Leadership+ Issue 93 June 2016

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ISSUE 93 / JUNE 2016



+ Leadership


Socks for the King’s Children

1906 began with harsh weather, but it was a particularly harsh year on a rural two-teacher school in Hollygrove, Athleague, Co. Galway. Letters stored in the National Archives written by the parish priest, the principal and his wife tell a sorry tale of disease, poverty, death and a lengthy battle to secure a teacher’s rights.



Changes to the Droichead Process

Since not all parents are as enthusiastic or knowledgeable about Snapchat and Instagram as their offspring, children may take their first steps into the online world with very little adult guidance - if any at all.

Take control of your time over the summer to be present in your own life and reflect and re-energise.

Consider This


When you are constantly attending to the needs of others, it is even more important to develop resilience.

Emotional Well-Being in Schools



The Garda Vetting process has now been placed on a statutory footing and DES Circular 31/2016 gives comprehensive guidance on this topic.



Legal Diary






On the 4th November 2015 a one-day symposium set out to challenge current thinking on how emotional wellbeing is handled in the education sector Irish Primary Principals’ Network, Glounthaune, Co. Cork • 1890 21 22 23 • www.ippn.ie I I I I I I I

Editor-in-chief: Seán Cottrell Editor: Geraldine D’Arcy Assistant Editor: Maria Doyle Comments to: editor@ippn.ie Advertising: sinead.coakley@ippn.ie ISSN: 1649-5888 Design: Brosna Press

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

Signposts ISSUE 93 / JUNE 2016


Ciall Ceannaithe IPPN online course for Newly Appointed Principals

Leadership and Learning REVIEWING, RETHINKING AND REFRESHING PRACTICE IPPN will hold its first face-to-face Summer School specifically designed for Administrative Principals this July, in conjunction with its Summer School for Teaching Principals. These week-long courses, titled ‘Leadership and Learning – Reviewing, Rethinking and Refreshing Practice’ will take place from Monday, 4th July to Friday, 8th July in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise.


Reflecting on and advancing leadership skills Improve planning as leaders Communicating effectively – individually and whole school based Discuss and exchange elements of best practice with other principals Allow for collaborative learning and professional dialogue Framework for Leadership Domains/school self-evaluation Reflecting on self-care within a challenging work environment Focused session on improving instructional leadership (teaching and learning) Specific focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning through SSE & SIP, and reporting to the school community.

Course Content will include: I I I I I I I I

Self-Management and Self Care Instructional Leadership Knowing Yourself and knowing your team School Self-Evaluation School Improvement Plan Cultivating a Compassionate School Refreshing Your Life & Your Leadership Board of Management – Good Governance, Issues & Alerts

Who should attend? I I I

When and where?

Administrative Principals Monday, 4th July to Friday, 8th July 2016 – 9.30am to 3pm Teaching Principals Killeshin Hotel, Dublin Road, Acting Principals Portlaoise, Co. Laois

The course is designed to professionally support Newly Appointed Principals through the first day, first week, first month and first year of their principalship. It is also a very suitable refresher course for experienced Principals who wish to reflect on current practice.

Modules include:

What are the benefits of attending? I

Ciall Ceannaithe – IPPN online Summer Course – has been developed to provide a greater understanding of the innovative solutions to challenges facing Principals. A highly practical step-by-step course built on the collective wisdom and experience of seasoned Principals.

Price A charge of €95 per person is applicable. Fee includes event registration, refreshments and a light lunch each day.

● Accessing professional supports & key resources ● Getting started in your role ● What to do… what not to do! ● Schedule priorities ● Good practice & timetabling for Teaching Principals

Course includes: ● 10 modules (20 hours of study) ● Fully interactive online lessons with audio/visual ● Discussion forum with expert moderators & facilitators ● Online reflective learning log ● Innovative technology-enhanced ● Learning

Registration: ● Course Registration is now open with the course commencing in July ● Full details will be available on www.ippn.ie in the coming weeks ● Access to broadband is necessary

These courses are EPV approved Summer Courses and qualify for 3 EPV days. Book: To book your place visit www.ippn.ie

June 2016

ANSEO! IPPN congratulate Deputy Richard Bruton on his appointment as Minister for Education & Skills and wish him every success in his new role. As the current education landscape in Ireland is a challenging one, our new minister will have a formidable task in leading reform while renewing and refreshing current practice to serve the needs of all the pupils in our schools. The Programme for Government as it is currently set out has some interesting ideas for the education sector. However, we have serious concerns regarding some of the key proposals, which we look forward to addressing with the new minister and his officials. It is timely to reiterate IPPN’s key priorities, informed by members through our Autumn 2015 survey: I A minimum of one administration day per week for all Teaching Principals I Restoration of Principals’ salary and benchmarking increase (This is an IR matter and therefore not within IPPN’s remit) I Reduction of the threshold for administrative principalship I Revised staffing schedule for Special Schools I Improved pupil/teacher ratio I Dignified step-down facility for principals without loss of seniority or pension.

SEÁN COTTRELL AND MARIA DOYLE up in this ‘presentism’. Principals’ ability to handle new situations confidently will stand to those who are to embark on the next exciting phase of their lives. We wish them health and happiness and congratulate them on a job well done. Principals who are returning to their schools in September need to consider their own personal wellbeing this summer. Two months may sound like an eternity, however, the insatiable demands on your time from all quarters could quite easily erode every one of those days. The temptation to

stay engaged with school issues over the summer is understandable - to work on that new project you have been itching to complete. You must take control of your time over the summer to be present in your own life and reflect and re-energise. To do this, you will need to be ruthless in sticking to your planned time away from school. You deserve it, you have earned it and you absolutely need it. The school won’t fall apart. We are advised to let the battery in our phones discharge completely every so often to maximise its life. This applies equally to anyone working in stressful situations, including principals. So, identify those tasks that would prevent your school from opening in September. Make a plan to delegate responsibility for these tasks, ensuring that the Board and staff are aware of the plan. Don’t leave this until July or there will be no-one to delegate to – they’ll all be on their holidays! Then put an ‘out of office’ message on your voicemail and email saying that you are on holidays. Book that flight, get away, and, above all, enjoy every minute.

We will be engaging with the new minister to highlight these and other matters of critical importance to school leaders. While he gets to grips with his new role, many principal colleagues are preparing to turn the key in their school for the final time this summer, following many years influencing and leading teaching and learning. The vast majority will find the transition bittersweet – leaving behind the rollercoaster ride that has been the hallmark of the role, along with the sweet sense of achievement and fulfilment that is their due. We live in a culture of ‘the present’ where little time is allocated for true reflection and planning; it is all too easy to get caught 33

The Commencement of Statutory Requirements for GARDA VETTING Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016.



Vetting of school employees has been an essential component of recruitment procedures for many years. A ‘relevant organisation’ is charged with the task of acting as a conduit for schools and the Gardaí. The Teaching Council represents registered teachers whilst Diocesan Offices/ School Management bodies are charged with the facilitation of all other persons. These arrangements will continue and new vetting forms are now available. The Vetting process has now been placed on a statutory footing. DES Circular 31/2016 gives comprehensive guidance on this topic.

