Leadership+ Issue 126 - February 2023

Page 1


Building & Maintaining Momentum

+ ISSUE 126 / FEBRUARY 2023 Leadership
DEPUTY PRINCIPALS’ CONFERENCE 2023 ‘Leading Effectively Together’ February 9th & 10th CROKE PARK, DUBLIN The IPPN Deputy Principals’ Conference will take place on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 February 2023 in Croke Park, Dublin. The theme of the event is ‘Leading Effectively Together’. SPEAKERS Rachel Doogue Transforming Meetings Ann Lynskey & Aoife O’Connor A Co-leadership Approach NCSE Advisors Inclusive best practice Panel Discussion Diversity in the Teaching Profession Inputs from the CEO & President WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Deputy Principals Principals (if the Deputy is also attending) PLEASE NOTE SUBSTITUTE COVER IS NOT PROVIDED FOR THIS EVENT IPPN EVENTS 2023 FEE €175 per person (plus €3.75 PayPal administrative fee if applicable). The fee includes event registration, CPD, refreshments: dinner on Thursday evening and lunch on Friday. Note: Substitute cover is not available for this event. Accommodation is not included in the fee. EDUCATION EXPO Education Expo will run parallel to the event for your convenience. This is an excellent opportunity to visit a wide range of school suppliers.  PRINCIPALS’ CONFERENCE A date for your diary 15th to 17th November Gleneagle Hotel and INEC, Killarney See E-scéal and ippn.ie for details in the coming months.
Officer Conor Reale looks at the value of listening to young, new voices The Future is You(rs) +Leadership THE PROFESSIONAL VOICE OF SCHOOL LEADERS Signposts ISSUE 126 / FEBRUARY 2023 Professor Selina McCoy looks at the results of the ESRI Growing Up in Ireland Survey Padraig McCabe considers the scenario: ‘the complaints procedure has been exhausted, the parents are still unhappy, and they continue to behave inappropriately’ PAGE Parental Complaints Eileen O’Rourke, NABMSE General Secretary PAGE Supporting Schools & Boards in Special Education PAGE Finbarr Hurley explores progress relating to the Small School Action Research Project PAGE 8 Irish Primary Principals’ Network, Glounthaune, Co. Cork • 1800 21 22 23 • www.ippn.ie n Editor: Geraldine D’Arcy n Editorial Team: Geraldine D’Arcy, Páiric Clerkin and Brian O’Doherty n Comments to: editor@ippn.ie n Advertising: adverts@ippn.ie n ISSN: 1649-5888 n Design: Brosna Press n Photography: Browne’s Photography The opinions expressed in Leadership+ do not necessarily reflect the official policy or views of IPPN Update from the Donegal Cluster 27 25 PAGE 21 Exemptions from the study of Irish How primary school experiences shape later educational outcomes PAGE 24 Donal Kerins examines the implications of Circular 54/2022 7

Helping Thousands of Autistic, SEN and Anxious Students Have a Better Day

Students feel settled and able to participate in less than 15 minutes

Cubbie is distinguished by being an easy-to-use, immersive, safe, personalised space of sound and vision, free of disruptions, driven by software and wheelchair friendly

Cubbie Software - Like Having an Occupational Therapist On Standby

Students can have their own personalised Cubbie Sensory Profile created by the Cubbie occupational therapist in combination with our software. This is included in the service.

The advantage of a personalised Cubbie Sensory Profile is that it is bespoke to the individual. It also means that users can pick up where they left off at their last session and progress is monitored.

Students without a Sensory Profile can also access Cubbie experiences through the easy-to-use touchscreen.

Management Dashboard and Reporting

The dashboard shows the progress of every student and a timetable of who is scheduled to use the Cubbie.

The reporting function provides usage data to share with management and governing bodies to monitor outcomes.

Helping Schools Do More With Less

Supporting autistic, SEN and anxious students with or without a sensory room is resource heavy with variable outcomes, often involving prolonged 1-2-1 support.

Schools report that one member of staff can manage a maximum of four students a day. With a Cubbie, this is more than twenty.

901 4020 erin@cubbie.ie www.cubbie.ie
Students spend less time out of the classroom
Contact Us Today to Help Your
Students Have a Better Day

Building & Maintaining Momentum

We hope that by now you have had an opportunity to engage with the report of our Sustainable Leadership project – Primary School Leadership: The Case for Urgent Action – A Roadmap to Sustainability. We further hope that the current reality described in the report speaks to your experience of school leadership and that the key issues explored and recommendations made have a resonance with and a relevance to your leadership practice.

It is our stated intention to ensure that progress on the issues raised in the report remains a priority focus for IPPN. Two such issues in the report are the importance of effective shared leadership and the health and wellbeing of school leaders.

As an opportunity to consider how shared leadership can impact on leadership effectiveness, we would like to draw your attention to our upcoming Deputy Principals’ Conference which will take place in Croke Park on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th February. It will be the first in-person conference for our Deputies since November 2019 and we are delighted with the number of Deputies who have already registered to attend.

The theme for this year’s conference is Leading Effectively Together, which places an emphasis on the importance of co-leadership or shared leadership. It is a key professional development event as well as an opportunity for Deputies to extend their network of support. It is in that context that we are urging all Deputies to consider registering for the event and that we are asking all Principals to support and facilitate their Deputies’ attendance.

On the issue of the health and wellbeing of school leaders, the rollout of the second year of the Irish Principal and Deputy Principal Health and Wellbeing survey is imminent. In The President’s Pen article in this issue, the vital importance of the data gleaned from year one of the survey, in framing the impact of the practice of leadership on school leaders, is described.

We need to continue to highlight that the current reality of primary school leadership in Ireland is taking a significant toll on the health and wellbeing of our school leaders, and that the situation is getting worse over time. It is in that context that we need as many school leaders as possible (Principals and Deputies) to engage with the survey.

It doesn’t matter if you did not complete the survey last year as this can be year one for you and you will get your personalised report upon completion of the survey. For those who did complete it last year, the process should be quicker for you this year and you will have comparative data to track your health and wellbeing progress in your updated report. The window of opportunity for you to engage with the survey will be from mid-February to late March.

We will keep you advised of progress on these and other issues, identified in the Sustainable Leadership report.

In this issue:

By external contributors:

Finbarr Hurley, CSL – Small School Cluster Project David Ruddy BL – Legal Diary Tips for School Leaders in 2023 Eileen O’Rourke, NABMSE General Secretary – Supporting Schools and Boards in Special Education Selina McCoy, ESRI – How primary school experiences shape later educational outcomes

Peter Kent, ICP President – You Don’t Walk Alone Conor Reale, Parliamentary Education Officer – The Future is Yours (Pupil Voice).

By IPPN and the Leadership Support Team: Damian White – Pondering The Why Brian O’Doherty – The President’s Pen – A Roadmap to Sustainability - Next Steps Jack Durkan – Mistakes school leaders should avoid Padraig McCabe – Parental Complaints Scenario Caroline Quinn – Commencement of EPSEN and Admissions Acts Donal Kerins – Exemptions from the study of Irish Angela Lynch – Supporting the Role of Deputy Principal and Acting Deputy Principal Geraldine D’Arcy – Submissions, On Your Behalf, ippn.ie resources, And Finally, Conference 2022 synopses Airgead Bunscoile – No new versions after 2022/23

Changes at the helm – Board of Directors and National Council 2022/23.

We sincerely thank all our contributors, our advertisers and everyone who is involved in bringing you each issue of Leadership+.

Your content suggestions are very welcome to editor@ippn.ie. Note the editorial guidelines on www.ippn.ie under Supports – Leadership+.


Is sinne le meas, Leadership+ Editorial Team

Brian Geraldine
February 2023 3

Tips for School Leaders in 2023

A new year brings opportunity and challenges for us all, with school leaders being no exception. One of the better ways to deal with challenges is to try to anticipate issues that are foreseeable. Here are some suggestions that might help you do an assessment, which in turn could mitigate a particular risk in your school.


Does your school have a policy on social media for pupils and staff? Have you communicated this policy to pupils, parents and staff?

Why bother? Social media is ever present in all our lives and that includes our school communities. In all cases it is better to be proactive rather than having to try to react under pressure to issues when they arise (and they will). If your pupils and staff know what is expected of them, you are in a better position to manage and justify the school response to include disciplinary action if required.


Do you have a policy? What is physical intervention? Has your staff ever discussed what constitutes a ‘crisis’ where a physical intervention may be necessary? Does your school have a reporting system should a physical intervention be required? Try to maintain an open relationship with parents even in fraught circumstances.

Our schools accommodate many students with complex needs. Some of these students can exhibit challenging behaviours. Other students without such needs can equally exhibit challenging behaviours. Codes of Behaviour are not always the answer in the first instance. However, the Code of Behaviour can be more easily justifiable in suspension and expulsion cases when it is demonstrated that the school has done everything possible to manage the challenging behaviour. Equally, the new Admission legislation has significantly changed previous practices where admission may sometimes have been refused because of health and safety concerns arising from those challenging behaviours. Recent legislative changes to the Admissions Act 2018 has made it easier for the National Council for Special

Education to designate schools to open special classes.


Are you familiar with Circular 0069/2020? In particular, are Boards of Management familiar in relation to the Review Procedures and accompanying timeframes in relation to refusal of admission and, in particular, the BOM R1 Request Form?

Be alert to the fact that Section 29 Appeals regarding refusal to admit students in the case of oversubscription is exclusively paper based and that facilitation is no longer provided for in any Section 29 Appeal proceedings.


Being a leader can be a lonely position at times. In November 2020, separate online surveys conducted in collaboration with IPPN and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) by Mason Hayes & Curran LLP, found that 85% and 71% respectively of school leaders did not feel confident in managing underperformance. One of the reasons for this lack of confidence is that underperforming staff members

allege that they are being bullied by the school leader. Appropriately managing underperformance is never bullying. The Education Act 1998 provides a statutory basis for school leaders to manage on behalf of Boards of Management.

Your time is precious. Mitigating risk can reduce stress and allow you spend more time leading, teaching and learning. Consider the above four examples in relation to your own school context and prioritise those that need urgent attention. Having the requisite policies in place will empower you and your Board of Management to deal with challenges in a considered and timely fashion.


Functions Reserved for the Patron

Debts incurred by a Board of Management must be approved by the Patron in advance. In addition, any capital expenditure, such as extension or replacement, must have the prior approval of the Patron.

If you would like to contact David in relation to this article, you can email him at druddy@mhc.ie


EPSEN and Admission to Schools Acts

At this stage all schools have been informed of the commencement of the Education (Provision in respect of Children with Special Educational Needs) Act 2022 and the remaining sections of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act relating to the provision of education to children with special educational needs and designation of school places. These are sections 67 to 70. These new arrangements applied with immediate effect.

