooms, so work with their resource teacher can be carried on in the classroom as well. This helps our classrooms be more inclusive.
We have seen individual learning opportunities increase and pupils’ self esteem rise accordingly. While there are lots of wonderful educational apps, of which most are free or very inexpensive, not all the apps in the iTunes store fulfil their promise.Time has to be invested in searching for, downloading and reviewing apps for their educational content before using them in the school. Peter Creedon is Principal of St. Aidan’s Primary School, Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford. The school has DEIS Band 1 status with 62 teachers, 4 SNAs and a number of special needs classes.
Legal Diary by David Ruddy, B.L.
Court Rules in Favour of School in Expulsion Case CITY OF WATERFORD VEC V DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION & SCIENCE AND OTHERS (HIGH COURT) 2011 CHARLETON J.
THE APPEAL The matter was then appealed by the boy’s father under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. The appeals committee upheld the appeal, requiring the school to take the boy back and stated it reasons as follows:
Appeals are dealt with within thirty days of the receipt. Before there is any hearing, the parties are encouraged by a facilitator to reach any agreement that may be possible in the circumstances. Section 29(5) requires the appeals committee to give a written decision.
THE FACTS The pupil in question was called Delta Beta. He could not be named as he was thirteen years of age. He was a pupil in St Paul’s Community College in Waterford. Difficulties began in September 2009 as soon as he had entered first year. There were a number of minor incidents of indiscipline and some more serious ones.The school responded by suspending him on a couple of occasions. They also offered him counselling by arranging a couple of home visits and involved the school Chaplain. His bad behaviour continued after Christmas.There was name calling, using very unpleasant language, striking another student with his foot, assaulting a student and failure to engage with school discipline.
‘Delta Beta is only thirteen years old and has been out of school since May 2010’ ‘There is a distinct lack of other educational alternatives for a boy such as Delta in the city of Waterford.’
On appeal the parties will be free to put fresh documents before the committee, or to offer new oral views in, what might loosely be called, oral testimony and to bring forward new people to be heard.
Again there were counselling sessions and disciplinary reports, and at least one further home visit. On one occasion the boy threw a bag at a teacher and called him a very rude name. His mother appears to have responded on occasion to engagement by the teachers with anger. A student who apparently called the boy some names was beaten up in the gym. In midMay 2010 the boy was put on a reduced timetable until the end of term. At the end of May a teacher saw him tripping up another boy. She pointed out to him that his conduct was dangerous. She asked for his mobile phone. He reacted with bad language and threatened to head butt her. He then went to head butt another teacher. That teacher asked him to stop but he repeated the manoeuvre and spat at the teacher. The student then turned and stormed out of the school, cursing aloud and kicking the doors. A special meeting of the board of management (BoM) of the school was held. The boy’s father attended and made a number of what seemed to be sensible points. The school board decided to expel the pupil.
On one occasion the boy threw a bag at a teacher and called him a very rude name. His mother appears to have responded on occasion to engagement by the teachers with anger.
In the case of the Board of Management of St Molaga’s National School V Secretary General of the Department of Education & Science 2010, Denham J. for the Supreme Court stated: ‘The appeals process enables the appeals committee to have a full hearing on the matter and if so determined to replace its judgement on the matter for that of that (BOM) and to make such recommendations as it considers appropriate.’
The recommendation of the appeals committee proposed the reintegration of Delta into the school on a phased basis and advised that the school draw on internal and external resources in the management of Delta’s future behaviour. The committee stated that behaviour support services nationally should be utilised and finally indicated that Delta should negotiate a contract of behaviour between the school, his parents, and himself.
The appeals committee in this Delta Beta case was deemed by Mr Justice Charleton to have exceeded its authority by taking into account school placements as opposed to confining itself to what is argued to be their sole function. That sole function of the appeals committee should be to put itself in the place of the Board of Management of the school and decide afresh whether the nature of the conduct of the pupil merited expulsion.
JUDGEMENT of Mr Justice Charleton delivered in July 2011: Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 provides for appeals from decisions within schools whereby a proposed pupil is declined enrolment, or an existing pupil is either suspended or expelled. Any such decision by school Boards of Management may be appealed to the Secretary General of the Department of Education & Science.
The High Court, having a supervisory jurisdiction over Section 29 committees, is not entitled to engage in a usurpation of any factfinding powers which are conferred on these committees or to otherwise take on their function. Instead, any decisions as to the merits may only be reviewed if, of its nature ‘it is unreasonable in the sense that it plainly and unambiguously flies in the face of fundamental reason and common sense’. The detachment of the High Court from the decision under review is emphasised by the inability of the High Court, even on quashing the decision for that reason, to substitute its own view. Instead,
Hearings are conducted with a minimum of formality, consistent with giving all of the parties a fair chance to put their point of view. PAG E 8
the decision must be returned to the committee so that it may be considered afresh. CONSIDERATIONS FOR SCHOOLS & SECTION 29 APPEALS COMMITTEE IN RELATION TO EXPULSION The function of a BoM in deciding on the expulsion of a pupil is to consider what is relevant to the decision. This does not include whether other placements may be available in the immediate area should the expulsion take place. Instead the decision focuses on the behaviour of the pupil and the context within which that behaviour occurred. The appeals committee is in precisely the same position. The issue before it, therefore, is whether the behaviour of the pupil, taken within the proper context, warrants the expulsion. In considering whether to require a student to leave a school, it is appropriate to focus on the behaviour of the pupil and the effect of that behaviour on the school; the track record of the pupil up to the point of the precipitating issue or issues; the attempts by the school at diverting, correcting or checking the behaviour; the merits of whatever mitigation is offered for the behaviour (by which is meant contrition, any explanation that is offered for behaviour and any response of the pupil to the schoolâ€™s efforts) and the demerits of mitigation (by which is meant a lack of contrition, wilfulness, spite or an unwillingness to accept help). What a BOM, and thus what an appeals committee, cannot take into account are the alternatives which the education welfare officer may be in a position to offer; the resources of the school and external resources.
CONCLUSION The Court quashed the decision of the appeals committee, advising the Secretary General of the Department of Education & Science in relation to Delta Beta. The matter was remitted for a fresh hearing.
OBSERVATION This judgement is a welcome development in that it clarifies the roles of schools and indeed of Section 29 Appeal Committees in relation to expulsion. Expulsion of a pupil is the sanction of the gravest proportion. Unfortunately, schools have to consider such an option on rare occasions. The health and safety of pupils and staff is a matter of paramount importance. Any proposed expulsion must be in accordance with the schoolâ€™s code of behaviour. The code of behaviour must be in accordance with guidelines published by the National Education Welfare Board in 2008. Due process and fairness of procedures must be adhered to at all times.
This has nothing to do with whether there is an alternative place. The responsibility for that function is elsewhere. These are separate and distinct statutory functions. It would be wrong for an appeals committee not to grant an appeal where, in the first instance, the expulsion of the pupil was not warranted, simply because the pupil has an alternative place in education available to him or her and thus does not want to go back to the school. Equally, the appeals committee cannot grant an appeal because the pupil does not have an alternative place. In summary, jurisdiction was exceeded by the appeals committee as the reasons given for the decision were not adequate. The appeals committee is not to be faulted for taking an incorrect view of the law which limits its jurisdiction. That however is what occurred. It may be that returning a pupil to a school from which he or she has been unfairly expelled would be considered by many as inappropriate vindication of character. On the other hand, where an expulsion is warranted, a fresh start, either by way of home tuition or by way of integration into a completely different atmosphere, a lesson perhaps having been learnt by the pupil may be the best way to proceed. Whatever decision is arrived at, it must be pursed in fairness. Openness to information and a real willingness to hear both sides and try to be objective are among the hallmarks of fairness.