WHAT IS THE VETTING ACT AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT ON SCHOOLS? The Vetting Act is the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 as amended by the 4

The Vetting Act commenced on 29 April 2016 and places statutory vetting obligations on Boards of Management (BoM). In the past, vetting was conducted to satisfy good codes of practice and guidelines. It is now mandatory. 2. The National Vetting Bureau (the Bureau) which will replace the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) and will be responsible for issuing vetting disclosures. 3. Statutory vetting will, in addition to a check for criminal records, include a check for any relevant “soft information”. “Soft information” - referred to as “specified information” in the Vetting Act - is information other than criminal convictions held by An Garda Síochána that leads to a bona-fide belief that a person poses a threat to children or vulnerable persons. The vetting requirements apply amongst others to include teachers, special needs assistants, ancillary staff, coaches and contractors. 4. From 29 April 2016, it is a criminal offence, other than in certain limited circumstances, for a BoM to commence the employment of an employee without first obtaining a vetting disclosure from the Bureau in respect of that person. Additionally, a BoM cannot contract, permit or place a person

(e.g. contractor, volunteer, sports coach etc.) to undertake relevant work or activities with children or vulnerable persons, without first obtaining a vetting disclosure from the Bureau in respect of that person. A (BoM) that contravenes this requirement commits a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to €10,000 or a prison term of up to 5 years or both. 5. It will not be necessary under the Vetting Act to obtain a vetting disclosure from the Bureau prior to employing a teacher as a substitute where the BoM has, prior to 29 April 2016, received a copy of the Teaching Council vetting letter in respect of that teacher. 6. There is no immediate requirement to obtain vetting disclosures in respect of existing employees, volunteers, sports coaches etc. who undertake relevant work or activities in the school under contracts of employment or other arrangements that were in place prior to 29 April 2016. Such persons will, however, be required to be vetted in due course under the retrospective and re-vetting requirements. Approximately 40% of teachers (34,000) remain unvetted in schools as they were employed prior to 2006. 7. The practice of the Teaching Council providing teachers with a vetting letter will be discontinued from 29 April 2016. From that date, vetting disclosures received by the Teaching Council


from the Bureau will, subject to the teacher’s consent, be made available electronically to the relevant BoM. As of now, the Teaching Council will use an evetting facility to communicate a vetting disclosure to the BoM. In the case of those other than teachers, the existing paper-based arrangements will continue, whereby the written application for vetting is submitted via the Diocesan Offices/School Management body. 8. Where a recurring substitute teacher or a person on a list of substitutes has supplied a vetting letter to the BoM prior to April 29th, no statutory vetting obligation exists. 9. Thorough recruitment procedures, including the checking of references and any gaps in career history, are an essential element of child protection practice. Statutory vetting should not take the place of good recruitment procedures but must be used as part of those procedures. As an additional safeguard the Statutory Declaration and Form of Undertaking must be completed and provided to the school in accordance with DES Circular 63/2010. The BoM must designate one person, usually the principal or

chairperson, as a designated person for the purpose of liaison with the relevant Diocesan Offices/School Management bodies. 10. There are limited exemptions regarding non-employees, such as volunteers, in relation to requiring a vetting disclosure. Unpaid volunteers who assist the school on an occasional basis are exempted, provided such assistance does not involve the coaching, mentoring, counselling, teaching or training of children.

HARD AND SOFT INFORMATION ‘Hard information’ is the mainstay of the Irish vetting system. This relates to criminal activity and the successful prosecution of persons for such behaviour. This information is held by the Garda Síochána and the Bureau. ‘Soft information’ includes information which has come to the attention of the Gardaí, the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and BoMs that falls short of a conviction. Soft information could include an allegation of abuse or conduct warranting the placing of a child of the vetted person into care. Such information is highly relevant to BoMs employing people working with children. There is a clear distinction

between those convicted of a crime and those who have not been convicted. There are duties owed to the vetted person, the young people cared for and supervised by the vetted person, and the community at large. It should be borne in mind by schools that the fact that a person has a conviction does not automatically render that person unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults. If a person was convicted of smoking cannabis (but not supplying it) many years ago, they would hardly pose a child protection risk. The primary criterion in assessing the significance of the conviction or any other aspect of the disclosure is its relevance to child protection. An objective and balanced approach is critical in this regard. It is for the school to make a judgement as to the person’s suitability.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (SPENT CONVICTIONS AND CERTAIN DISCLOSURES) ACT 2016 This Act is designed to help exoffenders secure employment. A range of minor offences will be erased after seven years resulting in a criminal record being expunged. The law does not apply to any conviction for a sexual offence or for an offence tried in the Central Criminal Court.

NCLI Leadership Award 2016 In April, the remaining two NCLI Leadership Awards – Broader School Community and Other School Staff Awards - were presented during a visit to their respective schools.

The Broader School Community Award was presented to Fr. Michael Wall, Chaplain and Lecturer at Mary Immaculate College and Chairperson of the Board of Management at Gaelscoil Sáirséal, Bridge Street, Limerick. Fr. Wall was described as ‘an exceptional Board of Management Chairperson. He has exceptional

leadership qualities, his people management skills are inspiring, a brilliant mind for problem-solving, an excellent memory for retaining facts, is an exceptional negotiator, summarising tricky situations very quickly and finding solutions to suit everybody.’ Fr. Wall was nominated by the principal of Gaelscoil Sáirséal, Bríd Gháirbhith and the award was presented by Seán Cottrell, IPPN CEO.

IPPN President, Maria Doyle presented the Other School Staff Award to Gabriel Fabregas, Caretaker of Scoil Mhuire NS, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare. Gabriel was nominated for this prestigious award by Máiréad O’Flynn, principal of Scoil Mhuire. Gabriel is a native of the Philippines and has been working in the school for the last 5 years. In his nomination form he was described as having ‘passion for excellence in everything he undertakes. He has influenced absolutely everyone in the school community and in the small village. His work ethic, which stems from a sense of pride in a job well done, has inspired every teacher and pupil in the school to be proud of their environment and to keep it clean and tidy.’ Thank you to Bank of Ireland for sponsoring these prestigious awards.


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals


for the King’s Children ARTHUR GERAGHTY PRINCIPAL OF GLANDUFF NS, KILTOOM, CO. ROSCOMMON 1906 began with harsh weather, but it was a particularly harsh year on a rural two-teacher school in Hollygrove, Athleague, Co. Galway. Letters stored in the National Archives* written by the parish priest, the principal and his wife tell a sorry tale of disease, poverty, death and a lengthy battle to secure a teacher’s rights. On May 28th 1906 Father Michael Conry wrote to the Board of Education in Dublin. He outlined the case of Mrs Brigid Somers who had been demoted from Assistant Teacher to Junior Assistant Mistress (JAM), due to poor average attend-ance and whose annual salary had been reduced from £44 to £24 as a result. The preceding months had brought an epidemic of ophthalmy, a painful eye disease, which ravaged through the neighbourhood, only to be followed by an outbreak of measles. The manager’s defence of his teacher’s case described the condition of the children: ‘I myself saw some of the children, it was manifest that they were not even then in a safe condition to come to school’; ‘their eyes appeared inflamed’; ‘….great danger of these children having their sight permanently injured should they apply themselves to study’. He pointed out that the measles had spread throughout the whole of the parish with one of the Hollygrove children dying. In conclusion he requested that the board ‘take Mrs Somers’ case into consideration and restore her salary to her’, adding that she was ‘most attentive to her business’ and that she ‘promotes the interest of the school’. The letter was accompanied by a certificate from Dr Hugh French, the Medical Officer of Health in Ballygar, confirming the extent of the illness. Within a week, however, Father Conry received a short, unyielding reply which referred to average attendances and pertinent rules, and pointed out that ‘fullest measure of indulgence permissible under the rules’ had been shown to Mrs Somers.