The revised provision in this legislation is to provide for a streamlined section 37A process whereby the Minister can direct a school to make provision for children with special educational needs. The Department and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) will continue to work collaboratively with schools to ensure that additional special classes or special school places are provided by schools. This is how the vast majority of new classes and additional places have been provided to date and this is how it is envisaged that the vast majority of new classes and additional places will continue to be provided into the future.

The section 37A process is only to be used as a measure of last resort where additional provision is required in a specific location and efforts to secure that additional provision through engagement with schools have not been successful. Under the new streamlined section 37A arrangements schools will have two opportunities to make representations in writing before a Ministerial direction is made. The main provision in this legislation is to provide for a streamlined section 37A process whereby the Minister can direct a school to make provision for children with special educational needs.

Admission Statements

The new legislation requires the admission statement of a school to include a statement that the school shall co-operate with the NCSE relating to the provision of education to children with

special educational needs, in particular by the provision and operation of a special class or classes when requested to do so by the Council and a separate statement that the school shall comply with any direction under section 37A or under section 67.

The following text can be added directly to the school’s current Admission Statement: (Insert name of school) will cooperate with the NCSE in the performance by the Council of its functions under the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 in relation to the provision of education to children with special educational needs, including in particular by the provision and operation of a special class or classes when requested to do so by the Council. (Insert name of schools) will comply with any direction served on the Board or the patron under section 37A and 67(4)(b).

In accordance with the Education Act 1998 these additions to the Admission Statement of a school will require the Board to seek patron approval. The Department has provided an information note on the required changes to the Admissions Statement, which will set out a simplified approval process for Boards and Patrons. The current admissions policy template will be updated to reflect the additional text required in schools’ policies. These documents are available here.


Proposed new function of the NCSE

The new legislation also provides for a new additional function for the NCSE to coordinate and manage the admission of children with special educational needs to special classes or special schools having regard to section 37A and school admission policies. The NCSE will consult with schools and parents in the performance of this function.

Commencement of remaining sections of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018

In addition to Section 67 (as amended) being commenced, Sections 68 to 70 inclusive of the Education Act 1998 as provided for in the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 have also been commenced. These specific provisions provide for the Minister or a Patron to direct a school to take remedial action where the Board of Management have not been operating in compliance with the Act. Section 68 is a provision that enables the patron to issue directions to the Board of Management where they have failed to comply with the admissions legislation, and if the Board of Management fails to comply, an independent person can be appointed to carry out the action. Section 69 provides the Minister with the authority to nominate an authorised person to prepare a report where the Minister is of the opinion that the Board of Management has failed to comply with provisions in the Act. Upon consideration of the report the Minister can issue a direction to the Board of Management. Section 70 is a provision for the Minister to make a request to a patron to direct the Board of Management to comply with a direction in accordance with section 68.3.

Role of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the Tusla Education Support Services (TESS)

The commencement of these new legal provisions introduces new functions for both the NCSE and TESS, particularly in relation to the designation of a school place. Both the NCSE and TESS have developed procedures to operationalise these new functions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A FAQ document to assist school authorities in relation to any queries they might have in relation to the commencement of these new legal provisions has been developed.

5 February 2023


Following the formal publication and launch of the IPPN report Primary School Leadership: The Case for Urgent Action – A Roadmap to Sustainability, we are very much in the distribution and raising awareness phase of the project. All who were in attendance at the principals’ conference in Killarney have received a hard copy of the report, and all members received an email with a link to the epublication.

It was also of crucial importance that we ensured that all relevant partners and stakeholders received a hard copy of the report as well as access to the digital version. To that end, we compiled a distribution list which, among others, identified all relevant personnel within the DE, the various education stakeholders, the HEIs, and the various schools of education as well as our colleagues in other professional bodies in Ireland and internationally.

We are also taking a strategic approach to the implementation phase of the project in order to ensure we get maximum buy-in with regard to the recommendations in the report. We are targeting those recommendations that can be progressed by IPPN, in the first instance, in order to build momentum, while also meeting with relevant stakeholders to pave the way for progress on the recommendations that relate to more systemic issues.

We will continue to promote engagement with the report and we strongly encourage you to share the report with your Leadership and Management teams and your Boards of Management in order to cultivate a deeper understanding of the experience of the practice of primary school leadership.

Planning has already begun for the rollout of the second year of the Deakin Health and Wellbeing

research. You may recall that this is a specific piece of research that we commissioned in partnership with our sister organisation at post-primary level – the National Association of Principals and Deputies (NAPD). The focus of the research project is on the occupational health, safety and wellbeing of school leaders in Ireland in response to concerns that the increasing complexity and workload demands of school leadership roles are impacting on the health and wellbeing of Irish school leaders.

As anticipated, the data gleaned from year one of the research was sobering and added greatly to the analysis of the current reality of school leadership in the sustainable leadership report. It highlighted that the incidence of burnout, stress and depressive symptoms among Irish primary school leaders, was almost double that of the healthy working population and more than double for sleeping troubles and cognitive stress.

Also notable was the fact that the scores for burnout, stress, sleeping troubles, depressive symptoms, somatic stress and cognitive stress, have all increased since the last study undertaken in 2015. Given the increased scores for negative health and wellbeing outcomes, and the increased sources of stress scores reported in the 2022 data, it is clear that the current reality of primary

school leadership in Ireland is taking a significant toll on the health and wellbeing of our school leaders, and that the situation is getting worse. This is something that needs to be tracked over time and this year’s research study provides an important opportunity to do just that. The window of opportunity for you to engage with the survey will be from mid-February to late March and, as always, the higher the participation level, the more persuasive the data will be. We will share more details in relation to the research project with you via E-scéal.

Finally, in the last edition of Leadership+, I flagged the formation of our newly expanded National Council and the three committees of the Council that will have a direct impact on the work of IPPN. The focus of those committees is: Advocacy and communications (submissions, position papers, publications)

Professional learning for leadership (CPD, leadership support)

E-services (including ippn.ie, TextaParent, networking, Sub Seeker, EducationPosts.ie).

The new National Council and its committees met for the first time on Saturday, 3rd December. Each committee discussed potential priority areas to progress in the coming year. When such priorities are agreed, working groups will be formed to progress the work on the identified priorities. Feedback on this work will be provided at the National Council meeting in March and we will keep members updated via E-scéal and Leadership+ Brian.ODoherty@ippn.ie

Also notable was the fact that the scores for burnout, stress, sleeping troubles, depressive symptoms, somatic stress and cognitive stress, have all increased since the last study undertaken in 2015.


Scenario: What if the Parental Complaints Procedure has been exhausted and parents still are unhappy with the outcome? They continue to behave inappropriately towards the teacher and/or the principal.

Procedures cannot replace positive relations. Parental complaints, staff relations and/or grievance procedures may be invoked where one individual feels unhappy with the conduct or behaviour of another. While procedures are the agreed mechanisms for resolving conflict, occasionally individuals misunderstand their purpose. Rather than seeing the procedure as a resolution mechanism, they use procedures to ‘punish’ or ‘target’ the other, as a way of expanding their audience, bringing the complaint to the principal, the chairperson and/or the Board. The expectation is that rather than being a fair and balanced process, the procedure should simply vindicate one person’s position. Consequently, the motives and the way procedures are conducted significantly impacts the outcome.

This scenario states ‘the complaints procedure has been exhausted, the parents are still unhappy, and they continue to behave inappropriately’.

From the scant information provided, we can assume ample opportunities were given to both parties to reach a resolution during stages 1, 2 and 3. Having failed to resolve it themselves, to ‘exhaust’ the procedures, the matter would ultimately have been investigated and adjudicated on by the Board.

Having opted for this process, and assuming it was fair and impartial, one might hope that parents would accept the Board’s decision as ‘final’. However, when asking a third party to adjudicate, it is not unusual for one side to be unhappy with the outcome, particularly if it doesn’t vindicate their perspective. In this case, it is the parents who are unhappy. The teacher and/or principal can accept and respect this, however they have no responsibility for how the parents feel.

The other issue at play is the parents’ continued inappropriate behaviour. Notwithstanding the fact that a perceived unsatisfactory outcome may give rise to initial disgruntlement, which may take time to come to terms with, schools need procedures and strategies for managing inappropriate adult behaviour. Policies include Dignity and Respect at Work, AntiBullying/Anti-Harassment, Health and Safety etc. There are also procedures for dealing with assaults, both physical and verbal. In addition to adjudicating on grievances, the Board has a responsibility to protect employees. It is essential that the Board has articulated what behaviours are and are not appropriate, and has clearly defined steps for addressing same.

These steps are usually outlined in the Dignity and Respect at Work Policy.

As stated previously, procedures are no substitute for positive relations. What is interesting in this scenario is that we focussed on the fallout of a procedure rather than on the school’s culture and climate. Exhausting the parental complaints procedure demonstrates that the parties did not have the capacity to resolve issues themselves. It isn’t clear why. Has sufficient time been given by the school, and Board, to articulating its vision and values, to describing how conflict is normal and can be resolved without rancour, to give guidance on what are appropriate and inappropriate behaviours, and to providing staff and stakeholders with the language and skills to manage and resolve conflict?

Behind every conflict are underlying interests, unmet needs, perceptions and/ or beliefs. Seldom is one person 100% right, or 100% wrong. Seeking to see and hear the other’s perspective is crucial. Approaching conflict with empathy, curiosity, care, and compassion, using appropriate language to raise concerns, and responding appropriately, goes a long way to helping parties resolve conflict, without recourse to formal procedures. It is easy to judge, criticise or blame the parents in this scenario, However, if that is our thinking, we shouldn’t be surprised if this thinking is, in turn, reflected by them. Behaviour is a form of communication, inappropriate behaviour is never acceptable, but what is it telling us, and what can we learn?

If you would like to contact Padraig in relation to this article, you can email him at PCcCabe@gmail.com

February 2023
Behind every conflict are underlying interests, unmet needs, perceptions and/or beliefs. Seldom is one person 100% right, or 100% wrong. Seeking to see and hear the other’s perspective is crucial.

Small School Action Research Project: Update from the Donegal Cluster

the basis of ongoing dialogue at the Primary Education Forum.

The Small School Cluster Project , the two-year action research project aimed at supporting small rural schools, is well and truly up and running. The project aims to encourage small schools to cluster together in local groups, enabling them to collaborate, identify shared challenges and work together on solutions.

IPPN is actively involved with the project, participating on a working group alongside school management bodies and the INTO as part of the Primary Education Forum.

Six project clusters of small schools were formed in the geographical regions of Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Clare, Wicklow and Waterford. Each cluster has between three and five schools and is supported by a parttime local coordinator, sponsored by the education partners. The local coordinator is working under a national coordinator who reports to the steering group.