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English Literacy Programme
Happy New Year! Wonderland... 3rd to 6th Classes is coming!
CJ Fallon Ltd
Block B, Liffey Valley Office Campus, Dublin 22 Tel.: 01 616 6490
the new English Literacy Programme from CJ Fallon, will be available in the Spring for 3rd to 6th Classes, completing the most comprehensive and exciting Literacy Programme ever for Irish Primary Schools.
Teach our Boys to Respect our Girls Stephen Lewis is co-founder of Aids Free World. He is Deputy Director of UNICEF. From 2001 to 2006, he was the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy, visiting Asian and African countries in a state of conflict. An articulate septuagenarian, he is described as a ‘national treasure’ in his native Canada. He was the opening keynote speaker at the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) conference in Toronto.
He was highly critical of the regime of school fees in developing countries, which currently prevents 100 million children from accessing education. Mr. Lewis spoke movingly and passionately about what must happen to bring about an end to the grinding cycle of poverty in developing countries. He provided graphic and compelling accounts of the consequences of war and societal breakdown, particularly on children and their mothers. To an audience of over 2000 school leaders from over 50 countries, he asked for one simple, straight-forward message to be brought
back to policy-makers and schools across the world - teach our boys to respect our girls. To achieve this on a global scale would go a long way towards significantly reducing the consequences of the AIDS epidemic and would have a positive knock-on effect in so many other areas where developing countries currently fail. Graca Machel, a native of Mozambique said ‘Whether in conflict or out of conflict, what a child needs most is a school.’ Lewis weighed this up against the millennium goals set out in the UN convention on the rights of the child. The overriding aim - to halve the number of children living in poverty by 2015 - will not be achieved. He was highly critical of the regime of school fees in developing countries, which currently prevents 100 million children from accessing education. Preventable diseases account for the deaths of 9 million children each year. Half a million mothers die each year in developing countries during childbirth. The contagion of sexual violence is the most disheartening issue of all. All children need to be at school, where the key message about respect for girls can be spread from the start. Then at least we will have made a start towards achieving those UN goals.
Hibernia Hiber nia College is now enrolling enrollling for its primary prim mary and post primary teacher education e programmes. Both pr ogrammes. Bot th are are academically accredited accredited by b HETAC HET TA AC (level 8) and professionally professio onally accredited accredited by the Teaching Te eaching g Council. Because delivered through Bec cause the programmes programmes are are deliv vered thr ough a blend of online and a onsite tui tuition, they ar are e ideal for anyone who wishes to structure s structur e their study ar around ound pers personal sonal and commitments. work comm mitments.
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Professional P f i nal Diploma in P Post ost Prima Primary ry Education Based ed on our highly successful Primary Prim mary Education programme, Professional mme, the Pr ofessional Diploma in Post Primary Education wass established to encourage a broader broader range of people to consider teaching sider post primary school teach hing as a career. career The programme includes three blocks of school experience and professional practice and onsite workshops at weekends.
Higher Dipl Diploma loma in Arts in Primary Education Edducation Established in n 2003, graduates from this programme primary school programme now n work as primar teachers and principals around around tthe country. country. The programme programme includes include three blocks of school sch hool experience and teaching practice, prac ctice, three three weeks in i the Gaeltacht and d onsite workshops at weekends. weeke
For more information and to apply, go to:
www.hiberniacollege.com Hibernia Co ollege, 2 Clare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland d Te elephone: +353 1 66 610168
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Hibernia Colle ege is a HET TAC A accredi quality assured, e blended and online e
International Teacher Fellowship Reflections on my experiences by Coilín Ó Coigligh, Principal, St. Mary’s PS, Trim In January 2010 I started working in St Patrick’s Primary School, Koroit,Victoria,Australia and Mr Mark Moloney became principal of St Mary’s for the year. The fellowship was organised jointly by the International Section of the DES and the International Teaching Fellowship (ITF) in Victoria. This has been a life-changing experience for me. I have returned to St. Mary’s feeling rejuvenated, full of enthusiasm and ideas. One of the ideas that gave me food for thought was that principals in Victorian Catholic Schools have fixed-term contracts (approx five years) which may be extended but not indefinitely.After one extension principals had to re-apply for their job or move on.The idea behind this is to keep school leaders and schools fresh and vibrant. I have achieved this without having to leave St Mary’s.
So what are the benefits of a principals’ exchange? Firstly, I have been able to promote many ideas which I have had the chance to implement in Koroit. Staff here have had the benefit of working with Mark, who brought fresh ideas and different perspectives; pupils and the Parents’ Associations have undertaken joint projects. Contacts and relationships have been made which will endure for many years to come. The fellowship has also had wider benefits. As a direct result of contacts made in the fellowship, a total of 25 Victorian primary schools have been twinned with similar Irish primary schools and many projects and exchanges have been initiated. I also learned a lot about the Victorian Education System.There are many positives. Finance, facilities and resources loom large. Long Service Leave (after 10 years of service, all teachers get 13 weeks paid leave), Enrichment Leave (ten weeks paid study leave for principals), Study Leave and Sabbatical Leave, which in no small part improve
teacher well-being, would be a welcome addition to our system.Victoria places a huge emphasis on properly and professionally developing educational leaders. They are world pioneers in this area. The average spent on each teacher’s CPD in St Patrick’s was $2,450; the cost of the in-service course, travel and a replacement teacher were all provided.All CPD was done during school hours. Teachers were also timetabled for two and a half hours of release time each week to do their preparation. All teaching principals had at most two days pupil contact time and this invariably was to teach ancillary subjects like PE and library.They had no ‘core curriculum’ responsibilities.
about three minutes reading them. Salaries were paid locally, requiring a business manager in each school. I had an estimated four times as many daily emails to deal with. There was on average one survey to be completed each week. The Annual Report to the School Community and Annual Action Plan took me at least forty hours to complete! Shorter documents of an hour each would have been more effective and useful.There were far too many meetings, as one principal remarked ‘We have meetings about meetings!’The bureaucracy was self-perpetuating and souldestroying - a monster which I hope will never come to our shores.
This has been a life-changing experience for me. I have returned to St. Mary’s feeling rejuvenated, full of enthusiasm and ideas. On a pan-Australian level, the Ultranet, is a very progressive cloud-based system which centralises preparation, administration and planning. A total of $14.7 billion was invested in a building programme for every primary school in Australia - Building the Education Revolution (BER) – which was part of a $40 billion invested in schools and hospitals as a stimulus package to counter the global economic crises - it worked!
On the negative side, those extra resources and funding came at a price. School administration and teacher preparation was overburdened with bureaucracy. Teachers needed far more than the two and a half hours to prepare the very detailed notes that were expected weekly. Each school report was four pages long and took up to three hours to complete, yet parents typically spent PAG E 1 2
On the IPPN Bursary visit to Melbourne in 2007 I noticed one area where the Irish system was far more advanced than the Australian System: our provision for children with special needs.That this is no longer the case is due to cutbacks here rather than any great advancement there. We are still ahead in the provision of resource teaching hours, bus escorts, ASD Units and Speech & Language Units. Despite the hours that Australian teachers work and the huge amount of preparation that they do, in my opinion, an Irish teacher compares favourably. Principals do not get paid to be secretaries of Boards of Management.The Boards there are advisory rather than executive. In Victorian Catholic schools, the manager is always a priest and is the executive officer. Centralised salaries lessen the bureaucracy for Irish schools. I would love other teachers and principals to have the same opportunity. It is cost neutral as teachers who exchange swop accommodation and pay their own flights and other expenses. That decision now rests with the International Section of the Department of Education and Skills. Do they have the foresight and vision to expand on this positive, pioneering experience? Céard déarfá?
Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership (Tóraíocht) 125 primary and post-primary teachers were conferred with the Post-graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership (Tóraíocht) on the 2nd November, 2011 at NUI Maynooth. The national leadership programme is offered to teachers who aspire to senior school leadership positions and has attracted almost 600 participants over the past 4 years. The programme is offered by the Department of Education and Skills’ Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) in partnership with NUI Maynooth, and is delivered in regional centres across the country each year. This year IPPN and NAPD sponsored prizes for the graduates who attained the highest results. On Thursday 3rd November, at a special awards ceremony, Professor Philip Nolan, President of NUI Maynooth congratulated graduates who had excelled in their particular areas of study and on the privileged position they occupy within their chosen profession - Finbarr Hurley and Peter Hyde, Tóraíocht prize-winners 2010-2011, sponsored by IPPN & NAPD.
(Left to Right) Virginia O’Mahony, Assistant Director, IPPN & President of the International Confederation of Principals; Professor Philip Nolan, President NUI Maynooth & Finbarr Hurley, prize recipient
(Left to Right) Peter Hyde, prize recipient; Professor Philip Nolan, President NUI Maynooth & Tom Moore, Course Tutor Applications for the 2012/2013 course can be made from February 2012 via www.pac.ie. For more details please contact email@example.com. PAG E 1 3
Vhi Healthcare WellPlus Programme for IPPN Members In the last issue of Leadership+ we introduced the Vhi Healthcare WellPlus Programme for IPPN members. This comprehensive programme is currently being rolled out to all member Principals and Deputy Principals and is designed to help you take positive steps towards identifying health risks and make positive changes to your health and lifestyle.
countries adopt population-level disease prevention programmes, including management programmes that focus on individuals at high risk. The Vhi Healthcare WellPlus Programme for IPPN members means you are in a position to take positive steps towards identifying health risks and, consequently, positively change your own health behaviour.
The number of adults in Ireland with lifestyle diseases will increase by around 40% between now and 2020 owing to our diet and increasingly sedentary lifestyle. The risk factors which contribute to these statistics include smoking, alcohol and drug dependence, excessive stress, lack of exercise, raised cholesterol, poor diet and obesity.
All members will be sent an invitation to complete an online confidential Health Risk Assessment (HRA) via email. The HRA only takes about 20 minutes to complete and is 100% confidential.
All members will be sent an invitation to complete an online confidential Health Risk Assessment (HRA) via email. According to Dr Bernadette Carr, Medical Director of Vhi Healthcare, ‘The importance of managing lifestyle disease cannot be overstated. High blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, typeII diabetes, stroke and some forms of cancer reduce the quality of life in many adults living with them and represent substantial financial costs to the individuals affected, the health and social care system as well as the loss of productivity to the economy’. Although the population is living longer, chronic conditions have reduced the quality of the extra years that have been gained. There is much evidence in Ireland and abroad over recent years to indicate that while life expectancy has increased, healthy life expectancy has not kept up. In addition, it is estimated that lifestyle diseases cause 35 million deaths globally and this is expected to rise to over 50 million by 2030. HOW THE WELLPLUS PROGRAMME FROM VHI HEALTHCARE CAN HELP IPPN MEMBERS The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 80% of the instances of heart disease, stroke and type-II diabetes and 40% of cancer could be avoided if major risk factors were eliminated. WHO recommends that
Key benefits of completing your Health Risk Assessment include: 1. The in-depth Health Risk Assessment analyses all the everyday activities that influence your health status 2. On completion of the Health Risk Assessment, you will receive a detailed individual report on your health status. This will specify the areas of health behaviour that require improvement and also identify what you're doing right. 3. If your Health Risk Assessment indicates a potential risk to your current or future health status, you may be referred for health screening, lifestyle coaching or to the Employee Assistance Programme. COMPLETE CONFIDENTIALITY ASSURED The Vhi Healthcare WellPlus Programme for IPPN members is 100% confidential. IPPN will not see any individual’s health data. Similarly, Vhi Healthcare will only use this information for the provision of services and never for the provision of health insurance. All follow up activity is also 100% confidential from us and from Vhi Healthcare and is solely focused on improving your health behaviour. SUCCESSES TO DATE Members in the southern region counties of Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford were invited to complete the Health Risk Assessment between October and mid-December 2011 and we are delighted with the high level of uptake on the offer.We can also confirm that a number of members were referred for health screening based on the identification of health risks such as type-II diabetes. This screening will provide members with the tools to take their health in their own hands and make positive changes to manage and, where applicable, reverse or PAG E 1 4
eliminate the factors responsible for triggering these illnesses. HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT (HRA) The HRA is open for completion to members in the eastern region, covering the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Louth, Wicklow, Wexford, Cavan, Laois, Kilkenny, Carlow and Monaghan, from 9th January 2012.
There is much evidence in Ireland and abroad over recent years to indicate that while life expectancy has increased, healthy life expectancy has not kept up. Members in the western region, covering the counties of Galway, Clare, Limerick, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Westmeath, Roscommon, Longford and Offaly, will be invited to complete the HRA from 20th February 2012. Those requiring follow up in the form of screening, lifestyle coaching or referral to the Employee Assistance Programme will be contacted directly by Vhi Healthcare to organise same. Once you are invited to complete the questionnaire, simply go to the ‘Key Links’ section on www.ippn.ie and click on the ‘Vhi Healthcare WellPlus’ icon and follow the instructions for completion. The WellPlus Programme from Vhi Healthcare for IPPN is just one of a number of initiatives which Vhi Healthcare provide to their customers to help promote the importance of wellness within the community. In the past two years they have introduced two medical screening clinics, initially focused on cardiovascular risk and type -II diabetes risk assessment, which will mean that around 24,000 screenings will have been carried out by the end of 2011. In addition, Vhi Healthcare has also introduced its hospital-in-the-home service,Vhi HomeCare - and in 2012 have plans to introduce a community-based secondary care service for children.
IPPN Annual Principalsâ€™
CITYWEST HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTRE, DUBLIN
26th, 27th and 28th January 2012
Over 900 attendees already registered! Discounted accommodation rates at Citywest for Wednesday, Thursday & Friday evenings. Travel early â€“ avoid the rush!
Visit www.ippn.ie for full details
Are you planning to retire in 2012? If you have made the decision to retire in the coming weeks or months of 2012 we wish you every happiness and fulfilment in the future. IPPN acknowledges the importance of providing every possible support for Newly Appointed Principals and aims to contact them as soon as they are appointed. However, the greatest challenge we face is to find out the names of these Newly Appointed Principals as early as possible. To assist the work being done in the IPPN Support Office could you please let us know of your impending retirement and also the name of the Newly Appointed Principal as soon as that decision has been made? This would be of enormous help to us and I know would be very much appreciated by the Newly Appointed Principal. Any information that you can provide can be emailed or mailed to Jackie at the IPPN Support Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
IPPNâ€™s free facility for finding qualified primary level substitute teachers. TextaSub works with the Teaching Council to check that all teachers that register for TextaSub are fully qualified, Primary level teachers that are registered with the Teaching Council. Simply visit www.ippn.ie and click on the homepage to take you directly to the service.
button on the right hand side of the
Fill out your sub vacancy requirement and TextaSub will instantly text qualified teachers available for work in your county who in turn will contact you.
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Principal in Profile: Pádraig Mc Eneany Principal of St Finian’s NS, Dillonstown, Drumcar, Co. Louth and globetrotting set dancer and instructor I have been Principal of St. Finian’s NS since 2005. Previously I was Principal of St. Oliver’s Primary School, Carrickrovaddy in South Armagh. Throughout my teaching career my favoured method of ‘winding down’ was set dancing.
Róisín. It took me a number of years and a lot of manoeuvring by my dancing friends to finally ask her out. Things moved a little quicker after that and we became engaged after six months and married two years to the date after first going out.