‘Our hamlets are embedded in bogs; poor badly fed, badly clothed, barefoot children cannot come to school in winter by bog boreens crossed by mountain torrents and bridge by single plank’. On June 12th her husband Edward Somers, the school principal, wrote to the Board of Education pleading his wife’s case. He described the horrific effects of the two epidemics and the ‘utter impossibility of maintaining the required average for the March quarter’. He wrote of the harsh weather, and the school being ‘almost an island school surrounded with bogs and water’. He referred to rules and schedules, and sought ‘special consideration’ for his ‘mixed school’. His letter was accompanied by several short, supporting statements from families including one from Katie Geraghty whose ‘two brothers, Thomas and 6

June 2016

Hollygrove NS, Athleague

Bernard had influenza and sore eyes in March’ and Thomas was attended by Dr French, Ballygar’. The swift reply from the Board of Education stated that the decision already made could not be altered. Brigid Somers continued to work, but as a JAM. As retirement approached, her depleted pension would have been on her mind. On June 17th 1911, she wrote to King George and Queen Mary whose coronation was eminent, seeking their aid. ‘At this solemn and sacred time’ of their coronation, she sought in her best court English, ‘Royal favour’. ‘Oh! my beloved sovereigns,’ she lamented, ‘let me not plead in vain’. Referring to herself as ‘the mother of 14 children’, she described vividly the wretched conditions in the locality. ‘Our hamlets are embedded in bogs;

Ed Somers

poor badly fed, badly clothed, barefoot children cannot come to school in winter by bog boreens crossed by mountain torrents and bridge by single plank’. She pleaded her case with fervour – ‘oh how little to the treasury is this money of which I am deprived by accident, and how much to me and my poor suffering children’. The letter concluded with a blessing – ‘may the Most High God and His Holy Angels protect Your Majesties and Your Royal children’.

Brigid Somers

her granddaughters’ memory of a tale that ‘grandmother had knitted socks for the king’s children’! Mr and Mrs Somers were Arthur’s great grandparents, and Thomas Geraghty was his grandfather. * File ED 9/21552 courtesy of the Director, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop St, Dublin.

It is not known whether this letter got a response from the royal couple. Another file of February 14th, 1913 recorded that Mrs Somers was entitled to a pension of £17:8:4 – but based on her shortened service as Assistant Teacher. The discovery of the royal letter however, sits comfortably with


REFLECTIONS LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

Lessons from


Most people have a list of things to do before they reach 50. I have only oneand it’s urgent! My deadline for this article falls on the day when my half century is up. You are reading therefore, the last words written by a principal leaving his forties behind. Recently during our WSE, I was asked about my vision for the school. After 22 years in the job, and with the impending birthday, the question has remained in my head after the cigirí have concluded their work. I hope I answered the question to their satisfaction, though the children’s questionnaires gave me the reassurance I wanted. Children are happy and feel safe in our school. They think we have a good school. With respect to our visitors, that was the most satisfying aspect of what was a fair process. I can’t remember everything I said but I do recall saying that I firmly believed that each child should feature on a team, a choir, on stage or on a team of some sort representing the school during their 8 years with us. And not just as a sub. When putting the prefix ‘ sub’ before other words, it usually denotes something beneath, below or under. Subterranean, subhuman, substandard. When I retired from hurling, the club considered retiring my jersey number. Brazil did it for Pelé with the number 10 shirt. Maradona was similarly honoured in Argentina. In my case, however, there were only 24 jerseys in the new set. I would be the last to wear 25. For those unversed in the rules of GAA, that’s 10th sub, a shirt usually occupied by a diehard, perennial turner-upper who can remember every 5 minutes they ever saw from inside the white line. If, perchance in those 5 minutes, a random swipe at the ball saw it miraculously trickle across the goal line, celebration would be followed by inebriation as teammates sought to mark your unlikely good fortune.


A friend of mine has a hurl framed over his fireplace. ‘That stick put the ball over the bar in Croke Park’ he boasted once at a social occasion. ‘It must have been in the warm up!’ was the cruel reply from someone with a good memory. A sub for Offaly minors, but a sub nonetheless. At a recent reunion of our successful club minor team from the early eighties, I found myself, not unusually, with a microphone in my hand. I was celebrating the fact that I had every underage county medal when I heard a wise crack from a more accomplished teammate about how hard I had worked to get them! ‘It’s great to have so many great hurlers here tonight’, I continued, ‘and it’s especially good that Séimí came all the way from Clare, where he once honoured my visit to their county final to support him by wearing my old jersey number!’ There’s more than one way to score a clincher.

Listening to conversations between selectors, always well meaning, could have a detrimental effect on your confidence if you weren’t reassured of your self worth elsewhere. Yes, I was a sub, the only sub to remain part of a squad where the team stayed the same from under 14 right through to minor. Listening to conversations between selectors, always well meaning, could have a detrimental effect on your confidence if you weren’t reassured of your self worth elsewhere. ‘Don’t waste all that bandage - we might need it for someone more important’ was one instruction I recall fondly. ‘What are we going to do, we’ve no one to bring on’ was another beaut. ‘Go in there and stay away from the ball’ - that was surely tactical!

Looking back, being a sub was the best preparation I could ever have been through for the role of school principal. A sub is often a marginalised figure in a group of players, which is particularly difficult in one’s formative years. A child’s confidence can receive unintended but nonetheless devastating blows by how they are treated by school and youth team coaches. I was lucky to have other positive reinforcement in my young life, and a smart mouth that kept me sufficiently popular to survive the emotional slings and arrows. A child’s self worth should not be determined by how a coach rates them as a player but it can be enhanced by how they are treated as a person. As mental health is becoming an increasingly major issue for today’s youth, let’s play our part by ensuring that each and every child has the emotional scaffolding necessary to deal with whatever life has in store for them. We can start by making school sports less competitive and more enjoyable. My son is now 14 and getting a few more games than I did at the same age. A shelf full of medals would be a nice reward for his efforts. But a healthy hobby which can sustain him physically and emotionally for the next 30 years would be a far greater prize and a more important measure of success. Looking after those quiet children on the bench behind you will make a difference - a SUBstantial difference. Focal eile: Huge congratulations to accomplished poet and fellow principal Simon Lewis on the launch this month of ‘Jewtown’, his first published collection of poetry, which chronicles the lives of the many Lithuanian Jews who came to live in Cork in the late 19th century.