The project formally got under way in January 2022 and each cluster organically identified areas of development that were most pertinent to them.

Integral to the project will be the undertaking of an evaluation and the publication of a final report, to include analysis on the scalability of the actions involved. This will form

The project formally got under way in January 2022 and each cluster organically identified areas of development that were most pertinent to them. Cluster themes range from the wellbeing of the whole school community, to identifying ways of supporting school leaders with the administrative burden, to developing the capacity of the leadership team, to identifying ways of supporting additional educational needs across a cluster, to supporting schools in a Gaeltacht area.

In each of these general themes, the clusters have identified different actions that they are working on collaboratively. The aim is to try out ideas, to test their viability and to examine their impact on the sustainability of the role of the school leader, as well as the sustainability of the school.

IPPN, supported by the Centre for School Leadership (CSL), is working directly with two of the clusters, namely those in Donegal and Waterford. For this issue of Leadership+, we are looking at how the Donegal Cluster has progressed to date.


The Cluster identified wellbeing as a theme for their work. They looked at wellbeing from three perspectives –that of the pupils the staff and of the principals themselves.

With the pupils in mind, the cluster prioritised the pupils getting opportunities to look outside of their own school and be able to make links with other pupils in the cluster. They have planned pedagogical

only be one pupil at a particular level, and this gives the pupils

opportunities for pupils to meet across schools, virtually and face-toface. This is important to the cluster as, in some classes, there may only be one pupil at a particular level, and this gives the pupils opportunities to make friends and share learnings across schools.

The cluster also felt this was an opportunity to bring staff together to share experiences and expertise as well as build relationships across schools. With so many schools in the country classified as ‘small’, there was a consensus that to make the role of teaching in a small school attractive to young teachers, opportunities to build professional and social links with others is important.

The cluster schools came together for a day, facilitated by a Professional Development Services for Teachers (PDST) advisor, where they looked at the Primary Language Curriculum and discussed its implementation in a multi-class setting. The staff of each school were delighted to get an opportunity to share and discuss how they were going about planning for multi grade classes. Having all

8 CONFERENCELEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals
A joint initiative between the Department of Education and Education Partners under the auspices of the Primary Education Forum
They have planned pedagogical opportunities for pupils to meet across schools, virtually and face-toface. This is important to the cluster as, in some classes, there may
opportunities to make friends and share learnings across schools.

staff from the four schools in a room as opposed to just a school’s own staff ensured the sharing of differing perspectives. As a result of this day, the cluster has adopted a simpler planning document as referenced by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in ‘Guidance on Preparation for Teaching and Learning’ and have found it of huge benefit to date. This year, they are all using these planning documents and are sharing their plans with each other on a specially designed webpage for the cluster.

The development of this community of practice through opportunities to participate in Zoom calls at the various multi-class levels were offered to teachers and, although this initiative is still in its infancy, it is hoped that it will develop a local network for the cluster teachers.

For the principals themselves, there was a lot of discussion about how best they themselves could be sustained in their roles. A suggestion that they would engage in a model of Team Coaching from CSL was

welcomed and the four principals have started on the group sessions with the agreed coach. To date, their feedback on this model is hugely encouraging as they find the sessions together very beneficial. An extra two release days a term allows the cluster principals to get together and discuss ways forward that will help to make their role more sustainable in their individual contexts.

Shared policy development is another area where the cluster principals are sharing the load. A three-year policy plan template was designed as well as an accompanying yearly plan where the policy load is broken down into school terms – it means the school is clear about what policies they will review for a threeyear period, as well as on a yearly basis whilst working within their context, need and capacity. Again, sharing these policies on the shared webpage is proving to be beneficial to the principals.

The cluster principals have now proposed ideas on other ways to make their role more sustainable and

these are being looked at by the Small School Cluster Steering Committee in the hope that they will be progressed for the cluster principals to trial.

With every suggestion being made, forefront in the minds of everyone involved is how will this positively impact on the sustainability of small schools. Some ideas work, others do not. But for those that do, it will give the Steering Committee and the Primary Education Forum an opportunity to look at the scalability of these ideas and to make recommendations to the DE (Department of Education). This in turn, will inform policy to further sustain and support those working in small schools.

If you would like to get in touch with Finbarr in relation to this article, you can email him at FHurley@cslireland.ie

9 February 2023

Common mistakes for school leaders to avoid!

1. Avoid complaining, gossiping or blaming.

Read Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles and take 100% responsibility for changing your school to meet the needs of 21st Century learners. One per cent incremental improvement is what you are after. Eat that elephant one bite at a time!

2. Don’t give your time away too freely.

Reconsider the “My door is always open policy”! This was all the go in leadership speak once upon a time but does it really work today? What other profession has this policy? Certainly no doctor, no lawyer, even shops close to restock. Giving away your time in this open-ended way to others means you are not in control of your time, and you are not focusing on the school’s most important priorities.

Certainly make yourself available to your school community but do it strategically. Block out the times in your day and weekly calendar to focus on the Strategic Plan and related goals. Never cancel these times unless it is a real emergency.

Schedule alternative times during the week for people to make appointments to see you if they wish. Add a coaching approach to your leadership style to empower others to solve their own problems or come to you with a ‘suggested solution’ to discuss.

3. Avoid having meetings for the sake of it.

Plan meetings for a strategic purpose or to develop professional learning outcomes,

not to disseminate information. Information is best done by memo or email. Your staff will appreciate this and see you as a learner, which is so important in the 21st Century. Remember, learning teachers make for learning pupils and learning principals make for learning teachers!

4. Don’t focus on what’s urgent. Focussing on the urgent is crisis management and you need to stop doing it, fast. This is firefighting which, while at times necessary, if it becomes your default way of working, maybe you may need to explore more the source of the fires? Or locate the arsonist!

Not only is this not showing leadership for your school, you will burn yourself out and possibly others as well. Focus on what is most important. Manage your distractions. Get organised, schedule your priorities, delegate, supervise, create a “Stop Doing” list and breathe. Use PIEW to assist with prioritising.

5. Do not worry about what you didn’t get done each day Always focus on what you did get done and celebrate that. Only focus on 5 or 6 tasks each day and, before going to sleep, think of the 3 things you did get done and the 5 things you will focus on tomorrow.

You will sleep much better if you do. Remember, if you did not achieve a high priority task, reschedule it for first thing the very next day, or the soonest available time, and make sure you get it done.

Adapted from Maxine Driscoll –21st Century Leaders

Recommended Reading: 10 Traits of Highly Effective Principals (Elaine K. McEwan) ISBN: 0-7619-4619-5


LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals 10

Schools that register for the School Milk Scheme can avail of our free refrigeration offer. If you are running out of storage to keep milk chilled and fresh, contact us today and we can order a tall or under counter fridge for your school depending on your school needs.

Good nutrition is not only essential for a child’s growth and development but is also important in keeping them adequately fuelled for the long school day. Whether starting school for the first time or returning to a familiar routine; this transition is a busy time for all.

As part of a balanced diet, three daily servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ are recommended for 5-8 year olds and five daily servings are recommended for 9-18 year olds.

If your school is currently registered for the School Milk Scheme, order directly today on www.schoolmilk.ie.

If you would like your school to avail of School Milk, please email The National Dairy Council at schoolmilk@ndc.ie or visit www.moocrew.ie to register your interest.

The School Milk Scheme is managed by The National Dairy Council and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with the support of the European Union.

*Terms and
Free Fridges Keep your School Milk fresh and Chilled E���������������������������������������������������� Mil��������������������������������������������������������
Visit www.moocrew.ie for full details. www.moocrew.ie

Pondering the School’s ‘Why?’

In the early 1960s, John F. Kennedy was visiting Cape Canaveral Space Exploration Center in Florida, following up no doubt on his election promise some time previously. Not unusually, he broke away from the official party to speak with a man sweeping a corridor.

‘What do you do around here?’ he enquired. ‘I’m helping to put a man on the Moon’ was the reply he didn’t fully expect. It nonetheless gave him his clearest indication that the US would win the lunar race, as everyone was clearly focussed on what the primary target of their organisation was.

On a similar vein, the staff of the Europa Hotel in Belfast, even during the city’s most troubled times when the hotel was often a target lived by the maxim ‘We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen’. A simple motto, and the inclination to always adhere to its core value, can be enough to ensure that even in the most troubled and challenging times, core purpose is adhered to.

‘Children First’ is one of the most powerful and meaningful 2-word mottos in common parlance today. As school leaders, we are fully aware of the importance of these words to centre us when any question of safeguarding arises. Our consideration before all else, is for the welfare of the children involved, no ifs, buts or maybes.

The title question was recently posed to a group of us school leaders during a coaching session. It caused me to photograph the screen, and to ponder the question when back at my desk. If any of my staff are reading

this, ‘Pondering‘ is a vital part of my job and must be done regularly! Over my desk is a 55-word ‘School Ethos’ which, though I look at it regularly while pondering, I couldn’t honestly repeat verbatim. It is 14 words longer than the ‘Hail Mary’ and 10 words longer than the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. Its wording is solid, prosaic and necessary.

I had the good fortune to serve as IPPN President for two years, during which time the Acting Principal, Deputy Principal and staff did a remarkable job in leading through the pandemic and overseeing several necessary changes and improvements. Coming through our front door now, I can read the phrase ‘Live, Laugh, Learn’ which went up in my absence, but which is far more memorable and reflective of what our school is about.

When you google school slogans, the lists that appear are interesting and helpful and may give a starting point in developing an effective slogan for your school. Some, such as ‘A Tradition of Excellence’ or ‘Dedicated to Success’ sound imperious and could be just as easily applied to a company selling boiled ham. ‘Education is our Business’ has an unwelcome commercial ring to it.

I like the idea of ‘School, Family, Community’ as there is an implication of inclusiveness, regardless of ability and a sense of the school’s place in its environment. ‘Every student matters, every moment counts’ is also inclusive. Wouldn’t it be nice if every teacher, SNA, secretary, cleaner, caretaker, board and PA member could confidently say that they work to ensure that ‘Every child in the community gets the best opportunity to learn to the best of their ability, every day’. Or that we are ‘Ladies and gentlemen supporting the learning of younger ladies and gentlemen, and learning from them’, Or that we are working every day to put a man or woman on the moon, if that’s where they want to go.

The short motto focusses the mind. Helping children to ‘Live, Laugh, Learn’ in our case, I feel, is achieved to a large degree every day. It leaves the door open to staff, students council and others to continuously explore ways to make this happen. It led one of our SNAs recently to suggest board games at lunchtime in the school shelter, the result of which has seen new friendships form and the skills of those not interested in ball games to be recognised. Robotics, a trad music group of staff and children and Sports Hall athletics, as well as GAA, Peace Proms, tag rugby etc. can be easily measured positively against our motto.