I grew up in a dancing family in South Armagh. Every Sunday night my parents went dancing and my mother, at the age of 78, continues to dance two to three times a week. My mother loved Irish dancing; her father was a terrific sean nós dancer and would tap it out around the kitchen in his hobnailed boots. When I was five years old my mother took me to my first dancing lesson. I remember I was very nervous but Mrs. Keenan took me by the hand and taught me my one, two, threes. I loved dancing from that first time. I continued to attend classes with Mrs. Keenan until starting secondary school, when getting stick from some of the lads meant I gave it up.
Róisín was one of Connie Ryan’s dancers and a member of the Slievenamon Set Dancers. Róisin had travelled all over Ireland with Connie teaching and reviving sets. I also joined the Slievenamon Dancers and danced at international conferences and on television shows including The Late Late Show and Trom agus Éadrom. Róisín and I also danced on a series of videos entitled ‘Come Dance With Me in Ireland’. In 1991 we toured the United States with the Slievenamon Group. We put on twelve performances in seventeen days, exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable!
Sometime later my sisters started to dance for the local GAA club, Carrickcruppin GAC, in Scór competitions. In 1997, a week before the county final, one of the gents in the senior team sprained his ankle. The leader of the team, Pat Evans, told me they were stuck and that I would only have to fill in for a couple of weeks. I ended up dancing with the team for fifteen years!
When we married we moved to Blackrock in Co. Louth, but continued to attend Connie’s classes in Dublin. Connie started receiving treatment for cancer in September, 1994 and couldn’t travel to Cape May, New Jersey during the first weekend in October. He asked me to teach on his behalf. My Board of Management graciously allowed me to go. In Ireland workshops usually had about twelve sets with eight people in each set. You can imagine my trepidation when I entered the conference centre and there were thirty sets on the floor awaiting my instruction. The workshop was very successful and Róisín and I were asked to teach at the North American Comhaltas Convention in Tarrytown, New York in March, 1995. We continued to follow Connie all over Ireland as he bravely fought cancer and continued to impart his love of set dancing. From time to time I had to step in and teach for Connie and when he passed away in May, 1997 I fulfilled his commitments for the rest of the year.
The team attended set dancing weekend workshops all over the country. There were a number of dance masters teaching in Ireland at that time, among them Connie Ryan, from Clonoulty, Co.Tipperary. It was at one of these weekends, at the Mary of Dungloe festival, that I first spotted a young Dublin dancer called
We were ask to teach at Cape May again in 1998 at the Connie Ryan Memorial Weekend and continued to teach at the annual workshop. We have taught workshops all over Ireland. We have also taught in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Corsica, the United States and Canada. As a result we have
I grew up in a dancing family in South Armagh. Every Sunday night my parents went dancing and my mother, at the age of 78, continues to dance two to three times a week.
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many friends all over the world. Set dancing is a wonderfully social activity! Róisín and I have formed the ‘Faoi Do Chois’ Set Dancers and we have produced two DVD/CD teaching packs entitled ‘The Full Set 1 & 2’. ‘Faoi Do Chois’ can be translated as ‘On Your Feet’. The Full Set comprises of a DVD, a CD and a booklet with detailed instructions for four sets. We have been asked to dance at numerous festivals around the world. A highlight was dancing at the Dubai Irish festival with music provided by the Dubai Philharmonic Orchestra. Recently we danced for a recording of the TG4 show Geantraí. Further details and copies of The Full Set are available by contacting me at email@example.com.
During the spring term each year I teach two or three simple dances to each class in our school. During the spring term each year I teach two or three simple dances to each class in our school. We exchange classes each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and each teacher teaches a subject that they particularly like or enjoy so it is ideal that I teach the children some dancing. This covers the dance strand in our PE curriculum. The class teachers go over the dances with the children so they learn the dances too. During Seachtain na Gaeilge each year we have a Céilí and each class gets a chance to perform their dances. By the end of sixth class every child has learned ten dances or more and they thoroughly enjoy the experience! There are a great number of traditional dances which are suitable and easy to teach to children. Since 1998 we have taught a summer school in Keadue, Co. Roscommon. Teachers who attend the course can claim their EPV days, and they also receive a copy of our DVD. We teach dances suitable for children and give suggestions as to how the dances may be incorporated into the primary school curriculum.
Airgead Bunscoile Free School Accounts Package by Seán Ó Laimhín, retired principal of Foxford NS, Co. Mayo and Airgead Bunscoile author and technical support
WHAT IS IT FOR? Airgead Bunscoile is an Excel-based accounting programme for primary schools available free of charge to IPPN members. It was developed as a resource for IPPN specifically to make life easier for principals. Even though the treasurer may be taking responsibility for the school accounts, most principals like to keep a close eye on the financial side of running their school. They need to know what their budget is so they can plan for school development and provision of resources. The may need to monitor monies being lodged for swimming, school tours, book rental or fundraising activities.Those who use it have fed back that they are pleased that it is simple in concept and user-friendly. WHAT DOES IT DO? Airgead Bunscoile will track and analyse the school’s bank transactions and you can print a report for your file. If you have a budget or grant for a particular expense, you can set it up to show how much of that budget or grant remains. Most importantly, once you have set up the income and expense headings for your own school, your treasurer or school secretary can do all the data entry.
in the ‘Reserves’ section. You can also print a list of uncashed cheques. These are entered on the ‘Reconciliation’ page where the balance in Airgead Bunscoile and the balance on your bank statement are reconciled.
Even though the treasurer may be taking responsibility for the school accounts, most principals like to keep a close eye on the financial side of running their school. The current version of Airgead Bunscoile is 1.4 which has some improved features e.g. category headings for each month on the printed sheets. For many of the improvements in developing the programme, I thank the principals who made me aware of problems and made suggestions. Feedback is important and always welcome.
As the data is entered, an Income/Expense report is automatically created and this can be printed off on a single sheet. This is useful when you are preparing a report for a Board of Management meeting. It shows the Board which grants and other incomes have been received and the total spent in each area of expenditure. At the end of the school year it is a complete record of the Income and Expenditure for that year. Other reports are also created simultaneously and these can also be printed and filed in hard copy. It is always necessary to keep paper records of your school accounts. Indeed the purpose of Airgead Bunscoile is not to replace your paperbased records but to generate these records as easily and quickly as possible. These printed reports are kept as a record of the financial status of your school account on that date. A monthly Income and Expenditure report can also be printed both as a list and as an analysed spreadsheet. If you want to budget or ‘reserve’ amounts for planned expenses in the future, these are tracked
My hope is that it facilitates the delegation of that task and helps reduce the busy principal’s workload. HOW DO I ACCESS IT? To use Airgead Bunscoile you must first download it from www.ippn.ie – Policies & Plans – Administration and save it to your computer. When you have downloaded it, you should rename the file immediately to something like “[MySchoolName] Accounts 2011-12”. A new copy of the file should be used for each school year, with the filename changed accordingly. As it is an Excel file, so you will need to have Microsoft Office installed on the computer on which it is to be used. It is important to follow the setup instructions before you start using Airgead Bunscoile. These are available within the package itself by selecting and reading the Instructions, Setup and Design View pages from within the Setup area on the main page. For an Excel file like Airgead Bunscoile to function fully, it is necessary to check for Microsoft updates and install any recommended updates or ‘Service Packs’. If you have an older version of Excel you may get an error message that ‘Macros are not enabled’ and the file may not work until you have updated Excel as explained above. WHAT ABOUT BACKUPS? It is strongly recommended that you create a back-up version of the file each month so you can always go back to last month’s copy if there is a problem with the file. To do this, select File – Save As, and append ‘Nov2011’ (or similar) to the filename.