June 2016

WHAT KIND OF GRADUATE TEACHER WOULD WE LIKE TO DEVELOP? FOUR YEAR B ED PROGRAMME - MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY FROEBEL DEPARTMENT SÉAMIE Ó NÉILL HEAD OF EDUCATION AND DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL PLACEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION The Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education at Maynooth University was formally established on 1 September 2013. Formerly known as the Froebel College of Education, it is the first teacher education college in the history of the state to become fully incorporated into a university. In September 2016, the first Newly Qualified Teachers to have completed the new four year Bachelor of Education (B Ed) degree will graduate from the University. The impetus to change from a three year to a four year B Ed can be found in Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and for Life (2011) which called for the content and duration of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) to be re-configured to ensure that teacher skills in literacy and numeracy teaching are developed to a high level. The re-conceptualisation of the programme was underpinned by a key question: What kind of graduate teacher would we like to develop? It constitutes a vision of teaching as a profession and of teacher education as a form of professional education. The conceptual framework of the four year B Ed degree is unique to the Froebel Department as it highlights the Froebelian philosophical foundations of the programme. This conceptual framework promotes programme coherence by adopting an interdisciplinary approach, highlighting the interconnectedness of course content, assessment, school experiences and pedagogical practice. The four key tenets which inform the conceptual framework are: I Agentic Learning I Situated Learning in a Community of Learners I The Importance of Knowledge


Learning and Reflective Practice: A Theory and Practice Dialogue.

These four principles can be regarded as crucial to the professional growth and development of student teachers as decision makers and reflective practitioners who can apply educational theory and research effectively in practice.

Four key approaches act as a binding instrument to ensure greater cohesion between theory and practice within the programme: Experiential Learning, Reflective Practice, Collaborative Enquiry and ProblemBased Learning.

students undertake elective specialisms in Literacy, Numeracy and Assessment, along with competency modules in Maths, English and Gaeilge. These competency modules are designed to ensure that graduates have the necessary competencies to teach Gaeilge, English and Maths to 6th class level in primary school. School Placement is central to the B Ed programme. Students experience a total of 35 weeks in school or educational settings over four years. These settings include mainstream Infants to 6th class, Gaelscoileanna, DEIS schools, Special Schools and Academic Service placements. In Year 4, students are placed in schools for a 10-week placement. This extended placement is used to contextualise student learning within the course framework and to provide opportunities for engagement in the broader life of the school.

Four key approaches act as a binding instrument to ensure greater cohesion between theory and practice within the programme: Experiential Learning, Reflective Practice, Collaborative Enquiry and Problem-Based Learning. These approaches are used extensively throughout the programme in course delivery and student engagement.

Our Froebelian philosophy is clearly embedded in the practices of the programme – in its learner-centred approach, its encouragement of active teaching and learning, and in the use of appropriate materials and resources with a strong emphasis on methodology. In keeping with that Froebelian philosophy, we strive to keep children at the centre of teaching and learning.

The B Ed programme is organised thematically as follows: I Year 1: Teacher as Learner I Year 2: Teacher and the Child I Year 3: Teacher and Society I Year 4: Teacher as Professional.

We are deeply appreciative of principals and schools and the ways in which they provide our students with rich and varied placement experiences which greatly enhance their professional practice.

The thematic approach allows the student teacher to engage with the core values and practices of education in a linear yet reflexive way over the four years.

Séamie began his career as a primary school teacher, having graduated from St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. He served as Principal of Queen of Angels Primary School in South Dublin before joining Froebel College of Education in 2001. You can contact Séamie by email to Seamie.ONeill@nuim.ie.

In response to Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and for Life (2011),


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals


Inclusive Education


I was struck by something I heard a former principal say recently which I think will resonate with all school leaders. He believed the teaching profession to be unique in that competence at one job (teaching) can lead to the “reward” of a fundamentally different job (principalship) - a reward which often comes without any preservice training.

ordinary happening and I’d imagine there are few enough scenarios that haven’t presented themselves at some stage, although that may be tempting fate! I know how lucky I am to have not only a hugely committed, professional and inspiring staff but also an administrative Deputy Principal who does a phenomenal job. Is cinnte go ngiorraíonn beirt bóthar.

His comments brought me back to the summer of 2001 as I prepared to take on my first principalship. A handover meeting was organised with my predecessor for early July and I diligently prepared a couple of pages of questions to elicit what I most needed to know. My predecessor was accommodating, answering all of my questions, and concluded by enthusiastically handing over the keys. Unfortunately, what I realised, sometime during the first week in the job, is that I had been asking all the wrong questions.

After fifteen years in the role, there are few certainties. I envy the credibility my teaching principal colleagues have as instructional leaders and the intimacy of their schools but they are the only things of which I am envious. I have learned to listen more and talk less and that it is better to “eat your frogs” early so to speak. I am convinced that the quality of relationships in a school promotes the culture of total respect that can have a profound impact on teaching and learning. Essentially, it is my belief that schools are naturally joyous places and it is incumbent on us to ensure that nothing should be allowed to hinder that.

That first principalship was a wonderful learning experience, not least because it was in a private Junior School which was not under the auspices of the Department. Unburdened by circulars, initiatives and external evaluation (notwithstanding the significant expectations of fee paying parents), it was an opportunity to explore my own leadership capacity in an environment that was conducive to innovation and experimentation. Unsurprisingly, the learning curve was steep and my areas for development were readily identifiable. However, that five year period was particularly formative and enriching, no doubt ensuring that I was better equipped to cope when appointed as principal of my current school in 2006. The intervening ten years have been challenging and affirming, frustrating and rewarding in equal measure. The school is so big - an enrolment of 790 pupils and 52 members of staff - that there is always something out of the 1010

I have been a member of IPPN since 2001, although my application for membership was not without complication as it was the first application received from a principal of a private Junior School. The stumbling block was the lack of a roll number but, resourceful as ever, IPPN created one especially for me which was 00001X – I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or offended by the X! In recent years, I have become more involved in the work of IPPN. I’m an active member of the North Wicklow Principals’ Group whose company and collegiality I thoroughly enjoy. My involvement in the work of IPPN is professionally both enriching and provocative, forcing me to reflect and hopefully improve on my own practice. I admire the fact that the organisation welcomes and responds to the views of its membership and is unstinting in its commitment to lead a

process of change in primary education. I am passionate about the development of a shared understanding of what constitutes school leadership which would empower us to focus our energies and time on priority areas such as teaching & learning and school development. I hope to continue my involvement and to make a contribution to the work of IPPN in the coming years. Brian has served as an IPPN County Committee member for a number of years and is currently one of the two representatives for Wicklow on the National Council. Brian can be contacted via brian@stpatsbray.com.


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ANGELA LYNCH PRINCIPAL ADVICE MANAGER Sometimes you can’t get a song or a phrase out of your mind. The phrase “consider this” from the REM song Losing my Religion, has been going around in my head. I thought ‘what better way to ask you to consider a few other thoughts I’ve had’… Consider this…. I This time of the year prior to the summer holiday break, people are tired, arrangements have to be made for the holiday period, changes will happen for the new school year and levels of anxiety can be quite high within the school community. It is not only possible but probable that even minor disagreements can quickly escalate into serious conflict situations. I

Grievances and complaints are commonplace at this time with little possibility of resolution during the holiday break. It can ruin this much-needed respite, increasing stress and anxiety. Remain alert to this potential threat and deal with minor incidents calmly and quickly.