Our ‘Why’ then becomes easy to justify. Damian.White@scoilshinchill.com

February 2023
A simple motto, and the inclination to always adhere to its core value, can be enough to ensure that even in the most troubled and challenging times, core purpose is adhered to.

Supporting the role of Deputy Principal & Acting Deputy Principal

The deputy principal occupies a position of vital importance within the senior leadership team in a school. Shared leadership requires openness and willingness on the part of both principals and deputy principals, to share and distribute leadership and management responsibilities in a manner that encourages and supports partnership. The deputy principal works with the principal in creating a positive culture, with wellbeing for all the school community at the heart of it, as well as promoting effective teaching and learning and acting up or deputing in the principal’s absence. In recent years, deputy principals have increasingly assumed acting principal roles, sometimes with very little notice. These positions can either be long or short term, and in turn leads to the filling of acting deputy principal roles.

IPPN is the professional organisation for all senior school leaders. Membership is open to principals and deputy principals, including those who are ‘acting up’. In two-teacher schools, this includes the second teacher, who is automatically regarded by IPPN as a deputy principal.

As a member of IPPN, there are many supports and services available to you as a deputy principal, acting principal or acting deputy principal. These are set out below. If you do not currently have access to these supports and services,

The deputy principal works with the principal in creating a positive culture, with wellbeing for all the school community at the heart of it, as well as promoting effective teaching and learning and acting up or deputing in the principal’s absence.

please get in touch with Jackie O Reilly by email to Jackie.OReilly@ippn.ie

Professional Guidance

This is a one-to-one confidential professional guidance service provided by the IPPN Leadership Support Team.  The team are all serving and retired principals who have ‘walked the mile in your shoes’ and are available to provide collegial support and guidance of a non-directive nature. To seek factual information or to discuss a difficult situation with one of the team, contact the Support Office on 021 4824070 or email your query to Advice@ippn.ie


A weekly electronic bulletin that is a one-stop reference point for all school leaders, the IPPN E-scéal provides the latest education sector updates, professional guidance on topical issues that impact on the day-to-day management of the school, as well as announcements about IPPN events and latest resources.


The journal for principals and deputy principals – an invaluable magazine issued to members five times during the school year – twice in the first two terms. Leadership+ offers a wide range of articles of relevance to school leaders, including practical hints and tips, professional guidance, research summaries, information on new procedures and forthcoming events, to name just a few.

Mailing Lists

IPPN’s mailing lists are one of the most informative and immediate supports available to you in your role as school leader, to answer queries encountered on a daily basis. There is no question too great or too small that colleagues, who may have dealt with a similar situation in the past, will not answer. They are closed mailing lists, which means that the content of the emails is intended for the principal and deputy principal only, as IPPN members.

The networking mailing list –networking@ippn.ie – facilitates a peersupport community via email. Everyone in this community receives a copy of any/all emails sent via this special email address. It provides a mutually supportive forum for IPPN members to ask questions, seek advice and to share best practice.

Resource Bundles

IPPN Resources Bundles are a one-stopshop where you will find the answers, supporting documentation and reading materials relating to the most common queries principals encounter in the dayto-day management of their schools. Examples include:

Absence and leave for teachers Child Protection

Pupils with Behaviours of Concern. Resource bundles are produced in an easy-to-use, interactive e-publication format. See the Resources / Resource Bundles section at www.ippn.ie

LAOS 2022

Looking at Our School 2022 – A Quality Framework for Primary Schools and Special Schools has become the “Bible” for school leadership. IPPN would recommend that you procure a copy and become familiar with its layout and contents.

Ciall Ceannaithe

Ciall Ceannaithe is an online summer course provided by IPPN during the month of July. Initially aimed at newly appointed principals, the content of the course has been revised and expanded in recent years and is now popular with deputy principals and aspiring leaders.

Deputy Principals Conference

IPPN hosts an annual Deputy Principals’ Conference, which is the highlight of the school year for many members. Next year’s DP Conference will take place in Croke Park, Dublin on February 9th and 10th 2023. See www.ippn.ie to book your place.

LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals

We are proud to announce our most advanced education technology solution, the all-new ActivPanel.

Rich in features that respond to your unique needs. Ease of use and security designed into every function. Built for the educational landscape of today and the future.

The DAISY Project

Irish Wheelchair Association’s curriculum-based Disability Awareness and Outreach Programme

Our aim is to challenge perceptions and stereotypes of people with disabilities by demonstrating understanding, awareness, and inclusivity through a fun and interactive educational programme intertwined with Art, Drama and SPHE.

Teachers will gain access to the DAISY online training programme empowering you to embed Disability Awareness and Inclusion into your daily teachings.

Your classroom will develop an understanding of diversity, belonging and inclusion with a speci c focus on disability.

By participating in The Daisy Project you and your school will help change the attitudes of young people’s perceptions and stereotypes of people with disabilities.

Every school that registers with The DAISY Programme will also have the opportunity to schedule a class visit from one of our Disability Awareness Ambassadors.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact Edel | Email: daisyproject@iwa.ie To Register Meet the all-new ActivPanel 9 To learn more visit: www2.prometheanworld.com/Ireland Learning, transformed Connectivity ActivSync technology directly links with devices Simplicity Easy to use, so you can focus on teaching Security Enhanced security protects your personal data Adaptability Ideal for all learning environments Longevity Built to last and powered with robust capabilities ©2022 Promethean. All Rights Reserved. Promethean, the Promethean logo, ActivPanel, ActivSync, ActivInspire, ActivConnect, ActivSound, ClassFlow, and Vellum are trademarks or registered trademarks of Promethean Limited in the United Kingdom, United States, and other countries around the world. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Unless specifically identified as such, Promethean’s use of third-party trademarks does not indicate any relationship, sponsorship, or endorsement between Promethean and the owners of these trademarks.

Páiric Clerkin


Over the past year, almost 8,000 Ukrainian children have been enrolled in our primary schools. Once again, Irish primary school principals have risen to the challenge of leading our schools under extremely difficult circumstances, always putting the needs of the children in your care above all else. I thank you and pay tribute to your efforts. I know it has taken a toll on many of you.

Your ongoing, exemplary leadership over the past three years must be appreciated and never taken for granted. Some will say it’s time to move on from the pandemic but we must continue to reflect and to remind ourselves that what has been achieved since March 2020 was truly remarkable. Your commitment to public service, your creativity and your innovation in finding new ways to care for our primary school children, as well as your resilient leadership when the school environment that we took for granted became alien overnight. Did we ever in our wildest dreams think that our engagement and interaction with our pupils in primary school could or would be conducted in the virtual world?

There were many other stressors and issues this past year. You had to deal with delays to the staffing schedule. Five years ago, that staffing schedule was published in late January; this year it was released in midApril, on the first day of the Easter holidays. We certainly hope that we will never again see a repeat of that, because it placed unacceptable additional burdens on school principals.

Principals were recently informed of extra responsibilities and more workload in terms of implementing the legal requirement to provide an assessment of education needs as part of the HSE Assessment of Need Process, following a High Court ruling in 2021. This coincided with reduced supports for school leaders, following the loss of the deputy principal administration days. Those admin days must be reinstated, as a vital support to principals and to schools. If we are serious about shared leadership, it must be fully supported and resourced.

In relation to the wider SEN issues, the voice of the school leader must be listened to –and their message is loud and clear – the system is not working. Special needs are either met or they are not and, if not, there is a consequential impact not only on the child with special needs, but also on the other children in the class.

There is an urgent need to differentiate between high incidence special needs

and more complex low incidence special needs and how such needs are planned for, supported and resourced. Adopting the same approach to both is problematic and incompatible with the differing challenges they present.

In relation to the section 37A process, IPPN believes that an amendment to the Admission to Schools Act to allow schools to receive advance applications on behalf of children who have a recommendation for placement in a special class or school – 24 months in advance of their school starting date – would alleviate difficulties and negate the need for section 37A. It would provide certainty to parents about school placement, and would give children in need of a special class placement the opportunity to attend the same local school as their brother or sister.

We are at crisis point in relation to staffing. More than a quarter of the schools who responded to our recent survey do not have their full staffing quota. Nearly 2 in 3 Dublin schools are short-staffed. Positions on supply panels remain vacant. The supply panel situation in Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare is critical.

The lack of substitute cover is impacting countrywide, despite almost 12,000 teachers registering with Sub Seeker in the past 12 months. The frequency with which schools all over the country have had to redeploy a Special Education Teacher to cover a mainstream class – 83% according to our survey - highlights the extent to which children with additional needs are being further disadvantaged. Many of our SET teachers are finding themselves placed in classrooms simply to keep schools open.

The immediate reinstatement of the facility for schools to bank hours when no substitute is available is of vital importance as is longerterm investment in a programme similar to the CLASS hours, if we are to minimise the loss of teaching time to our most vulnerable children.

I acknowledge the support we have received from the Teacher Training Colleges. Many have structured their weeks so that PMEs, 3rd and 4th year students are available to sub one day per week. We will need their continued support, especially at the end of term, so that student teachers can support us in making up for hours lost due to staff shortages.

Another significant challenge school leaders are dealing with is the wellbeing of children.

We are dealing with a wave of mental health issues in children like we’ve never seen before. More than 10,000 children are currently on a HSE waiting list for mental health treatment with more than 4,000 of these waiting over a year for an appointment with professional services. There are times when the needs of these children lie far beyond what schools can provide. This is the point where external support is needed, and, too often, where children are failed.

Where children are experiencing mental health issues, early and appropriate intervention works and delays in service provision have a very damaging effect. We welcome the commitment of the minister to pilot programmes which will enhance the supports to children directly in the schools where they learn. We look forward to learning from the pilots and hearing about

16 IPPN Annual Principals’ 2022 CONFERENCE
wider implementation across all schools. Extracts from the IPPN CEO and President’s speeches in Killarney in November. Videos of the IPPN speeches, including deputy president Louise Tobin, can be viewed on the IPPN website in the member-only section under CPD & Events/Principals’ Conference/Conference 2022/Keynotes. Founding president Jim Hayes with Brian O’Doherty Páiric Clerkin, IPPN CEO speaking at IPPN Annual Principals’ Conference 2022 LINK

Brian O’Doherty

The wisdom of the collective influencing and informing the experience and practice of the individual is the principle upon which IPPN was founded. It has a power that can support school leaders experiencing challenge, which was very evident last January, when the news emerged that Ashling Murphy, a young teacher in Durrow NS, had been murdered in Tullamore. Messages of sympathy and support came flooding in to networking. School leaders travelled to leave care packages for the children and the staff. It fell to the principal James Hogan to provide the leadership to help his school to navigate those devastating early days and weeks. James sent a message of thanks to the school leaders who had reached out, and encouraged all school leaders to: ‘reach out to your staff each day with a simple “Hello, good morning, how is your day going?” and encourage staff to reach out to each other as often as possible. When your staff leave school each evening, we don’t know who may not be returning to work the next day! focus on self-care and the wellbeing of staff and pupils stop and look at what we are doing well, be proud of your achievements. Don’t dwell on the challenges. consult and have active conversations regularly remember that life is short, appreciate what you have – relish the good times more.’