WHAT DOES IT NOT DO? The user can make many changes within the programme, renaming, removing and adding new categories of income or expense. In some cases where users hoped to expand the programme this was not possible. It was not conceived as a tool to calculate PAYE or PRSI returns. It does not track payments made by individual pupils or keep a record of contributions made by individual parents. However, it seems to provide much of the information that a principal and a Board of Management need to have available. It speeds up and simplifies the keeping of school accounts. PAG E 1 8
WHAT DO I DO IF I ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM? Frequently asked questions and answers have been compiled and are available to view/download from www.ippn.ie – Policies & Plans – Administration. These are now included in the Airgead Bunscoile – Detailed Instructions document. If you have read these FAQs and they do not answer your query, contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavour to help you.
Colleges of Education Entry requirements for Gaeilge by Siobhán Seoighe, an Executive with An Foras Pátrúnachta It is always interesting the way in which our own interests are directed and ignited. At a recent discussion on proposed entry requirements for programmes of initial teacher education hosted by An Comhairle Múinteoireachta, a discussion on Gaeilge began and my own interest ignited. To give some background information on the topic, An Chomhairle Mhúinteoireachta is currently reviewing the entry requirements for Primary Teacher Education from 2016 / 2017. In these proposals the entry grades for both English and Gaeilge for potential new teachers will be increased.
Realistically, there is a gap between the grade and competency in the language, something that we all know but sometimes choose to ignore. The B1 grade in Gaeilge does not mean that the applicant can speak Gaeilge competently or sometimes even at all. There is a greater question of Gaeilge being spoken informally throughout the day by all teachers in all primary schools as Áine Lawlor, Director, An Comhairle Mhúinteoireachta referenced in her background and overview of the discussion on the topic. This is a subject that at times we as Education Partners may chose to ignore but a subject that needs to be addressed in the context of Straitéis 20 Bliain na Gaeilge, Rialtais na hÉireann. In Straitéis 20 Bliain na Gaeilge (the 20 year Irish Language Plan which is supported by all houses of the Government) The Department of Education, and in essence, all Education Partners have a substantial role to play in supporting, nurturing and widening the use of Gaeilge within our education system and thus supporting and assisting in achieving the aim of the Straitéis of increasing the number of Irish language speakers. I would welcome a positive debate on Gaeilge in the context of Straitéis 20 Bliain na Gaeilge and how we can all participate in achieving the goals aspired to in the plan.
(Left to Right) Pat Carey, Chairperson of Glór na nGael, Siobhán Seoighe, Edel Ní Chuirreáin, Head of RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta, Lorcán Mac Gabhann, CEO Glór na nGael To me a few questions arose with regards to the new proposals. The loss of the interview process for new applicants where part of the interview in most third level teaching training colleges is conducted through Irish, will be a great loss to the entire assessment process.Those who have a genuine interest in Gaeilge and those who have honed their expertise in the language will lose out here. The proposed Irish language Admissions Test sounds quite impressive. However at this point there is no information on how this test will be completed, supervised or regulated. It also raises the question whether the language competence of the applicant will truly be measured in an efficient way and reflect the applicant’s true capability in both the written and the all-important spoken word. Children of Gaelscoil & Bernard Dunne With regards to the proposals of An Chomhairle Múinteoireachta to increase the entry grade for Gaeilge to a B1, some thoughts come to mind. On what research or recommendations is this particular point based? Interestingly enough, the question of research was also raised in the plenary session by one of the training colleges. While I am acutely aware that the high standards of our teaching profession need to be retained and upheld, increasing the grade needed in Gaeilge raises a few questions. Realistically will the new proposals exclude rather than include the very capable and perfect trainee teacher applicants from even entering the different programs? I can foresee that a B1 in Gaeilge may exclude the following capable candidates: ● the fluent Irish speaker from a Gaeltacht area ● the fluent Irish speaker who was raised through the medium of Irish ● the fluent Irish speaker who has received his or her primary and secondary school education through the medium of Irish ● the applicant who has a love and a passion for the Irish language.
Gaeilge is truly a living language in the schools of An Foras Pátrúnachta. The staff, the children, the Board of Management and the school community support schools’ work through the medium of Irish. Our schools implement the internationally-recognised and research-supported practice of ‘immersion education’. They are living and breathing mini Gaeltachts, whether that be in the far north of Donegal, in the beautiful West and Mayo, in the south in Clonakilty, County Cork or in the heart of Dublin city. An Foras Pátrúnachta is the largest Patron body of Irish-medium education in primary and secondary schools in Ireland.There is additional information on An Foras Pátrúnachta on www.foras.ie. Siobhán recently published her first book and CD ‘Ráth Chairn na Gréine’, a collection of 39 poems and songs from and about Ráth Chairn from 20 different poets and composers. The book is available on www.udar.ie.
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● Impact of cultural beliefs on the impact of the individual’s experience of sexual trauma ● The impact of trauma on both the parent and the family ● The impact of sexual violence ● Attachment and attunement in the parentchild relationship:The impact of trauma ● The impact of trauma on the major developmental tasks for the child ● Inter-generational trauma ● Child protection issues including female genital mutilation ● Post traumatic stress disorder in the child and how to respond to symptoms ● Supporting the child impacted by trauma within the school or other setting ● Vicarious traumatisation and the impact of working with those who have experienced sexual violence and other trauma ● Strategies for self-care when working with trauma.
existing skills, as well as developing new areas of competence. The maximum number of participants is 16, to facilitate group participation, so early booking is advised. There is a €60 fee for attendance at this three-day training course, which is a subsidised rate. If you wish to attend, please contact Leonie O'Dowd or Jane Baird at The Education Department, Dublin Rape Crisis centre, 70 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. Telephone 01 6614911 or email email@example.com Dates: Wednesday 8th February, Wednesday 7th March and Wednesday 28th March 2012. 9.30am to 4.00 pm Venue: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, 70 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2 This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the European Refugee Fund and is supported by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in the Department of Justice and Equality and Pobal.
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Visual Perceptual Difficulties by Fíona de Buitléir, teacher, Ennis NS
Irlen syndrome is a perceptual disorder where students experience unpleasant symptoms when looking at the printed page, the computer screen, and/or the whiteboard. They may also have difficulties related to the general environment, such as depth perception problems and light sensitivity. It is a sensory issue rather than an optical one - vision appears normal when tested by an optician. Some of the distortions experienced by the student when reading include text that ‘moves’, blurs, floats or disappears, illusions of colour, shape and movement, and pattern glare leading to headaches, sore eyes, nausea and/ or irritability. These cause difficulties learning to read as pupils cannot see the text clearly, and/or cannot bear to look at the page or board for long. Physical cues to watch for include recurrent headaches, rubbing of the eyes, excessive blinking, excessive fatigue from reading (or trying to read), and red, watery or itchy eyes. Over 40 % of pupils with dyslexia, some of those designated ADHD, and many of those with autism, will experience these Irlen problems. Teachers can help in the first instance by allowing students to sit in the part of the classroom which suits them best, minimising glare from electric lights, from the whiteboard or from the windows. Those who find fluorescent lights distressing can be allowed to wear a visor or baseball cap or dark glasses in class. Alternatively, ‘daylight’ bulbs, available from lighting shops, can be used instead of fluorescents. The electronic whiteboard can truly torture these students due to its dazzle - a mute background colour should be used as a matter of course at all times rather than white. White light is the chief culprit in triggering Irlen symptoms. Students in an Irish study reported that they often could not see what was written on the whiteboard clearly and had to guess the content. Others said it gave them an instant headache, and made them feel irritable and edgy. Handouts, worksheets and tests should be copied on to coloured paper rather than white.