Consider this…. Many decisions will now have been made regarding class allocations and class groupings. Not everyone will be in agreement with the decisions you have made. You may find yourself dealing with a range of complaints and grievances. People complain because they don’t like your decision, will want to change a particular outcome and will put pressure on you to do just that. You may even be accused of bullying or harassment. Always seek advice in such circumstances and follow agreed national procedures – Parental Complaints Procedure and Staff Grievance Procedures. Be very familiar with these procedures.

managing them is significant, detailed and time-consuming, as well as being emotionally draining. Your own knowledge and skill as a school leader, together with the advice and support available from the Principal Advice Panel will help to achieve a positive resolution for all parties.

With ever more responsibility being placed on your shoulders, you may have been putting off caring for yourself, paying little or no attention to your nutrition and exercise. Consider this…. I How do I start considering myself and my needs as important?


With ever more responsibility being placed on your shoulders, you may have been putting off caring for yourself, paying little or no attention to your nutrition and exercise. Your ability to bounce back from adversity and stress, to remain focused, flexible and creative in bad times as well as good may be seriously compromised.

When you are constantly attending to the needs of others, it is even more important to develop resilience. This summer my hope for you is that you focus on and prioritise your own need for work/life balance and wellbeing. “Physician heal thyself” comes to mind here! Please take the opportunity of the holiday period to rest and commit to your own wellbeing and I promise to do the same! You might let me know how you get on (angela.lynch@ippn.ie). Go n-éirí go geal leat.



Many of these issues will be baseless but the work involved in


HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT SECURITY? Many schools take in and handle large volumes of cash at different times of the year. Whether it’s back-to-school money for photocopying or sponsorship money from a fund-raising event – the cash has to be collected and stored safely until it can be deposited in the bank. If you don’t secure your cash in a proper, security graded safe, then you WILL NOT be insured against theft.

Q: How can we insure our cash on hand? A: Install a graded security safe, bolted down in a secure location within the school. Q: What level of access control can we have on a safe? A: We can supply safes with security keylocks and / or electronic security locks. The safes can be configured for single user or dual user, and can have an audit trail. Features such as time-delay and time-lock are also available.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Talk to us about your security requirements. Call 01 6404200 NOW.

We are Ireland’s largest supplier of physical security equipment, with over thirty five years experience. Our client list includes Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of Public Works and several large retail chains. Contact us on 01-6404200 or e-mail brian.fagan@fimak.com to discuss your requirements.

FBH SECURITY EQUIPMENT Porters Avenue, Coolmine Industrial Estate, Clonsilla, Dublin 15.


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

January 2015


I hate labels – I really do – especially ones that don’t come off and then leave a sticky residue! I have little doubt this in-grained obsession has meant that it is not an uncommon sight to see me walking around the school trying to find the ‘renegade’ who used Cellotape instead of Blu-tack on the walls! This discussion gets me thinking about the unwanted labels that are put on us daily. Of course, some of them we would love to have… Sadly, ‘Best boss ever’ is not one that gets thrown at you regularly! However on May 22nd last year – one of my biggest labels changed – and in quite a dramatic fashion. I used to find it quite strange to be known as a ‘gay principal’– always intrigued at the fact that my sexuality would even need to be discussed in the workplace – it has nothing to do with my professional life. But in all honesty it has – it has everything to do with it – I can’t be me without discussing my personal life – the times I share with loved ones, the funny stories and day to day struggles – this is just part of a normal life – I want to share mine just as much as colleagues share theirs. The changes in Irish society since the


Marriage Equality Referendum last year have been incredible – but on another level things haven’t changed that much. Change had been taking place, albeit very slowly. It’s always strange to describe how since the ‘Yes’ vote as an ‘out’ Principal, I felt stronger and more confident, and although strange, talking about my husband in the playground is becoming the new norm. It almost seems strange to me that there was a time where I second-guessed myself when I stalled and didn’t share a story with a parent – all because I was afraid – afraid of what would happen. It’s a year later and I’m now officially allowed to call him my husband. Life still goes on – the sky didn’t fall in, the clocks didn’t stop and yes, they are still fighting about water charges! What’s different now is that gay and lesbian staff members in schools can hold their heads high and say it’s time to be treated equally. Despite this reassurance from over 66% of society, schools can remain one of the few places where people are afraid to be themselves. We have made huge progress in the area of equality, most importantly by the recent changes regarding Section 37 of the

Employment Act, as staff members can no longer be fired for their sexuality. This seems like such a leap forward in terms of rights; however, we should be acutely aware that over 90% of schools in this country are patronised by a church, a church that no matter where you are makes it very difficult to find a way to embrace and cherish all members equally. We hate to use clichés but the phrase – ‘A lot done, more to do’ seems fitting. Wearing my heart on my sleeve, I chose to be honest with all members of the school community – and the most wonderful group, the most caring, and inclusive, are the pupils. Last May’s referendum was not about me, it was about them – creating an Ireland where children could grow up, fall in love; it didn’t matter with whom - they can marry who they want. This change has been the most positive for me. The pupils have carried on with their usual enthusiasm; they seem almost unaware of the ‘new’ Ireland that is getting ready for them. I just have to get used to the fact that a pupil now often casually walks past informing me that my husband is at the door!

On Your Behalf Since the last issue of Leadership+, IPPN has continued our advocacy and representative role on behalf of principals, through meetings, events and submissions in relation to the following:


Meeting with DES Primary Allocations


CSL Implementation Group meeting, Athlone


NCLI Leadership Award presentations – Gaelscoil Sairseal in Limerick and Scoil Mhuire NS in Ballymore Eustace



Mary Immaculate College – discussion of B Ed programme updates.


Meeting with Teaching Council, Maynooth


IPPN Board of Directors meeting, Portloaise


IPPN Deputy Principals’ Conference, Citywest, Dublin



Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Dublin I

DES – update on the Primary Online Database (POD), Dublin


National Parents Council conference, Dublin.


Commemorative event hosted by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs, Áras an Úachtaráin

DEIS review consultation meeting, Dublin


IPPN Board of Directors meeting, Navan

Meeting of the Well-being for Teachers & Learners group,


IPPN National Council meeting, Navan.

June 2016



Our much loved Principal, Paul Ryan passed away peacefully in the early hours of Sunday May 1st. Originally from Ballycahill, Co. Tipperary, Paul graduated from Mary Immaculate College in 1988. He joined the staff of Scoil Mochua in 1991 and quickly established himself as a hardworking and very popular teacher. Paul was appointed Principal in June 2009. He loved his role and worked tirelessly to ensure the best quality education for the children. He engaged whole heartedly with the Board of Management, Parents’ Association and the wider community in the pursuit of anything which improved the school life of the pupils. He sought to maintain high standards and to promote the individuality of all the pupils and delighted in their sporting, artistic, academic and personal achievements.

Paul was appointed Principal in June 2009. He engaged whole heartedly with the Board of Management, Parents’ Association and the wider community in the pursuit of anything which improved the school life of the pupils.