We sincerely welcomed confirmation last year that the temporary allocation of one leadership and management day per week for teaching principals is now a permanent measure and will have a profound impact. We see it as a very good first step.

With regard to the 2023 staffing, there can be no justification for any delay in releasing that circular. IPPN calls for its release in January or February at the latest, to allow school leaders to undertake and complete recruitment in a timely manner.

The decision to withdraw the release days for deputy principals in schools that have administrative principals was a retrograde step. Those release days, introduced as a Covid measure, had a profoundly positive impact. Not only should this scheme have been retained, it should have been expanded to include deputy principals in all schools. How can we seek to develop and embed a culture of co-leadership or shared leadership, if the two senior leaders in the school are never in the same place at the same time?

The IPPN Sustainable Leadership project is not an exercise in ‘woe is us’. The objective is to enhance school leadership, leading to more effective schools and to better outcomes for children.

The value of school leadership has been recognised in recent years and the systemic

investment in leadership development and in supports for school leaders must be acknowledged. Since the establishment of the Centre for School Leadership in 2015, mentoring, coaching and the post-graduate diploma in school leadership are now available, alongside supports offered by PDST – Misneach, Forbairt, Tánaiste, Meitheal and Comhar programmes. Undoubtedly, these supports have served to develop the leadership capacity of existing and aspiring school leaders.

The establishment of the Primary Education Forum (PEF) by the DE in 2018/19 was another welcome development. It signalled an awareness of the issue of workload, how the implementation of change was experienced by the system and an intent to mediate the sequencing and implementation of reform to address those workload issues.

There has been a demonstrable and increased awareness among stakeholders of the challenge of school leadership and the burden that is being carried in terms of workload. Despite this investment in leadership, serious challenges persist which significantly undermine the potential effectiveness and sustainability of school leadership roles. School leaders continue to reference the lack of time and space as barriers to successfully engaging with and embedding system change. This is of great consequence as research shows that the school leader is a key agent in enabling sustained school and system-wide change.

Since the role of the principal was last defined back in 1973, all education-related circulars, legislation and policy guidelines have detailed the tasks and responsibilities that fall to school leaders. In the recent Chief Inspector’s report, one of the key recommendations is that those in leadership and management positions, particularly in primary schools, need to place a more substantial focus on the leadership of teaching and learning. We couldn’t agree more and our collective response is “if only”.

With regard to the impact that this was having on the sustainability of your roles, the data gleaned from our member survey – to which over 1,000 school leaders responded – is compelling. School leaders gave an average rating of 3.96 out of 10 for the sustainability of their leadership role. Leaders of DEIS schools gave it 3.76 and teaching principals 3.53 out of 10. In a stunning statistic, 97% of you strongly agreed (78%) or agreed (19%) that the key issue that undermines the sustainability of your leadership role is the number of tasks and responsibilities you have to undertake that have little or nothing to do with your core purpose as school leaders. In short, you are not being given the time and space to do the job you signed up to do,

which is compromising your effectiveness and undermining the sustainability of your leadership roles.

IPPN also commissioned Deakin University to undertake The Irish Principal & Deputy Principal Health and Wellbeing survey, to look at the impact of this workload on school leaders. The data is sobering; it reveals that the incidence of burnout, stress and depressive symptoms among Irish primary school leaders is almost double that of the healthy working population and more than double for sleeping troubles and cognitive stress.

We conclude that the current reality limits leadership and school effectiveness, undermines the sustainability of the role and impacts negatively on the health and wellbeing of school leaders. This cannot be left unaddressed.

The report carries a message of hope. We have identified what needs to happen to ensure that school leadership is of the highest quality as well as sustainable. We have considered what effective school leadership looks like in terms of the relevant behaviours, skills and competencies, and what constitutes its core purpose. We have looked at how aspiring leaders can be prepared for and inducted into a role that should be both doable and impactful.

We have reflected on how school leaders are recruited, and have consulted with industry professionals as to how this could be improved. We have highlighted the importance of creating the time and space to lead and manage our schools, with a focus on our core purpose.

We have explored how a culture of shared leadership is crucial to school and leadership effectiveness, and how it can be better supported. And we have looked at what needs to happen to ensure governance oversight while also enhancing and supporting leadership.

We have made recommendations in each of these areas and identified what individual school leaders can do for themselves, what IPPN can do, and what needs to happen at a system level to better ensure leadership effectiveness and the sustainability of school leadership roles.

Meaningful reform and change take time but the urgency of the need for action is clear. There can be no further prevarication on the issue of sustainable leadership. The time to act is now.

17 IPPN Annual Principals’ 2022 CONFERENCE
The report carries a message of hope.
We have identified what needs to happen to ensure that school leadership is of the highest quality as well as sustainable.
18 IPPN Annual Principals’ 2022 CONFERENCE

Matthew Bater Gorey Central School Gill Education Taragh Nolan Junior School, New Ross Folens Publishers Miriam Smyth Parteen NS, Limerick Computex Ltd

Helen O’Toole Ballybay Central NS Sherpa Kids Ireland Siobhan Butler St. Joseph’s SS, Galway Toomey Audio Visual Cathriona Leddy Scoil Mhuire, Clones Examcraft (aka 4Schools.ie) Miriam Foley Convent of Mercy NS, Tipperary Education Company of Ireland Mairéad O’Donnell St. Anne’s PS, Rathkeale Ray of Sunshine Eithne Sheehan Crehana NS, Carrick-on-Suir

19 LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals
IPPN would like to thank all of our exhibiting companies that went to great effort in presenting their products and services at the Education Expo 2022. The support of exhibiting companies helps IPPN to deliver our Annual Principals’ Conference – please consider these companies when making purchases for your school over the coming year.
Place your c completed entries in the boxes marked Passport Giveaway around the conference venue by 6pm on Friday the
of January. For further details on how to enter see overleaf.
March 2015 IPPN Annual Principals’
Enjoy your prize!
Prize Winner
FORGING A FUTURE marked Passport 6pm on Friday the to enter see overleaf.
The passport giveaway winners are as follows: Company
School Name
Allianz Helen Hanley Ballygar NS Cantec Business Technology

The Future is You(rs)

Every year in late August or early September as the new school year opened familiar pleadings were heard in the staffroom: ‘are you going to stay on the Green Schools committee?’ or ‘if you are interested in taking a team, will you add your name to the list?’. And so a few days later the football boots were dusted off and after a very quick sandwich at lunchtime (if that even), it was out to the playing fields which were inevitably swarming with students throwing themselves into hurling, football, soccer or rugby. We even had a hybrid version called Garusoball (Gaelic football, rugby, soccer) which to my knowledge doesn’t exist anywhere else outside the boundaries of the Abbey CBS in Tipperary Town. Inevitably, charge of the senior team fell to myself and my coaching partner in crime (and Tipperary footballer), Damian O’Brien. Over the course of 12 years and hundreds of sessions and matches, the one element which we made central to any decision or feedback session was the voice of the players or as we saw them, young people. After all, they were the ones who would be responsible for the decisions made on the field, which affected and impacted on them the most. I saw this trust in young voices pay dividends not just in a sporting sense but in their overall development and progression into college and careers. I also saw the value of listening to young, new voices more recently through a very small involvement with Limerick under 21 and senior hurlers, ach sin scéal eile…

At a time when interest and participation in democratic practices is at a low ebb, countless studies have been carried out to try and explain this phenomenon, but I found this quote from a 2021 study by Spela Godec to be especially relevant in relation to participation: ‘young people are interested but not being

served’. I would argue that sociocultural institutions such as schools in conjunction with the Houses of the Oireachtas, can play a pivotal role in changing this narrative. For example, since 2018 Leinster House has played host to Seanad na nÓg, Dáil na nÓg and numerous appearances by second level students at various committees giving real and meaningful evidence, moving beyond tokenism, to help inform legislation which will have a lasting impact. There is still a journey to be travelled however. In Finland for example, several laws guarantee youth participation in the legislative process, but we are making real progress.

So, when I sat down to plan the programme for the summer course for teachers (which thankfully was onsite and will be again in August 2023) I focused on how teachers could actively and authentically listen to young people and help them start a journey which would lead to genuine participation in democratic activities. This may lead some of their students to the Houses of the Oireachtas as a Member at some point in the future!

The 21 teachers who attended came with a genuine belief in the value of student councils, of instilling in their pupils the importance of voting and a belief that participating in the democratic system can bring about change, and that young people can have a real say in decision-making. Trusting young people and respecting

and valuing their voice, based on my experience of the week, were not just phrases from the SSE handbook but actions that were going to be carried out in Gaelscoileanna, DEIS schools, large urban and small rural schools by teachers committed to showing their pupils the worth of their voice. If the voting age is reduced to 16, then it is never too early to start this journey: Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh siad mar a deirtear!

For more information about the EPV-approved summer course and all resources for primary schools, please see the Oireachtas website and search for Visit and Learn

If you would like to contact Conor about this article, you can contact him at Conor.Reale@oireachtas.ie

February 2023 21
I saw this trust in young voices pay dividends not just in a sporting sense but in their overall development and progression into college and careers.

You don’t walk alone

Alongside my family and love of porridge, the other great passion of my life is following Liverpool Football Club. LFC is famous for its anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and I can still remember being challenged to sing it by members of Council when I was elected President in Shanghai (I did and the resulting sound was not pretty!)

The problem for many of us in the leadership community is that we often feel that we do walk alone. A sense of being isolated and the only one who is facing this particular problem is one of the biggest causes of stress for leaders, wherever they are in the world. I have found that the same can also be true for leadership associations, who can feel that the challenges they are facing are particular to their own jurisdiction.

For this reason, I found ICP’s PreCouncil survey particularly powerful, since it offered the chance to demonstrate that both the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders are often the same, regardless of where we find ourselves. Yes, context and the way in which these issues impact upon us might vary, but the fundamental issues are surprisingly consistent.

We had 28 responses from across the ICP family:

19% Europe

15% Americas

35% Oceania

31% Africa.

Our survey had been drawn together by Nancy Brady, our Executive representative for the Americas, and focused upon issues raised by her regional group around the recruitment and retention of leaders. The response to the first of our questions demonstrated the problem very clearly:

Have your school leaders reported an increase in workload over the past 2 years?