This will make them far more user-friendly. Encourage students to buy copies / writing pads with coloured paper, rather than white. The best solution to these students’ problems, however, involves the use of coloured overlays or specially tinted Irlen lenses (glasses) which will remove, or significantly reduce, these unpleasant symptoms. Once they have had a regular eye-test with the optician to deal with any optical issues, these students should be referred to a qualified Irlen screener who will pinpoint their exact problems and ascertain which exact colour will help each individual. The websites www.irlen.ie and www.irlen.com contain detailed information, including a list of qualified screeners. Students and parents can take the free Self-test on these websites to see if it is worth going for personal screening. See also the Youtube content on Irlen. For the student with Irlen syndrome, the coloured overlays and tinted lenses have an effect which is immediate, and lasting. It is a simple, non-invasive solution to a debilitating learning problem, requiring no medical or behavioural intervention. However, it is not a ‘magic bullet’ - the child still has to learn the skills of reading, but it gives them a sporting chance of doing so. Even some able readers will find Irlen lenses helpful as they will keep distortions at bay and allow them to read for longer at one sitting. One mother observed that her child had much less need to reread when using her lenses as she picked up the meaning first time around. This has huge implications for time spent on homework, and for covering ground when studying for exams. (Please do not try coloured sheets from the art shop.These have a high level of reflectance and can exacerbate existing symptoms.)
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Working in the USA, psychologist Professor Helen Irlen found that 14% of the general US population, and 46% of those with dyslexia, could be helped with coloured overlays and lenses. Research carried out in two Irish schools in 2009 by this author found that 17.5% of pupils in a mainstream school experienced Irlen symptoms while 37% of those in a special Reading School for pupils with severe dyslexia were diagnosed with Irlen syndrome. Quotes from Irish pupils during Irlen screening: “Things are moving – I keep getting mixed up”. “I see double vision – my eyes are very tired”. “My eyes jump everywhere – I keep missing things”. Fíona de Buitléir has taught the specialist Reading Class (for pupils with severe dyslexia) at Ennis N.S. for ten years, and is a senior Irlen screener. Coloured overlays, tinted copies and reading rulers, etc are available from www.crossboweducation.com and from www.amazon.co.uk, as well as from Irlen practitioners.
www.ippn.ie – Latest resources The following are the new resources available in the different sections of the website:
SUPPORTS & SERVICES DES CIRCULARS ● 0066/2011 - Initial Steps In The Implementation Of The National Literacy And Numeracy Strategy / Céimeanna Tosaigh I Gcur I Bhfeidhm Na Straitéise Náisiúnta Litearthachta Agus Uimhearthachta ● 0065/2011 - Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools / Nósanna Imeachta maidir le Caomhnú Leanaí i mBunscoileanna agus i Scoileanna Iarbhunscoile ● 0064/2011 - Election of new Boards of Management of Primary Schools / Toghadh Bord Bainistíochta Nua ar Bhunscoileanna ● 0062/2011 - Travel Pass Scheme 2012 (Tax Saver Commuter Tickets)/ Toghadh Bord Bainistíochta Nua ar Bhunscoileanna ● 0056/2011 - Initial Steps In The Implementation Of The National Literacy And Numeracy Strategy / Céimeanna Tosaigh Maidir Le Cur Chun Feidhme Na Straitéise Náisiúnta Litearthachta Agus
uimhearthachta ● 0047/2011 - Probationary Requirements for Registration Purposes for Primary Teachers / Riachtanais Phromhaidh do Chlárú Oidí Bunscoile ● 0046/2011 - JobBridge National Internship Scheme / JabRoghnú Scéim Thaithíochta Náisiúnta
POLICIES & PLANS SCHOOL POLICIES ● Child Protection Policy II SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT & CURRICULUM PLANNING ● Multi-grade Teaching - Issues & Strategies Seachtain na Gaeilge ■ Seanfhocail agus Rabhlóga le foghlaim New! ■ Seachtain na Gaeilge Moltaí ■ Leabhrán na nAmhráin ■ Clár ama Seachtain na Gaeilge ■ Cailín na Gaillimhe BOARD OF MANAGEMENT ● BoM 2011 - A Guide to Best Practice ● New Build/Extension Opening Booklet
ADMINISTRATION ● Capitation Grant ● Primary Grants Calendar 2011/2012 RECRUITMENT - TEACHERS ● Employing a Substitute Teacher PARENTS & PUPILS Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools
POLICY & NEWS PUBLICATIONS ● Primary School Governance - Challenges & Opportunities ● Boards of Management - A Guide to Best Practice LEADERSHIP+ ● Issue 65 – November 2011
CPD CPD ARCHIVE 6. County Network Annual Meetings ● County Network Annual Meeting 2011 Presentation
On your behalf Since the last issue of Leadership+, IPPN met with the DES, education agencies and other bodies in relation to the following: November: 1. Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector – final consultation session. IPPN submitted our final conclusions to the forum on 1st December. 2. DES - Consultative Forum on Teacher CPD, which addressed all aspects of professional development for teachers.
TD invited IPPN to a consultation meeting regarding allowances for back to school clothing and footwear and the free book scheme. 7. IPPN worked with Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) in the Misneach programme for newly-appointed principals in Ennis, Portlaoise, Kilkenny and Monaghan. 8. Meetings were held with Seamie O’Neill, Froebel College and Neil Ó Conail, Mary Immaculate College regarding the placement of students in schools and the additional demands on principals that will arise when the B Ed programme is extended to four years.
3. Minister Ruairi Quinn invited IPPN along with the other education partners for a prebudget briefing.The focus was mainly on the limitations within which he had to confine his 9. IPPN was invited to participate in a budget allocation. IPPN submitted our own consultative process to examine ways in which pre-budget statement on 30th November. curriculum and assessment can be adapted to suit the needs of the 21st century both in DES held a Child Protection briefing session in relation to forthcoming legislation in terms of society and the workplace. reference to Children First, Garda vetting and the withholding of information. Maria Doyle, 10. IPPN attended a meeting with the Special Education Support Service (SESS) and IPPN Executive member, represented primary principals of schools which changed over from principals in the work leading up to the private special schools (e.g. Saplings, Autism briefing session and the consequent revised Ireland and Ábalta) to Special Schools for guidelines. Children with Autism and Complex Special 4. A group of retired principals met at our Needs. IPPN will continue to work directly Support Office to review the projects they with these principals to determine what support they need. undertook last year and to plan for the year ahead.Their activities include designing and delivering pre-retirement seminars; supporting 11. Young Ballymun’s conference - Great Expectations – international and local principals experiencing difficulties; supporting evidence on why literacy, learning and newly-appointed principals and conducting wellbeing transform children’s life chances research. 5. The Teaching Council invited IPPN to attend 12. The National Education Welfare Board invited IPPN to participate in a workshop on a consultative meeting re. school placement capturing good practice across the existing models, proposed entry requirements, revised three services (NEWB, SCP and HSCL). All draft Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers three services were represented as well as a and revised Subject Criteria Qualification number of School Principals.This project will Requirements. make an important contribution to developing future services. 6. Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton PAG E 2 2
13. Invited guests a. NCSE Research Conference – the launch of the inclusive framework – for schools to judge how schools measure themselves on inclusivity, a copy of which will be issued to all schools b. Positive Parenting Program c
Healthy Food for All
d. Professor Ciaran Sugrue’s appointment as Chair of Education of UCD and book launch e. E-twinning Comenius Conference f.
Child Services Committee in Dundalk.
December: 1. NEWB school implementation programme – dates for reporting, unifying the processes for school completion, home/school liaison and welfare officer into one service (Pat on steering committee) and development of an attendance strategy. 2. Amnesty International invited IPPN to attend a symposium on the implementation of action points arising from their report In Plain Sight, which was written in response to the Ferns Report. IPPN Events 1. November - IPPN National Committee meeting, where the new IPPN National Executive members were elected. 2. October and December - IPPN Preretirement seminars, Portlaoise and Galway These one-day seminars address the main personal, self-care and financial issues that retirement brings. 3. January - IPPN Annual Principals’ Conference 2012 – Citywest Hotel, Dublin.