Throughout his illness, he remained optimistic and positive and never complained about being dealt such a cruel blow. While on sick leave, he maintained daily contact with the school and looked forward to visits from staff and stories from the school he loved so much. When at all possible, he came to work, even on days when he did not feel the best. His speech on Proclamation Day this year was to be his last in the school. He joined us for lunch in a local hotel the following day and lamented the fact that he could not indulge in a beverage or two to celebrate the start of the Easter holidays. He was a true friend, a wonderful colleague and an inspirational leader. The world is a darker place without him. We will miss him dearly in the days, months and years ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Joan, his children Séan, Kate and James, his parents Alma and Vincent, his brother Jim, his sister Mairéad and his extended family. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Paul established a unique relationship with each and every member of staff no matter what their age, length of service or position in the school. He never sought to dominate or exercise his authority but rather to encourage, empower and inspire. Staff confided in him and were always assured of his gentle support and calm reassurance. He never sought the limelight and was happy to let others take leadership roles in the school and to affirm their wonderful work. He was in many ways ‘distributed leadership’ personified. The staff will always remember his wonderful sense of humour, his happy smile and his positive demeanour. We will remember with great fondness the glowing praise he bestowed on us in his Principal’s Report at staff meetings or in his speech on the day of the Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays. He loved nothing more than to visit the classrooms and engage with the children about the news of the day or the lesson which was underway. One outstanding memory, for the staff and children alike, is the phone call which Mr. Ryan received each year from Santa Claus during the Infant Carol Service when he would report on the excellent behaviour of the children. The older children thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Ryan dancing and singing with them during their Carol Service and at their Graduation Disco.


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

Emotional Well-being at the heart of school communities PAT GOFF


On the 4th November 2015 a one-day symposium set out to challenge current thinking on how emotional wellbeing is handled in the education sector and to build on existing work in this area. It was designed to raise awareness of the importance of primary and post-primary schools embracing emotional wellbeing of both pupils and staff as a key measure of success. We wanted to establish and embed a culture whereby all children feel safe to express their anxieties and can develop emotional resilience to meet the challenges they will face as they go through life. For staff this means acknowledging that they may be experiencing difficulties themselves and how important it is to look after themselves and support their colleagues. Five hundred attended on the day to hear speakers including Conor Cusack Wellbeing ‘Ambassador’, Dr Niall Muldoon - Ombudsman for Children, Gordon Jeyes - CEO, Túsla - Child and Family Agency, Dr Rosaleen McElvaney – Dublin City University, Margaret Grogan - Regional Director, NEPS, Suzanne Dillon, DES Inspectorate, Colma Nic Lughadha - Children & Young People’s Services Committee, Angela Lynch – IPPN Principal Advice Manager, Pat Goff - Deputy CEO, IPPN and Clive Byrne - CEO, NAPD. WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE? A small committee made up of Conor Cusack, Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon, Teaching Council Director Tomás Ó Ruairc, as well as representatives of the DES, IPPN and NAPD have held four meetings and set about drawing up Terms of Reference. The Group is named Well-being for Teachers & Learners (WTL) and its objectives are: 1. To agree a definition of well-being for teaching and learning for Irish education so that the well-being of teachers and learners is supported 2. To promote a shared understanding of this definition amongst stakeholders in Irish education 3. To enhance co-operation between member organisations, and 14

between the Group and stakeholders, to support an enhanced and sustainable approach to well-being for all learners in our education system, teachers and students alike. The Group will agree a work-plan with a clear timeframe and feasible goals within 3 months of its formal incorporation. The group is very clear that this is not a new initiative, rather it is attempting to get every school to focus on well-being so that it becomes part of their culture. All aspects of emotional well-being need to be included – so that children who are on any part of the spectrum of anxiety/ill health (from apathy to perfectionistic) can be identified and supported, not just those who are suicidal/ have depression. Schools can be the one place where children can feel safe. They can also be the very place where they feel very vulnerable. This group aims to raise awareness among all primary teachers about the need to really listen to children and, crucially, to create an environment, a

culture and a ‘space’ where children can look for help and know they will really be listened to. Teachers have a pastoral responsibility as part of their role (within their professional code of conduct) but cannot and should not try to act as therapists/ counsellors/ psychologists etc. However, they can support the child by listening and potentially referring them/the family to professional services. If teachers are to do this properly, they need training and support, which are not in place at the moment. Never has there been such pressure on schools. Pupils reflect their families, their homes and their communities. Very often these pupils reflect the stress that families are under. School staffs are trying to cope with this as well as dealing with a raft of new initiatives. There are already some great publications to do with well-being in schools produced by NEPS and others. Perhaps it is time for schools to stop and examine their own culture, if we are serious about looking after the wellbeing of pupils and staff alike.

June 2016

REVISED Droichead Process PROS AND CONS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PRINCIPAL The following are the collated views of a number of principals involved in the Droichead pilot who are familiar with the revised Droichead process as presented to IPPN’s Board of Directors and National Council in March.










Droichead is far more than signing off on competence as a teacher. It also supports the NQT in the early stages of a lifelong learning process and developing professional confidence. Builds on existing mentoring culture and work - better sense of collegiality within the staff More positive experience for the NQT – no surprises Schools can provide a high quality mentoring and induction programme for NQTs rather than the ‘snapshot’ focus of the Inspectorate NQT’s work, rather than a one-off performance, is recognised through the process; the PST has a real sense of how the teacher is doing via observations and other activities Clear structure Problems are picked up earlier NIPT support More than one person’s opinion matters Offers high quality CPD to the PST Management focus on teaching and learning and direct involvement with the work in classrooms Schools can include a wider range of criteria reflecting the reality of school life - interaction with parents, provision for SEN, involvement in non-curricular activities Positive impact on staff morale sharing of best practice through observation and modelling by all staff enhances the programme Revised process looks at ‘standards’ rather than ‘criteria’ - more professional Process encompasses the continuum of induction, with a reduced focus on probation


Shared Learning Bursary of €500 External model of support is available where needed More emphasis on the importance of reflection Greater opportunities for the Principal to lead learning Allows for year four in training colleges to reduce timeframe to 60 days.















Extra workload for all members of the PST, especially the mentor – significant time involved for the school Current model is better suited to larger schools where the NQT can be facilitated to observe colleagues - smaller schools cannot offer this flexibility Schools that do not have a culture of team teaching are at a disadvantage Observations must occur during the school day. Sub cover comes in fullday blocks but you may only need a few hours. Making staff available is a big issue. Availability of subs is a significant challenge - particularly when there are several NQTs Release time insufficient, particularly for multiple NQTs - time is required for meetings, discussion, feedback, planning and observations 50 days is insufficient to conduct effective induction and probation, especially if there are issues Insufficient involvement of Teaching Principals and Special Schools in the pilot to adequately assess workability and supports required At least a full academic year is required to begin to achieve short term and longer term objectives There cannot be an expectation of after school meetings/ ‘professional conversations’ – more flexible release time is the only viable approach Lack of standardisation - no QA to ensure the integrity of the process




Pilot feedback was from schools who volunteered to participate – results reflect this Timeframe of 3 years still too short for some and the source of much stress. Classroom jobs are hard to come by. The Taisce portfolio involves yet more paperwork. 4 folders now required – long term plans, short term plans, assessment and now Taisce – is it needed? Section 4 (d) - the principal ensures that Droichead is properly conducted. The principal is the only member of staff who cannot opt out of Droichead. Droichead fundamentally changes staff relationships. NQTs are observed on an ongoing basis and experienced colleagues are evaluating their practice. All of the positives attributed to Droichead apply to the current process but there is a lot more work involved in Droichead.