100% Yes 0% No

When you have a 100% agreement from nearly 30 countries across five different continents, it speaks for itself. Responses from our members illustrate what has been happening:

‘Wellbeing, workload and ongoing stresses related to pandemic logistics dominate the everyday life of principals. For this reason when 86% of respondents report a change in job satisfaction over the past two years, I do not think they are telling us that the role has become more fulfilling.’

‘Financial stresses linked to COVID, staffing and lack of relievers, how to re-engage students and concern about how to make up lost learning time have increased anxiety. They are stressors that are not easily solved within education alone and they are underpinned by equity issues.’ ‘As the pressures and workload associated with being a leader increase, so the job becomes less fulfilling. In part this reduction in job satisfaction relates to leaders being taken away from their core role within the school.’

‘Having been extremely responsive and responsible COVID logistics managers, school

leaders need time and support to refocus on teaching and learning. Over regulation and compliance administration is taking us away from learning.’

Data from Professor Phil Riley has indicated that while Irish school leaders enjoy their jobs, the sheer quantity of work is the top stressor for them followed closely by a lack of time to focus on teaching and learning. As a consequence, the next two responses are perhaps to be expected:

Have you seen an increase in Principals/Vice Principals/School Leaders retiring over the last 2 years? 89% Yes 11% No

Have you seen an increase in school leaders accessing sick leave over this period of time? 74% Yes 26% No

Clearly, these responses point to a worldwide cause and effect that as the job becomes both more demanding and less fulfilling there are increasing numbers either leaving the profession or finding that these demands have a negative effect upon their health. In the words of one national association:

‘As an organization we are quite concerned about the health and wellbeing of our members post pandemic. They have navigated the crisis well, but our research tells us that people often suffer the full effects of a crisis once the crisis has passed.’

Some members reported that policy makers had been slow to understand what was happening:

22 LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals
...both the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders are often the same, regardless of where we find ourselves.

‘We are observing a significant increase in the number of non-educators in senior leadership roles in our bureaucracy. This is having a negative impact on a wide range of operational matters and a significant negative impact on morale. The workload is unsustainable and the damage to our students should not be underestimated.’

Around 60% of members reported an increased difficulty in recruitment (it would be interesting to hear more from the remaining 40% in a future survey about what they are doing to keep recruitment levels high). Survey responses below provides a flavour of what is happening on the ground:

‘Fewer teachers are willing to leave the classroom to become administrators and take on more responsibility for virtually no additional compensation. Boards are not offering incentives. Increased workload, exacerbated by the pandemic, combined with chronic staff shortages, have made school leadership positions unattractive to potential strong candidates – quite frankly, we

can’t recruit good people to the positions.’

It was fascinating to see that over 92% had looked outside education to recruit to senior roles. Whilst this is not a negative, since it is important to make use of talented leaders from all walks of life, it does highlight the need to ensure that they are provided with training and preparation for the specific demands of educational leadership. For this reason, it was striking that over 92% of members reported that they had put in place their own training to support colleagues taking on leadership roles. Having read the survey results, it might come as a surprise to hear that this was the most positive and optimistic Council I have attended. We did not travel all that distance to share our complaints, rather to work together on constructive and workable solutions. In doing this, I think we all found that there was a particular power in discovering that we did not walk alone and that we were all facing a set of common challenges.

As a result of the different places that we work in, it is unlikely that there is one single solution, but when

speaking both to members of our own organisations and policy makers we can now say that these issues of workload, recruitment and retention are faced by school systems across the world.

First published in ICP magazine Future Leaders, Future Schools, December 2022

If you would like to get in touch with Peter in relation to this article, you can send him an email at Peter.Kent@lawrencesheriffschool.com

...when speaking both to members of our own organisations and policy makers we can now say that these issues of workload, recruitment and retention are faced by school systems across the world.

Exemptions from the study of Irish

Circular 54/2022 (August 2022) again revises the exemption landscape. Dealing with Irish exemptions undoubtedly increases workload for the school leader. However, the following suggestions may help:

1. Prepare an Exemptions Pack (or have it prepared!). This will save time and effort when preparing to meet parents seeking an exemption. It should contain copies of:

• Circular 54/2022, including spare ones for parents

• Application Forms

• Guidelines for Primary Schools (August 2022)

• Guidelines on Testing and Test Selection

• FAQs

• Appeal Form

2. It is for parents to make the application to the principal and to choose the grounds (1 of 6) for appeal.

3. It is important to remind parents of the benefits of studying Irish and the consequences of not studying Irish.

4. In the case of children whose parents may seek an exemption in relation to Literacy Difficulties or Multiple and Persistent Needs, ensure that the school is keeping the requisite records as outlined in the circular.

5. Use the evidence and your professional judgement in the

The Irish system is eight years, therefore a child who was educated in the UK and seeking an exemption from Irish and in Rang VI could well be eligible on this ground.

best interests of the child when making a decision. Where parents/ guardians disagree with your decision, give them a copy of the Appeal Form.

The following points were clarified at a recent briefing by the DE:

1. The Date of Enrolment for Irish Exemption purposes is the date of first enrolment in an Irish school where the date is a factor in granting the exemption.

2. Children educated in the UK complete their primary education in 7 years. The Irish system is 8 years, therefore a child who was educated in the UK and seeking an exemption from Irish and in Rang VI could well be eligible on this ground. A child in the UK finishes primary education at the end of P6 class.

3. There is no time limit in relation to children seeking an exemption under Literacy Difficulties. It is at the discretion of the principal. However, the child must also have reached at least Rang II, so there will be plenty of evidence, or not.

4. A discrete test is a standalone test which assesses a single literacy skill e.g. Word Reading, Reading Comprehension or Spelling.

5. In relation to children seeking an exemption under the Multiple and Persistent Needs

• NEPS, CAMHS or Tusla will often be involved in such cases

• The difficulties are only those difficulties which are observed in the school environment –not those reported as being observed at home

• There are further clarifications and examples in the Guidelines

• The School Support File (SSF) compiled at primary level can be used at post primary level to

Twenty one appeals have been submitted thus far this school year (at time of going to print).

apply for an Exemption when the child is in a post primary school.

6. Serious illness, and resulting loss of time in school, as grounds for an exemption – the circular is silent.

7. Exemptions from the study of Irish will not be granted in the case of Irish Medium schools.

8. 21 Appeals have been submitted thus far this school year (at time of going to print). They have not yet been heard and we were promised that the results and stats would be shared.


At Primary Level

2017/18 school year 3,892 exemptions 2021/22 school year 2,527 exemptions, 35% decrease In 2004, 4% of children at primary level had exemptions In 2010, 7% of children at primary level had exemptions Currently, 1.9% of children at primary level have exemptions

At Post Primary

2017/18 school year 10,374 Exemptions. 2021/22 school year 13,710 Exemptions, 32% increase. Currently 10% of children at post-primary level have exemptions.



Supporting Schools and Boards in Special Education

The National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education (NABMSE) is the voice of special education in Ireland. We represent special schools, along with primary schools and post primary schools with special classes. We directly support our member schools and Boards of Management (BoMs), and advocate for them with the Department of Education, the NCCA and the NCSE, and we collaborate with all the relevant stakeholders and management bodies.

Most recently, we hosted a series of six focus group consultations with the Special Education section of the Department of Education and representatives from special schools from all over the country. This was a valuable opportunity for our school leaders, along with BoM and patron representatives from special schools, to give full voice to the matters that most challenge their capacity to deliver the highest level of educational provision to the most vulnerable children in our system.

The starting points for discussion included:

1. The designation of special schools as primary schools, as many special schools educate students up to the age of 18/19.

2. An open session based on any matters the schools wished to raise.

3. Summer Programmes. The discussions were participantled, and contributions covered a wide range of topics, along with suggestions of measures that could be taken to address these challenges.

The meetings were facilitated in a very open manner by Frank Hanlon. He, Margarita Boyle, Niamh Ní Fhoighill and Kenny Noonan from the DE Special Education section attended all the meetings. They listened to and welcomed what our experienced practitioners had to say.

It was interesting to note that some of the matters raised in relation to the workload of special school principals echoed concerns highlighted by IPPN in the recent comprehensive report on the sustainability of school leadership. As the voice of special education management, NABMSE is excited to collaborate with IPPN to strengthen our combined voices and progress the priority needs of both special schools and schools with special classes. Our common aim is to support BoMs, school leaders and staff to provide the highest standard of education and care for our students.

NABMSE is fortunate to have scheduled monthly meetings with the Special Education section of the DE for the rest of this school year. A summary of all the matters raised in our focus group sessions, along with motions raised at our recent AGM and annual conference, will form the agenda of upcoming meetings.

We are aware that many mainstream schools may be opening special classes soon, and NABMSE is here to support you in this new endeavour. We will be delighted to work with IPPN to ensure that every aspect of the support you may need is available to you.

You can reach our head office, based in Kildare Education and Support Centre at 045 533753, with any questions you may have, or to discuss your training, advice or support needs. Geraldine, our office administrator, will be able to advise you about membership and registration for upcoming seminars and training. Our DPO, Mary, is contactable at 045 533471 to advise and support special schools with all aspects of their GDPR responsibilities. Visit our website at www.nabmse.ie for information about NABMSE.

I would like to thank the Special Education department for their openness at our recent meetings and in particular, to pay tribute to the commitment of special schools to the education and care of their students. This was evident throughout all the discussions, and every school leader’s contribution firmly centred the needs of the child, and brought the moral purpose of our work back to the fore, where it belongs.

If you would like to contact Eileen in relation to this article, you can email her at GenSec@nabmse.ie

February 2023
We are aware that many mainstream schools may be opening special classes soon, and NABMSE is here to support you in this new endeavour.
As the voice of special education management, NABMSE is excited to collaborate with IPPN to strengthen our combined voices and progress the priority needs of both special schools and schools with special classes.



See report by Finbarr Hurley, Coordinator of the Donegal Cluster Project, on page 8.


The group began back with a joint input on Health and Safety Practices. Both clusters have set up policy folders so that the schools can work collaboratively on policy development across the schools. Clusters were provided with guidance around policy development as well as a template for 3-year policy development so as not to overwhelm any school and help to prioritise.


See President’s Pen on page 6 for an update on this project.