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The Human Brain Speech, Language and Creativity by Pat Keogh, Principal of Ard Mhuire NS, Tallaght, Dublin
A child is born with a hundred billion brain neurons. At birth there is little or no contact between many of them. As the brain develops, myelinisation, a lubrication process connects and creates collaboration between cells. When the neurons in the prefrontal lobes begin to connect, language comprehension and speech emerge. Self-consciousness commences at this stage too. Full maturation and integration of those hundred billion neurons give the brain incalculable capabilities and power. The evolution of the human brain has come through three stages. First the brain stem or reptilian brain which controls reflex action, reproductive urges, blood circulation, digestion, respiration and survival. The second stage was the growth of the cortex - the mammalian brain which controls the emotions, the hormones, sexual urges and body temperature. Finally, the neo-cortex grew on top of the cortex - where thinking, planning, analysing, creating, language, communication, and music composition take place. Language to communicate is thought to have begun in humans about two million years ago, marking the transition from hominid to human whereby the initial use of gestures to communicate was gradually replaced by words. We generally refer to the cerebrum as the brain. It has four pairs of lobes, a left and a right of the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes. Each of the five senses sends messages to specific lobes in the brain where sense is made of the information received. Research has shown that the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of the frontal lobes, does not become involved in sensory tasks or sensory processing. These are the areas of executive function. They are involved in thinking, analysing, judging and making comparisons. The prefrontal cortex is not concerned with routine, everyday events but when we think the prefrontal lobes become fully conscious and alert. The right side of the brain, particularly the right frontal lobe, is involved with emotional arousal, curbing stress, humour, seeking relaxation and survival. This is assumed to be the creative side. It responds particularly well to sounds from
nature, music and artistic appreciation. Damage to this area of the brain causes reduced levels of attention. The right frontal lobe shows more sensitivity to pain than the left. Sounds received through the left ear are processed initially in the right side of the brain. Consequently, music and other sounds from nature are more accurately received and processed when channelled through the left ear.
complimentary music channelled into the left ear piece as the speech or factual information is voiced through the right ear receiver. Optimising the potential of both sides of the brain to acquire knowledge should be prioritised in methods of teaching. Encouraging more relaxation, musical and artistic activities in the right frontal lobe will give the analytical left frontal lobe time to reflect and analyse.
Optimising the potential of both sides of the brain to acquire knowledge should be prioritised in methods of teaching.
The brain scientists Wernicke and Broca have identified areas of the brain that deal specifically with speech and language.Wernicke’s area deals with language comprehension. Broca’s area is concerned with speech, articulation and syntax. Speech problems occur if Broca’s area is damaged. If Wernicke’s area only is damaged the person may retain fluent speech and clear unaffected grammatical construction, but what the person says is nonsense. Serious damage to the connections between these two areas may leave the person unable to repeat what s/he hears. This is because the verbal language received and comprehended in Wernicke’s area cannot be passed on to Broca’s area for articulation.
The left frontal lobe is taken to be the logical side. It creates plans and is responsible for the execution of those plans. It is analytical, precise, logical, controlling and unfeeling. Science has shown that it responds to speech sounds from a very early age in the child’s development. Reading, writing, speaking and understanding reside in this side. Conversations heard in the right ear are processed initially in the left frontal lobe. As this is the area specifically responsible for speech and language, it might be beneficial for children with speech and language difficulties to have oral language voiced through the right ear in some learning situations. There is constant cooperation and collaboration between both sides of the brain. A child with speech & language problems ought to have a hearing test, in the first instance, to determine the level of hearing in both ears. If one ear suffers a hearing loss, the brain will channel the sounds entering the better hearing ear to the appropriate area for processing. Teachers, speech and language therapists and parents might consider it beneficial for children to wear headphones with a silent left ear cover and a right ear receiver that conveys appropriate, easily comprehended oral language. It may be even more effective and advantageous with certain subject matter, and where both ears have similar hearing ability, to have appropriate and
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With normal maturation Wernicke’s area of the brain develops prior to Broca’s area. The child can become frustrated in being unable to put words on his/her thoughts because the child understands more than s/he is able to articulate. A child may throw a tantrum, sulk or become very stubborn in frustration because s/he is unable to articulate his/her thoughts and feelings. Parents and teachers must spend time getting to understand the child and observing the child’s body language. If a child says ‘Mammy you are not listening to me’, the parent must take heed. The same applies to the teacher. Pat Keogh is principal teacher in a large Dublin suburban primary school. He is a staunch advocate of child-centred education. Pat has a master’s degree in philosophy and a doctorate in education. His doctoral thesis is entitled ‘Thinking Critically’. He is keenly interested in the incredible calculating ability of the human brain and the illusiveness and ingenuity of the mind. He believes that the creative mind operates best when the body is at rest.
Principal Advice Simple As All That by Angela Lynch, Principal Advice Manager Sir Winston Churchill once wrote, ‘You haven’t learned life’s lesson very well if you haven’t noticed that you can give the tone and colour, or decide the reaction you want of people in advance. It’s unbelievably simple. If you want them to take an interest in you, take an interest in them first. If you want to make them nervous, become nervous yourself....It’s as simple as that. People will treat you as you treat them. It’s no secret. Look about you.You can prove it with the next person you meet.’ A good friend, Johnny, lived with the philosophy – ‘It’s as simple as all that.’ No matter what the problem, no matter what the difficulty, it had to be resolved and you resolved it. It was as simple as all that.
– A Guide to Best Practice which you can download from www.ippn.ie in the Policy & News / Publications section. It has been suggested that the most important work of the Board takes place between meetings.Therefore, in light of the needs of the school, a division of workload along the lines of the role descriptions in the pack may be a useful method of organising specific roles and responsibilities. It is emphasised that a decision to delegate workload responsibility does not, in any way, take from the overall responsibility of the Board as a corporate unit. The roles and responsibilities will be clearly understood and agreed by the Board.
We have new Boards of Management. We are at the start of a new year. This is the ideal opportunity to build these all-important relationships.
In practical ways, how can the Board support the building of relationships within the school community? You might consider the following as a Board of Management: ● Meeting and getting to know the staff ● Meeting and getting to know the Parents’ Association (See joint National Parents’ Council-Primary and IPPN publication - Supporting Each Other- A guide to best practice for the effective partnership between principals and parent associations) ● Ensuring that a Board member attends significant school events ● Simple ways of acknowledging and celebrating the achievements of children, parents and staff.
We have new Boards of Management. We are at the start of a new year. This is the ideal opportunity to build these all-important relationships. The common purpose of doing the right thing for all the children in the school and respect for others being a core value is the essence of an effective Board. You may say, easier said than done.
It is hoped that this resource pack will support the work of your Board of Management over the next four years. We welcome your feedback on the pack to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The combined wisdom of individual Board members, school principals and research on school governance has been gathered and distributed to schools in hardcopy format. Called the Board of Management Resource Pack, this pack is in no way meant to be prescriptive, nor does it claim to direct the working of individual Boards. It sets out good practice which has worked for many Boards, providing a template for a Board to evaluate its practice and then plan accordingly, in light of its core purpose and core values. It is intended to be used in conjunction with IPPN’s recent document Boards of Management 2011
Go n-éirí go geal libh agus go dtugaigí tacaíocht, misneach agus spreagadh dá chéile. Sometime you may see a horse running a race.You may even put two and two together and realise how she got her name and who has a connection with the horse called ‘Simple As All That’!