50% more release days, in addition to the days for mentors and mentees and training for the PST Lift the moratorium on posts of responsibility to increase management capacity Ensure all school types are appropriately piloted, particularly small schools and special schools Further training for mentoring, probation and induction, with substitute cover provided Training in professional conversations for principals, especially newly-appointed Quality control to ensure consistency across schools Separate NIPT from Droichead – combining them can negatively impact mentoring Ring-fence the money from probation by the Inspectorate for Droichead Acknowledge the great work that goes on in many schools Droichead formalises it and can also bring it to a higher level. 15

LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

Droichead Frequently Asked Questions


VERONICA BEHAN PRIMARY TEAM LEADER, NATIONAL INDUCTION PROGRAMME FOR TEACHERS What is Droichead? Droichead is a structured induction programme, based on the principles of mentoring, that supports the professional learning of newly qualified teachers. Droichead consists of two strands: school-based support and guidance provided by a professional support team and additional professional learning. Further details are available in the Publications/ Teacher Education section of the Teaching Council website. Droichead is now national policy and is entering a 3-year growth phase. The Teaching Council will continue to engage with all stakeholders during this time to discuss the process. The Droichead policy will be reviewed in 2019. What is a professional support team? A Professional Support Team (PST) is a team of experienced, fully-registered practising teachers that works collaboratively to support and guide a newly qualified teacher (NQT) through his/her Droichead process. The team can be entirely school-based or schools can nominate an external PST member. The external PST member can be a teacher from a local school or a teacher selected from a panel of trained PST members operated by the National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT). What training and supports are available for schools? Each member of the PST receives 4 days training from the NIPT. Substitute cover is provided as per DES guidelines. The training is designed to equip PST members with the skills and knowledge required to guide an NQT through the process. NIPT also provide advisory visits, ongoing support and professional development for trained PST members. Is release-time available for schoolbased induction?


Between 4 -7 days with substitute cover is available to schools supporting an NQT through the Droichead process. What is involved in the Droichead process? At the start of the process, the PST will agree a timeline with the NQT. It is recommended that an NQT will undertake Droichead for the duration of the time that they are in the position recognised for the process. Droichead may be completed in a minimum period of 60 consecutive days if a PST decides such a timeframe is appropriate. During the process an NQT will meet with, and engage in professional conversations with the PST and other colleagues. The NQT will be afforded opportunities to observe classroom practice and to be observed by the PST. S/he will also attend cluster meetings with their peers, identify opportunities for professional development and maintain a Taisce to document his/her learning and support reflective practice. At the end of the process a recommendation will be made that the NQT is ready to move to the next stage of the continuum of teacher education. Are there benefits for a school? Schools who participated in the Droichead pilot 2013-2016 have outlined the benefits from engagement in the process on the opposite page. What mechanisms are in place to ensure quality and consistency? The following mechanisms help to ensure quality and consistency: I Training, ongoing professional development and shared learning events provided by NIPT I Support from the Inspectorate I Oversight role of the principal I Each year a Droichead Quality Assurance Panel will visit a number of schools engaging in the process. In 2016 a large number of Droichead schools self-selected for this

process and eight schools were visited by the panel. How can a school register for Droichead Training? If your school is interested in registering for Droichead 2016/17, please complete the online form available at www.teacher induction.ie. Please note that a school does not have to have an NQT to attend training. NIPT can arrange a school visit to speak with principal and/or staff about the Droichead process. Email queries and requests to droichead@teacherinduction.ie.

June 2016

Changes to the




At a Shared Learning Day for schools on 2 March, a number of changes were announced to Droichead, the Council’s policy for the induction of newly qualified teachers. These changes reflected the findings of the ESRI research, as well as the feedback from principals, teachers and NQTs through cluster meetings around the country, as well as information sessions, working groups and Shared Learning Days. The main changes are as follows: I Droichead is now a fully integrated model of induction. NQTs will attend one cluster meeting per term and one additional professional learning activity. Engagement in the workshop programme is no longer a requirement for NQTs undergoing the Droichead process. I NQTs working in SEN settings will now be able to secure full registration through Droichead. I There is explicit recognition for the extended programmes of initial teacher education in Droichead. The professional practice requirement is now 110 days, 50 of which are fulfilled through the extended school placement. The balance of 60 days must be completed in a single block post-qualification. The Council will also work with the HEIs to see how the learning needs of graduating teachers can be identified in the final school placement so as to fully inform the Droichead process.

The ESRI research showed that Droichead principals observed greater levels of improvement by NQTs than their nonDroichead counterparts, while the NQTs themselves experienced lower levels of stress. The timelines for the growth of Droichead indicate that, subject to the necessary resources and supporting actions, it will be the enhanced route of induction for all NQTs from September 2018. Some principals involved have told us that while there is additional work in the process, it is not as much as they thought it would be. They also say that it reduces after the first year, given that the initial work of preparing the school for the policy has already been done. The ESRI research shows that on average, principals conducted the same number of meetings with their NQTs, regardless of whether they are a Droichead or non-Droichead school. Droichead therefore recognises the time that principals are already investing in their newly qualified colleagues. Three models of a Professional Support Team (PST) are provided for in the policy. This includes explicit provision for an external model, where only a registered teacher from outside the school would make the recommendation to Council at the end of the process. Droichead has been developed in full cognisance of the pressures being experienced by teachers and principals. The Council has secured additional release time for the Droichead process. A Shared Learning bursary is also available for schools. Droichead will continue to evolve over time. A policy review is planned for 2019. In the interim, further research is planned that would include a focus on the experience of teaching principals. Droichead has been shaped by teachers from the very beginning. It is about recognising the work of induction that teachers have been doing for years. A previous evaluation of induction showed how mentors were concerned that their work was overshadowed by probation. Droichead places the focus clearly on induction. Droichead is based on the premise that teachers are trusted – that they are trusted to lead learning for themselves as well as their students. If you have any questions or doubts, talk to those who have taken part in the process. And if you are still unsure, talk to your local NIPT Associate. Your best chance to make sure that the process will work for you is to shape it now. We in the Council continue to be ready to work with you. If you would like to get in touch with the Council about this article, please email education@teachingcouncil.ie. 17

LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

Carambola ar Carambola a are e delight delighted ed tto o ha have ve w won on a Distinction Safety Assurance Dis tinction iin n the FFood ood Saf ety Assur A ance Awards 2016. A wards 20 16. 6 The FSAA FSA A rrecognises ecognises ex cellence in Food Food o Safety Safety excellence Systems, Sy stems, encouraging encou uraging higher standards standards tthan han leg al requirements. requirements. A he aawards wards ce eremony, legal Att tthe ceremony, Dr.. Pamela Byrne, Safety Dr Pamela Byr ne, Head of tthe he FFood ood Saf ety Authority Ireland, A uthority of Ir e eland, commended tthe he winners of tthe he aawards wards on o ttheir heir dedication tto o pr oviding providing safe society. saf fe food food d for for the the h mostt vulnerable vulner l able bl in i our society i t.

Dr. Pamela Byrne, CEO of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland presenting the award to Shóna O’Brien, Head of Food Safety, Carambola.