IPPN participated in meetings/ events relating to the following: Department of Education

• Ukraine Stakeholder Briefing

• Primary Education Forum

• Digital Strategy for Schools 2022–2027, including consideration of Digital Schools of Europe programme


• Leading Out Seminar 7

• Final Primary Curriculum Framework and its review, redevelopment, introduction and enactment

• Report on the consultation of the draft Primary Mathematics Curriculum, including consultation with children

• Draft Primary Mathematics Specification

• Updating Aistear: Consultation with babies, toddlers and young children

• Consultation report from Phase 1 of updating Aistear

• Brief for a Development Group supporting the updating of Aistear

The Teaching Council

Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) –to discuss potential school counselling supports NABMSE Conference – theme: ‘Supporting Learning and Achievement’

NAPD Conference

CSL Steering Group Meeting NTRIS Oversight Group Meeting ESHA General Assembly.

Global Village

is a partnership between Irish Aid, IPPN, INTO, DCU, and Trócaire, a 2-year project aimed at the promotion of global citizen education opportunities for students at primary school. IPPN are represented on the steering committee by Damian White and Carol Burke Heneghan.


The following interviews were held in recent months on key topics:

Energy Costs

The Journal – Linda Dennehy

Teacher Shortages

Pat Kenny Show – Bryan Collins Midlands Radio – Damian White

RTÉ Nuacht – Íde Ní Dhubháin KFM and C103 – Kathryn Corbett

LMFM – Bryan Collins

The Corkman and Irish Daily Mail –Linda Dennehy Kerry Radio – Louise Tobin RTÉ News at One – Brian O’Doherty

Sustainable Leadership Project Drivetime – Brian O’Doherty.


IPPN made the following submissions and presentations over the past few months:

Submission to the Department of Education re. Draft SEN Circular Submission to the National Parents Council Primary – Strategy 2023 –2027.

See page 29 for an overview of some of these submissions. See www.ippn. ie – Advocacy/Submissions for all submission documents.


See also www.ippn.ie Advocacy/On Your Behalf for up-to-date information about key activities relating to IPPN’s advocacy and communication on behalf of members, including media interviews.

IPPN’s social media accounts on Twitter (@ippn_education) and LinkedIn (@ippn) are another way to stay abreast of work in this area.

Listed below are some of the projects and advocacy-related engagements that were progressed since the last issue of Leadership+. YOUR TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS PARTNER 022 38491 info@perduko.com

How primary school experiences shape later educational outcomes

While educators are already aware of it anecdotally, for the first time the system now has clear evidence that students’ experiences in primary and early second-level schooling – in terms of their attendance, engagement, relationships and expectations – play a crucial role in where they are a decade later. Relationships are particularly important.

Data collected over the course of four waves of the Growing Up in Ireland child cohort study provide unique insights into how children’s experiences during the primary school years shape later educational outcomes. Characteristics of children, their families and their schools were measured at 9 and 13 years of age, and their educational experiences revisited in young adulthood (17 and 20 years of age). Our research has been exploring how gender, children’s selfconcept, the nature of their interaction with teachers (things like being told their work is good, being given out to for work not being done or in terms of their behaviour), academic achievement, experiencing additional needs, school context and experience of family vulnerability (income poverty, household joblessness and financial strain) and neighbourhood vulnerability, impact later. The data allow us to take account of these and a host of other child, family and school characteristics to look at what matters for later educational outcomes.

It probably won’t be a surprise to learn that earlier academic performance predicts later performance, but many other factors play a role in shaping this relationship and in shaping outcomes.

Educational expectations play a particularly important role in later educational trajectories. Much higher levels of college participation are found among those whose parents expected them to achieve this level of education at 9 years of age. All else being equal, children whose parents expected them to progress to college were 1.4 times more likely to do so than those with lower expectations. How children experience school plays an important role, in particular, levels

of engagement, attendance patterns and interactions with teachers matter. Progression to higher education is much lower among children who missed more than 10 days of school in the previous year at 9 years of age and this relationship persists taking account of early academic performance and other characteristics. Experiencing conflict in interactions with teachers at 13 is negatively associated with college attendance, while liking school at 13 is positively associated with progressing to college. Working to make school a place where students want to be is a key part of the DEIS framework, and our research reaffirms the importance of building engaging contexts in order to nurture engaged students.

Family, neighbourhood and school context characteristics mattered across different outcomes, reflecting variation in access to learning and other resources in the home and school settings. Students with fewer household economic resources were more than twice as likely to become early school-leavers and only half as likely to plan to pursue higher education as their peers from households with greater resources. After accounting for economic vulnerability, young adults from vulnerable neighbourhoods were twice as likely to plan to pursue further education rather than higher education. Students from DEIS schools were three times more likely to be early school leavers. While the DEIS programme has shown strong results in tackling achievement, attendance and engagement gaps, adequately supporting the complexity of needs their students are facing clearly demands more resources. Our findings reinforce ongoing concerns that the additional resources provided to DEIS schools are not proportionate to the greater needs of students attending such schools, and thus gaps in attainment, attendance and other key areas will likely persist.

Students with additional needs at age 9 were more likely to experience cumulative risk factors shown to impact on early school leaving and post-

school pathways, and these are key mechanisms in understanding different pathways for students with additional needs. The evidence also shows that type of impairment/difficulty matters. Children identified with socio-emotional difficulties at age 9 are less likely to progress to college (than those without disabilities or other types of need) even when we take account of many other factors, including academic performance.

Educational outcomes are a systemic phenomenon, and certain risk factors tend to be more prevalent in the lives of some groups of young people. Students with additional needs were more likely to experience conflict in their interactions with their parents, have negative interactions with their teachers, have repeated absences, come from economically vulnerable households and attend schools with more socio-economically disadvantaged populations. Our research tries to disentangle some of the intersectional disadvantage experienced by children identified with additional needs, and the results reveal individual and schoollevel factors which are associated with the divergent outcomes, all of which highlight the importance of wider policy reform and intervention.

SOURCES (both open access):

Carroll, E., Ye, K, McCoy, S., 2022a. Educationally maintained inequality? The role of risk factors and resilience at 9, 13 and 17 in disabled young people’s postschool pathways at 20, Irish Educational Studies, 41(3): 573-594.

Carroll, E., McCoy, S., Mihut, G., 2022b. Exploring cumulative disadvantage in early school leaving and planned post-school pathways among those identified with special educational needs in Irish primary schools, British Educational Research Journal

If you would like to contact Professor McCoy in relation to this article, you can email her at Selina.McCoy@esri.ie

February 2023 27 LINK LINK

If you have made the decision to retire or step back from leadership in 2023, we wish you every happiness and fulfilment in the future. Do please let us know that you are planning to retire by contacting Jackie O’Reilly by email to Jackie.OReilly@ippn.ie

We would like to give every principal who has retired or is planning to retire an opportunity to provide feedback on their decision to move on from their leadership role, via an online survey. The survey asks about your decision to retire, and your experience as a school leader. It should take no more than 8 minutes to complete. This is our first year surveying members who are retiring and your feedback would be much appreciated. Please email Jackie for a link to the survey.

Lastly, please ensure that the new principal makes contact with us so that they can avail of the many supports and services available to them, which is particularly important during their first year as a school leader.

If your school has a policy or plan that is not available on ippn.ie, or which would supplement

appreciate if you would submit it for review by email to Rachel.Hallahan@ippn.ie

28 www.ippn.ie Latest resources The following are the latest resources uploaded to the different sections of the website since the last issue of Leadership+: CPD & EVENTS PRINCIPALS’ CONFERENCE CONFERENCE 2022 Seminars n PDST – Technology Infrastructure and Technical Support in Primary Schools n Joe O’Connell – Sobering truths and delightful opportunitiesleading through relationships n FSSU – Training for Principals n Siobhan Allen – Reduce Your Risk! Managing Behaviours of Concern n David Ruddy BL – Essential Law for the School Leader – Limiting Your Liability n CSL – Key to Collaborative Leadership Keynotes n Páiric Clerkin, IPPN CEO n Brian O’Doherty, IPPN President n Louise Tobin, IPPN Deputy President Exhibitors n Directory of Exhibitors RESOURCES DE Circulars n 0075/2022 – Commencement of the Education (Provision in respect of Children with Special Educational Needs) Act 2022 Planning Prompts A new prompt is uploaded each week to this section, and each one is relevant to the time of year. ADVOCACY Publications n Primary School Leadership: The Case for Urgent Action – A Roadmap to Sustainability Submissions n Submission to the Department of Education re. Draft SEN Circular –November 2022 n Submission to the National Parents Council Primary – Strategy 2023 –2027 – November 2022 See synopses of these submissions on page 29. SUPPORTS Leadership+ 2022/23 n Leadership+ Issue 125 – Dec 2022 E-scéalta n A new E-scéal is uploaded each week to this section.
available resources, we
Are you planning to retire in 2023?

IPPN Submissions


IPPN was asked to submit feedback on the proposed communication regarding legislation relating to the introduction and commencement of the Education (Provision in Respect of Children with Special Educational Needs) Act 2022, and the commencement of the remaining sections 67 to 70 of the Education Act 1998 as introduced by the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018. This new legislation was introduced and commenced in July 2022.

Education (Provision in Respect of Children with Special Educational Needs) Act 2022

The main provisions in the new legislation regarding commencement include:

A new streamlined section 37A process

Designation of a school place by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) or Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) New obligations for schools, Boards of Management and patrons to co-operate with the NCSE

Complying with directions under Section 37A and Section 67 New text to be included in school Admission Statements Proposed new function of the NCSE.

IPPN reviewed the proposals and provided feedback, key questions and points of clarification that schools would ask, as well as observations that we hope will inform the final version of the circular and its supporting documents. We sought an opportunity to review the amended version before

it is issued, as it is crucial that absolute clarity is provided to schools in circulars and supporting documentation. This will also avoid unnecessary queries being raised to the Department and to IPPN.



IPPN’s suggestions for the NPC strategy relate to the following key points: n Promoting partnerships n Training of NPC helpline staff re. Dignity in the Workplace n Learning from the COVID pandemic n Parental involvement n Governance n School priorities n Initial teacher training.

Both submissions can be viewed in full on www.ippn.ie under Advocacy/Submissions.

February 2023 29
IPPN Presidents Past, Present and Future at the IPPN Principals’ Conference in Killarney in November 2022. LINK LINK

Changes at the helm IPPN Board Members

Board of Directors

IPPN offers sincere thanks to Íde Ní Dhúbháin, a founding member of IPPN and a member of the Board of Directors for several years, and to Maria Tully, the first deputy principal to serve as a member of the Board, for the significant contribution they have made to the work of IPPN. Both Íde and Maria have stepped down from the Board.

The two appointments arising from these vacancies were confirmed at the National Council meeting on Saturday 3rd December. We welcome Diarmaid Moore, principal of Milford NS in Limerick City, and Diarmuid Hennessy, principal of Scoil Mhuire na nGrást, Belgooly, Cork to the Board.