For both these men, things were simple. It was all about the relationships in their lives and about the quality of those relationships. We can apply this wisdom to our schools. It involves building relationships of respect and trust.
Principal Advice Clinics at Conference 2012 Based on the information being received in the Support Office, it has been decided to provide a new facility at Conference this year. This will allow principals to address issues you may have in your school with a member of the Principal Advice Panel.
Within the Trade Exhibition, a private area will be provided to facilitate confidential conversations. The details of the facility may be found on the Conference page of the website www.ippn.ie.The facility will be available at all the Exhibition times on the Conference timetable.
It is evident that many principals are experiencing difficulties, especially in the area of human relations management. It can often be difficult to address these issues over the phone and a face to face conversation may be easier and more productive.
In my new role this year, I look forward to meeting you at Conference and I especially would like to hear from you with regard to how best IPPN can meet your Professional Development needs for the coming year.
Go n-éirí go geal libh i mbliana.
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Key Skills for Principals How to share useful – and respectful – feedback Feedback to your teaching staff must be shared in a manner that is understandable to them and is perceived by them as being provided in a highly respectful manner. Sharing feedback involves skills in effective listening, verbal and nonverbal communications, and working in multicultural environments. The following guidelines may be helpful to you: 1. Be clear about what you want to say before you say it. You might have already sensed what feedback you want to convey. However, you should be clear to yourself about what you want to convey and how you want to convey it. 2. Share your feedback in a concise and specific manner, then you can embellish. People often lose specificity when they speak because they say far too much, rather than not enough. Or, they speak about general themes and patterns. When giving feedback, first share what you saw or heard, what you want instead, and how
the person can achieve it.Then you can add more descriptive information if necessary.
particular feeling, if appropriate, but do not dwell on it or become emotional.
Sharing feedback involves skills in effective listening, verbal and nonverbal communications, and working in multicultural environments.
5. Own the feedback. The information should be about your own perception of information, not about the other's perceptions, assumptions and motives. Use I statements as much as possible to indicate that your impressions are your own.
3. Avoid generalisations. Avoid use of the words all, never and always.Those words can seem extreme, lack credibility and place arbitrary limits on behaviour. Be more precise about quantity or proportion, if you address terms of quantities, at all. 4. Be descriptive rather than evaluative. Report what you are seeing, hearing or feeling. Attempt to avoid evaluative words, such as good or bad. It may be helpful to quickly share your
6. Be careful about giving advice. When giving feedback, it is often best to do one thing at a time – share your feedback, get the person's response to your feedback, and then, when he/she is more ready to consider additional information, share your advice with him or her. Used with Permission from Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC McNamara, C. (n.d.). How to share useful – and respectful – feedback. Minneapolis, MN: Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Primary School Governance Challenges & Opportunities The Board of Management has been the governance structure underpinning Irish primary education for almost four decades. The leadership potential for governance is immense given that there are approximately as many people directly involved in school governance as there are teachers teaching in schools. It is for this and other reasons that IPPN has been keen to spotlight governance and to review the composition, roles, operation and effectiveness of the current governance model in Irish primary schools. Primary School Governance – Challenges & Opportunities belongs to those who have contributed to it – the board members of the 500 primary schools randomly selected to participate in the study. Their response has provided – for the first time – real information on who is governing schools, what structures and practices operate locally, and how board members perceive their role and the roles of others. It looks at the extent to which the board functions as a corporate body rather than a gathering of representative groups, whether it works proactively or reactively, leads and governs or follows and manages. IPPN is indebted
to all who have contributed to this work but most particularly to the many patron, community, parent and teacher members of boards of management who not only commit voluntarily to the governance of their schools but who also took the time to contribute to this report.
Primar y School
SCHOOL GOVERNANCE Vision
This report is timely, given the debate on governance and patronage that is gathering momentum. So where do we go from here? This report is timely, given the debate on governance and patronage that is gathering momentum.The reality is, as the findings of this report indicate, that national schools are fairly embedded in a management structure that for many reasons needs to be completely reconfigured. We need to ‘unlearn’ our management practices and begin again. Patronage is one debate. Effective governance is another. Regardless of what the outcome on ownership and patronage may be,
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schools need to lift their game on governance. IPPN presents this report on governance as its contribution to a further step along the path towards best practice governance. You can view or download Primary School Governance – Challenges & Opportunitiesfrom the Policy & News – Publications section of www.ippn.ie.
And Finally… TENSE by James Martyn, retired Principal, Scoil Sheamais Naofa, Bearna, Galway We were working through the tenses, practising the swing from present to past. Seeing how you could take the future as anticipation of the ‘now’, even if it fills our days with the most dread it is still easily learned. We stood in the back garden observing the dusk conveyor-belt towards us; the shadow swing of the saplings by the wall, the individual drop of the blossom, the singular beat of the gull craving towards the shore, while you practised, reciting your litany: from running to ran and trying to tried,
e t a l e h t f o y r Obitua e s n e S n o m m Mr. Co
has on Sense, who d fr iend, Comm ol d his ve ce lo sin be , a as old he w rn the passing of s for sure how red as ow be kn em e Today we mou m on re o be N tape. He will r many years. d fo re us ic at ith cr w au en re be st in bu ere long ago lo birth records w lessons as: le ab lu va d such or m; bird gets the w having cultivate in; Why the early ra e th of t ou to come in Knowing when it was my fault. an you fair; and maybe s ay 't spend more th Life isn't alw al policies (don ci an began h fin d alt he un is so e in charge). H lived by simple, ar e n, ns re Se ild on ch t m Com ions were set in (adults, no liable strategies erbear ing regulat re ov d t an bu ) d rn ne ea n tio ca l-inten t for kissing a pidly when wel sexual harassmen ith w d a ge ar to deteriorate ra ch boy after lunch; and of a 6-year-old ing mouthwash us . r fo on iti ol place. Reports nd ho sc co s orsened hi suspended from student, only w ly ru classmate; teens un an ng that r repr imandi r doing the job teacher fired fo cked teachers fo ta at ed s in nt cl re de pa It n he ildren. e lost ground w their unruly ch sun Common Sens in disciplining do t to administer to en d ns ile co fa al d nt ha re es pa lv t se ge em to th nt d they n a stude e require rm parents whe hen schools wer even further w t could not info bu ; nt de stu a rin to lotion or an aspi ve an abortion. d wanted to ha an nt and na eg pr e becam me businesses; e churches beca th as took a e e liv ns to Se ill on e lost the w ims. Comm ct vi r ei e and th an Common Sens th ent your own hom ed better treatm m a burglar in fro to lf se ill ur w e cr iminals receiv yo th nd gave up u couldn't defe on Sense finally m e om Sh C t. beating when yo t. ho ul sa as as w ffee d sue you for aming cup of co mon the burglar coul realize that a ste to ttlement. Com se d ile ge fa hu an a d om de ar aw retion, ly isc pt D , live, after a w om pr his wife her lap, and was uth and Trust, by Tr s, nt re pa spilled a little in s hi by eded in death, n, Reason. Sense was prec ty, and by his so ili ib ns po es R , er ht ug da s hi by . thers: e; I'm A Victim by his 4 stepbro Else Is To Blam ne eo m So He is survived ; ow N ights; I Want It . If you still I Know My R zed he was gone ali re w fe so e l becaus ing. nded his funera ity and do noth Not many atte t, join the major no If . on is th , pass 09)] remember him London (Jan 20 d in The Times, te in pr y all in [Orig
from doing to did and walking to walked, while the daylight closed
by Caoimhín Ó h Baile an Chollai Áinle, Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin, gh
around us; the skeletal apple-tree shadowing over the grass, until there was only the voices of the children playing hide and seek and you had whispered, going… gone.
PAG E 2 7
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Published on Jan 6, 2012