TTo o find out more mo ore about Carambola, Carambola, 1850 812 Call 1 850 8 12 300 info@carambola.ie Email inf o@ca arambola.ie carambola.ie Visit car ambo ola.ie

June 2016


Progress to Date… ANNA MAI ROONEY DEPUTY DIRECTOR – PRIMARY, CSL As the Centre for School Leadership approaches the end of its first year, I would like to take this opportunity to share our progress to date with you as we look forward with enthusiasm to the second year of this leadership pilot.

MENTORING Since January, two hundred principals have generously given of their time and experience to become trained CSL Mentors. Of these, 135 are primary and 65 are from the post primary sector. They have completed two residential training sessions and are coming together for a Shared Learning and Celebration Day on June 14th. The CSL Team was overwhelmed by the response to the training programme. Feedback has assured us that those who took part were energised and affirmed by the training, and felt there was much to be gained both personally and professionally. Their willingness to assist newly appointed principals, their sharing of personal experience and their desire to give

something back lent an atmosphere of collegiality, well-being and hope for the future to each of the training sessions. The programme includes formal matching of Mentors and Mentees by the CSL Team and a dedicated training programme for the mentees. Only primary principals in the greater Leinster area had the opportunity to be involved in the programme so far. The training will be rolled out countrywide next year and further details will be available in September. We are delighted to announce that there will be 400 coaching places available for both primary and post primary principals from September next. Professional coaches will help and support principals who are experiencing a particular challenge or those who need assistance to cope with the demands of the role. This is a particularly exciting venture for CSL.

ASPIRING LEADERS’ PROGRAMME The CSL Aspiring Leaders’ Programme will begin in September 2017 and is presently undergoing final preparations for the tendering process with the Office of Government Procurement. CSL and PDST are currently involved in a joint review of the Misneach Programme and the incorporation of mentoring into an additional Misneach residential course. This is planned for a central location this August. The new CSL website will be officially launched on June 14th and will serve to keep you up to date with all our programmes. The team would like to express their gratitude to all the partners in education who continue to support the work of CSL, and especially to IPPN, NAPD and Clare Education Centre for their on-going assistance, professional advice and collegiality.

www.ippn.ie Latest resources If your school has a policy or plan that is not available on ippn.ie, or which would supplement available resources, we would appreciate if you would submit it for review by email to rachel.hallahan@ippn.ie.


The following are the new resources available in the different sections of the website:


RESOURCES RECRUITMENT I FAQs Contract of Indefinite Duration 2016 & DES Circular 0023/2015 DES CIRCULARS I 0028/2016 - Capitation and Ancillary Services Grants


0029/2016 - Grants administered by Schools Division Financial to Voluntary Secondary Schools in the Free Education Scheme 0030/2016 - Expiry of Increment Measures under the Terms of the Haddington Road Agreement 0031/2016 - Commencement of Statutory Requirements for Garda Vetting.

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

SUPPORTS LEADERSHIP+ I Leadership+ Issue 92 – May 2016. E-SCÉALS A new E-scéal is uploaded each week to this section, outlining key information that is relevant to school leaders – deadlines, decisions, planning prompts, research etc. This section will act as an online archive of E-scéals.



See also dashboard.ippn.ie for sector updates, networking emails, events, and more.


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

IPPN Position Papers

Physical Education in Schools IPPN has made various submissions to government in relation to the resourcing and the emphasis placed on the teaching of Physical Education (PE) in our primary schools. IPPN believes that a renewed focus on encouraging physical activities at primary school level is both necessary and desirable. This focus must also encompass other areas of the primary school curriculum such as Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Emotional Wellbeing. The primary school curriculum must strike a balance between learning and physical and emotional wellbeing, a balance that currently does not exist.

45 minutes of vigorous physical activity per day for primary school children, though all of this does not necessarily have to be engaged in during school hoursnot all of this necessarily has to be during school hours.. Other countries place a far higher emphasis on PE than we do in Ireland. Singapore, New Zealand, England, Scotland and Portugal timetable PE for 2 hours per week at primary level. The South Korea, Poland and most of the USA allocate 3 hours per week.


International research clearly points to the positive effects of physical activity in supporting a healthy mind and body. International health experts recommend


EVENTS see dashboard.ippn.ie for more information I Friday 1 July 2016 - Ciall Ceannaithe Online Summer Course I Monday 4 July – Friday 8 July 2016 - IPPN Administrative & Teaching Principals Summer School Leadership and Learning I Wednesday 7 September 2016 – Principals’ Professional Briefing Day I IPPN Autumn Meetings.


UPDATES Late May/Early June 2016 – NCSE to publish first round of SNA Allocations for 2016/2017 School Year I June 2016 – Payment of Capitation Grant (2nd moiety) 20






While this will not solve all fitnessrelated issues in society, the recent World Health Organisation data showing that more than half the primary school going population in Ireland is either overweight or obese, is truly a frightening statistic.



IPPN advocates the concept of ‘Physical Literacy’ where a school promotes the holistic development of the child including physical competence, motivation, confidence and the importance of physical health. Increase the curriculum time allocated to PE to two hours per week - may include 30 minutes taught through Gaeilge. PE should be integrated into other strands of the curriculum e.g. music and drama. Promote a physical education

September 2016– Payment of DEIS Grant.

DEADLINES June 2016 – Deadline for posting of Standardised Testing has not yet been posted on OLCS but last year it was the second last Friday in June, which this year is June 17th. I September 2016 – Deadline for submission of second round applications for RT & SNA Allocations I September 2016 - Schools to confirm to SENOs that students allocated additional supports are attending school I Teacher Update Forms are submitted by last school day in June I



atmosphere in schools, e.g. through the provision of designated play areas for Infant pupils, and activitybased initiatives. The provision of a multi-annual budget to purchase, replace or upgrade indoor and outdoor PE equipment. Adequate funding to cover all strands of the PE curriculum. The development of a national strategy for Emotional Wellbeing. Double the time for SPHE to 1 hour per week. Dedicated PE modules containing clearly-defined learning outcomes to form part of the new 4-year Initial Teacher Training course. Provide ongoing professional development for all teachers in PE and emotional well-being. A total ban on the targeting of children by multi-national companies in the marketing of unhealthy food products.

To read the full position paper and to see all other position papers published to date, log in to ippn.ie and go to the Advocacy – Position Papers webpage.


SNA Update Forms are submitted when NCSE allocations are published.

DES CIRCULARS 0028/2016 - Capitation and Ancillary Services Grants I 0029/2016 - Grants administered by Schools Division Financial to Voluntary Secondary Schools in the Free Education Scheme I 0030/2016 - Expiry of Increment Measures under the Terms of the Haddington Road Agreement I 0031/2016 - Commencement of Statutory Requirements for Garda Vetting. I

And Finally…


The culture of any organisation is shaped by the worst behavio ur the leader is willing to tolerate. Todd Whitaker, Professor, Educator, Writer


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Why do we need school? MUSIC We have Yo

uTube Use a Wii There’s Dora Everything is shortened anyway LOL MATHS That’s why w e have calculators GEOGRAPH Y Google M aps HISTORY They’re all d ead anyway SPORT SPANISH ENGLISH


in Leadership is not about being ing charge. Leadership is about tak care of those in your charge. Simon Sinek, Author


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