Congratulations also to Deirdre Kelly, principal of St. Michael’s NS, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo, who was re-elected to serve a second term on the Board. We wish them all every success in their role as Board members over the coming threeyear period.

National Council 2022–2023

Due to the expansion of the National Council into the restructured city/ county networks (as described in the December issue of Leadership+), there are now 93 members on the National Council. IPPN very sincerely thanks those who served on the Council over the past year, including those who have stepped down from their role, for their work and commitment to their county networks and to IPPN.

We wish the new Council well with its work. In particular, we look forward to working with the three new committees that have been formed to inform the supports and services that IPPN provides (professional development and e-services) and the advocacy work that we undertake.

The new Council for the 2022/23 school year is as follows:



Carlow Carlow NS

Hazel Smyth Teaching Dep. Principal Advocacy Carlow Kiltegan NS Helen Oxley Teaching Principal Prof. Dev Carlow SN Molaise Mandy McDonnell Ryan Teaching Principal E Services Cavan St Anne’s NS Ailish Fay Admin. Dep. Principal E Services Cavan Dromaili NS Geraldine Dolan Admin. Principal Advocacy Cavan Killygarry NS Serena Prior Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Clare Ennis ETNS David Quinn Teaching Principal E Services Clare Inchicronan Central NS Orla Brady Teaching Principal Prof. Dev Clare Ennis NS Ray McInerney Admin. Principal Advocacy Cork City St Patrick’s INS Anne O’Connell Admin. Principal Advocacy Cork City Scoil Barra Naofa Buachaillí Fiona Meehan Admin. Principal E Services Cork City Scoil Eoin William Casey Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Cork County Holy Well NS Aidan Crowley Admin. Principal Advocacy Cork County Scoil Mhuire na nGrást Diarmuid Hennessy Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Cork County Scoil an Chlochair Sheila O’Connor Admin. Principal E Services Donegal Scoil an Aingil Choimhéadaí Anne Marie Teaching Principal Prof. Dev Nic Giolla Easpaig

Donegal Scoil Cholmcille Brídín Nic Eiteagáin Teaching Dep. Principal Advocacy Donegal Scoil Cholmcille Naofa Jacinta Walsh Teaching Principal E Services

Dublin City Griffith Barracks Eddie Fox Admin. Principal Advocacy Multi Denominational School

Dublin City St. Francis of Assisi PS Helen Fields

Teaching Dep. Principal E Services

Dublin City St Fergal’s BNS Mary Flynn Admin. Principal Prof. Dev

Dublin DLR Harold School Dervla Nic Mhathúna Admin. Principal Prof. Dev

Dublin DLR Scoil Cholmcille Junior Irene Connor Admin. Principal E Services

Dublin DLR St Olaf’s NS John Murtagh Admin. Principal Advocacy

Dublin Fingal St Colmcille’s BNS Ciara Brangan Admin. Principal E Services

Dublin Fingal Mary Mother of Hope SNS Enda McGorman Admin. Principal Prof. Dev

Dublin Fingal St Michael’s Special NS Karen Byrne Admin. Principal Advocacy

Dublin South Scoil Aonghusa Senior Michele Hamilton Admin. Principal E Services

Dublin South St Declan’s Special NS Niamh Thompson Admin. Principal Advocacy

Dublin South Divine Mercy SNS Regina Halpin Admin. Principal Prof. Dev

Galway City Galway ETNS Deirbhile Ní Scolai Admin. Principal Prof. Dev

Galway City Scoil Bhríde Máire De Brún Admin. Principal Advocacy

Galway City St Joseph’s SS Siobhan Butler Admin. Principal E Services

LEADERSHIP+ The Professional Voice of Principals 30
Pictured at the IPPN Principals’ Conference, the Board of Directors, including outgoing members Maria Tully and Íde Ní Dhúbháin.




Galway Co. Scoil Naomh Ann Lynskey Teaching Principal Prof. Dev

Colman MacDuaigh

Galway Co. Scoil Naomh Aoife O’Connor Teaching Dep. PrincipalAdvocacy Colman MacDuaigh

Galway Co. Lisheenkyle NS Jennifer McDonnell Admin. Principal E Services

Kerry SN Breandan Naofa Robbie O’Connell Admin. Principal Prof. Dev

Kerry Scoil Naomh Eirc Rosemarie Lawlor Teaching Dep. PrincipalAdvocacy

Kerry Clogher MNS Sinéad Murphy Teaching Principal E Services

Kildare St Joseph’s NS Ann McQuillan Admin. Principal Prof. Dev

Kildare Newbridge ETNS Eimear Carey Admin. Principal Advocacy

Kildare Kildare Town ETNS Rachel Burke Teaching Dep. PrincipalE Services

Kilkenny St Colmcille’s NS Anita Foley Teaching Principal Prof. Dev

Kilkenny St. Brigid’s NS Irene Browne Teaching Principal E Services

Kilkenny St Patrick’s NS Margaret Keane Teaching Principal Advocacy

Laois The Heath David O’Brien Admin. Principal Advocacy

Laois St Paul’s NS Denise Talbot Teaching Principal E Services

Laois Cosby NS Jackie Cooper Teaching Principal Prof. Dev

Leitrim Scoil Mhuire Caroline Healy Admin. Principal Advocacy

Leitrim Ardvarney NS Paula Loughlin Teaching Principal Prof. Dev

Leitrim Leitrim Mixed NS Richella Kelly Admin. Principal E Services

Limerick Milford NS Diarmaid Moore Admin. Principal Advocacy

Limerick Oola NS Liam Guiney Teaching Principal E Services

Limerick Church Street NS Niall West Teaching Principal Prof. Dev

Longford Lanesborough PS Claire Murphy Teaching Principal Prof. Dev

Longford St Columbas NS Frances McDonnell Teaching Principal Advocacy

Longford St Mels NS Teresa Kearney Admin. Principal E Services

Louth Tullyallen NS Eileen Pike Admin. Principal Advocacy

Louth St Finian’s NS Padraig McEneany Teaching Principal Prof. Dev

Louth Scoil Phádraig Naofa Tom O’Connor Admin. Principal E Services

Mayo Kiltimagh Central NS Paul Butler Admin. Principal Advocacy

Mayo SN An Teallaigh Regina Corrigan Teaching Principal Prof. Dev

Mayo Scoil Eoin Seoirse Ó Moráin Admin. Principal E Services



Meath Bunscoil Cóilín Ó Coigligh Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Clochar Mhuire

Meath Scoil Oilibhéir Naofa Ken Keogan Admin. Principal Advocacy Meath Scoil Oilibhéir Naofa Maria White Admin. Principal E Services Monaghan St Louis Infant School Carmel McCarroll Admin. Principal E Services Monaghan Scoil Mhuire Elizabeth Moorehead Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Monaghan Scoil Naomh Pádraig Richard Baxter Admin. Principal Advocacy Offaly SN Naomh Seosamh Bridget Clear Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Offaly SN Seosamh John Healy Teaching Principal Advocacy Offaly Daingean NS Michael McConigley Admin. Principal E Services Roscommon Scoil Muire & Treasa Adrian Cregg Teaching Principal Advocacy Roscommon Scoil Naomh Eoin Cora Nevin Teaching Principal Prof. Dev Roscommon St Anne’s NS Jacinta Ní Chonghaile Teaching Principal E Services

Sligo SN Ronáin Naofa Maria Goretti Surlis Teaching Principal Advocacy Sligo Carraroe NS Roy Mitchell Teaching Principal E Services Sligo Scoil Ursula Tony Gallagher Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Tipperary St Michael’s NS Louise Delaney Admin. Principal E Services Tipperary St Michael’s Junior BNS SiobhanVerdon Teaching Principal Prof. Dev Tipperary St John The Baptist Will Ryan Admin. Principal Advocacy

Boys NS

Waterford Gaelscoil na nDéise Marc de Grás Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Waterford SN Baile an Maria O’Connor Admin. Principal E Services


Waterford Glór na Mara Pat O’Mahoney Admin. Principal Advocacy Westmeath St Peter’s NS Anne Fagan Admin. Principal Advocacy Westmeath St Michael’s NS Máire Weitzman Teaching Dep. Principal Prof. Dev Westmeath Coralstown NS Mary Daly Teaching Principal E Services

Wexford St Fintan’s NS Bernadette Leahy Teaching Principal E Services Wexford Bunscoil Ris Gerry Moran Admin. Principal Prof. Dev Wexford Wexford ETNS Selina Carmody Teaching Dep. Principal Advocacy Wicklow Scoil Naomh Peadar Emer Whyte Teaching Dep. Principal E Services Wicklow Scoil Mhuire na nÁird Rory Healy Teaching Principal Prof. Dev Wicklow Scoil Naomh Peadar Scott Vance Admin. Principal Advocacy


No new versions after 2022/23

IMPORTANT NOTICE to members who have been using the spreadsheet tool ‘Airgead Bunscoile’ to manage school finances. The 2022/23 version is the final update available through IPPN. Schools are advised to seek advice from FSSU regarding the coming school year The FSSU is the Financial Support Services Unit – the dedicated financial support service for schools.

The format of the FSSU Monthly Reporting Templates is consistent with the standardised national template for annual school accounts and is fully supported at no cost by their team of Accounting Technicians. Guidance and support is available from the FSSU via remote support by emailing primary@fssu.ie or by phone at 01 910 4020 from 9am to 7pm from Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 5pm on Fridays. For more information, visit www.fssu.ie and search for ‘Monthly Reporting Template’. We would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank retired principal Seán Ó Láimhín, who has single-handedly supported and maintained Airgead Bunscoile for the past several years. We are indebted to him. IPPN also pays tribute to those who have contributed to the development of Airgead Bunscoile over the years, including Seán Cottrell, Damian White and Larry Fleming.

February 2023

And Finally…


‘ ’

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, summarising Aristotle’s thoughts


‘ ’

Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible attributed to St. Francis of Assisi

From Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury
Supporting and assisting schools and principals is what our Local Allianz Reps do. It helps to know yours. Here are a few of the common topics your local Allianz Rep can assist your school with* Ronan Cassidy North West Martin Sinnott South East Martin McKeogh South Noel O’Loughlin West Alan Carroll North East Martin Sinnott ACII – South East Martin.Sinnott@allianz.ie 087 686 2329 Ronan Cassidy ACII – North West Ronan.Cassidy@allianz.ie 087 430 2246 Martin McKeogh, ACII, BBS (Hon) – South Martin.McKeogh@allianz.ie 087 920 3992 Noel O’Loughlin ACII – West Noel.O’Loughlin@allianz.ie 087 258 8943 Alan Carroll CIP – North East Alan.Carroll@allianz.ie 087 956 6721 Allianz p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Standard acceptance criteria apply *If your school is insured through an insurance intermediary, please contact them for assistance.
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.