+ Leadership The Professional Voice of Primary Principals ISSUE 28 • OCTOBER 2005
F E AT U R E S
DES Working Group on the workload of the Principal As a member of the working group IPPN strongly asserts that the underlying philosophy of In-School Management should be one of teamwork, with flexibility, accountability and ditributed leadership……PAGE 3
Publication of WSE Reports A Phríomhoide agus a Phríomhoide Thánaistigh, teachers and Principals share the common A family newly arrived in Ireland and pupose of the education of our children. endeavouring to make an informed opinion It is clear from recent statements by Minister on the quality of Irish education, could be Hanafin that WSE reports will be published in easily led to conclude from recent the future. All that remains for discussion media reports that there is a and agreement now, is how the 8.9% problem with the majority of reports will be published. With Publish on central website Irish schools. this in mind the IPPN Much has been written Executive decided that it 28.5% would be worthwhile to seek and said about the Against any form 62.6% of publication presumed opposition of the opinion of Principals on Publish in hardcopy teachers and Principals to the subject using an on-line to parents & staff the publication of school survey. Some 1,000 Principals reports. Did the people who completed the survey and really matter in this debate get to despite scare-mongering and express their real views? Teachers, negative publicity surrounding the parents and Principals were not found subject, it would appear that over 70% of marching the streets in their thousands ina bid school leaders are in favour of the publication to protect school reports as top secret of WSE Reports in one form or another. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 2) documents. The reality is that most parents,
Workload of Principals ....................3
Controlling Interruptions ..............4
Reducing the Administrative
Management of SNAs ....................6 Appointments to Posts of Responsibility..................................9 A Framework for School Policy on Assessment ..............................10
Convention of the International Confederation of Principals ....19 Top Quality Resources, Policies
Burden on Schools.......................13
IPPN Bursary to Ontario .............21
Legal Diary ........................................14
IPPN Conference 2006 ................21
Special Schools and
Special Classes .............................22
The Special Needs Assistant works under the direction of the teacher. They provide support for the pupil, the teacher, the curriculum and the school……PAGE 6
A Framework for School Policy on Assessment Assessment is a process that involves gathering, interpreting, recording, using and communicating information about pupils’ social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development……PAGE 10
Understanding Challenging Behaviour The issue of challenging behaviour is of increasing concern to educators at every level of schooling……PAGE 16
Moira Lynch, An Appreciation ....22 Diary of Meetings June–October 2005..................23 Newly-appointed Principals .......................................23
Whole School Evaluation...............2
In School Management of SNAs
Publication of WSE Reports (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1)
Only one in four is against WSE Report publication. Perhaps the most interesting finding of the survey is that 50% of the Principals who are in favour of report publication specifically opted to support a middle ground position on the availability of reports. They indicated that while these school reports should be made available to those who need quality school information, they should not be made available in digital format on a central website. Interestingly the strongest views expressed in the survey came, not from those opposed to publication, but rather those who favoured publication in a sensible manner. One Principal of a three teacher rural school stated: ‘The role of Principal is already the most accountable and transparent role in the entire community. What further could be learned about my work other than providing an accurate account of it?’. A Dublin-based Principal of a large suburban school asserted: ‘If other professions were performing under such difficult conditions and delivering a complex, high quality public service, they would be demanding rather than resisting that reports of their work be published’. A third comment simply stated ‘What’s all the fuss? We’ve absolutely nothing to hide’.
The role of Principal is already the most accountable and transparent role in the entire community. What further could be learned about my work other than providing an accurate account of it? The findings of this survey, which will be published in full in due course, illustrate a great sense of trust and pride in the quality of the work in our schools and a refreshing confidence amongst Principals, as you reflected on your role as school leaders. Arising from your views on the publication of WSE Reports, IPPN has conveyed to both the Minister and the Chief Inspector, that if WSE Reports are to be published they should be made available in hard copy format, on request from the individual school. In this way requests from parents and employees for access to a report on their own school can be granted without succumbing to the unnecessary and illogical demand for public access to all school reports. This demand is coming from some of the print media, who will log-on to whatever website carries WSE Reports and produce their own arbitrary league tables. Such comparative tables would be based on opinions extracted from carefully, and sometimes cryptically written, WSE Reports. There is a huge difference between those who need quality school information and those who want it for other reasons. The full data of the online survey is now available to view on www.ippn.ie under the ‘New and Views’ section.
Is mise le meas, Sean Cottrell
Whole School Evaluation Chief Inspector, Mr Eamon Stack recently facilitated a consultation session with representatives of IPPN on the publication of Whole School Evaluation Reports. It is clear from recent statements by Minister Hanafin that WSE reports will be published in future – this is a decision which has been made by the Minister and all that remains is how exactly the reports will be published. The IPPN position on WSE reports was based on the research we carried out where almost 1,000 Principals participated in our online survey. The outcome of this survey informed our Executive to make the following points to the Chief Inspector. If school reports are to be published: 1. There must be far greater levels of consistency in the manner in which evaluations are carried out. 2. The template, style and approach taken in the writing of WSE reports, must be clarified so as to ensure a fairer outcome for all concerned. 3. WSE reports must reflect the totality of the school, i.e. to include social, context, history and factors which impede change and progress, as well as physical and other limitations. WSE reports must also describe any additional value being added to the school through extra curricular and extra mural activity. 4. Whilst on one hand there is concern about the identification of individuals within a report particularly in small schools, there is perhaps a failure in current WSE reports to adequately and accurately describe the role the Principal plays in leadership, management and administration of the school. WSE reports to date are more inclined to ‘blend in’ the role of Principal with the ISM team which severely underplays both the workload and responsibility recognisable to anyone with experience of a modern school. The opinions expressed in Leadership+ do not necessarily reflect the official policy or views of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network ISSN: 1649 -5888 Irish Primary Principals’ Network Glounthaune, Co Cork President: Virginia O’Mahony email@example.com Deputy President: Tomás Ó Slatara firstname.lastname@example.org Director: Seán Cottrell email@example.com
5. The point laboured most strongly by IPPN centres around the issue of who exactly needs WSE reports as opposed those who want them! IPPN favours the publication of WSE reports in hard copy format where they can be made available on individual request from the school. This way anybody who has a legitimate need for a Whole School Report can do so without restriction. In identifying those who need reports we include parents, prospective parents, employees, prospective employees, community representatives and other genuine stakeholders. In this way the ‘accountability’ agenda can be served sufficiently without creating the inevitable risk to the integrity of schools if WSE reports are made available digitally on a public web site. Clearly there are many who ‘want’ access to WSE reports for the purpose of selling newspapers with sensational league tables of schools based on completely arbitrary judgements made on comparing data which was never designed for such purposes. Even with text based reports carrying no numerical data, having access to digital copies would make it very easy for journalists to extract ‘comparisons’ based on nouns and adjectives referring to a specific topic such as literacy, numeracy etc.
Clearly there are many who ‘want’ access to WSE reports for the purpose of selling newspapers with sensational league tables of schools based on completely arbitrary judgements made on comparing data which was never designed for such purposes.
Editor: Larry Fleming firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Damian White email@example.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org l: 1890 21 22 23 t: 353 21 452 4925 f: 353 21 435 5648 w: www.ippn.ie Design and print: Brosna Press 090 6454327 • email@example.com
DES Working Group on the workload of the Principal
The DES Working Group on the
IPPN has made the following recommendations:
Principal’s workload has been meeting now for almost twelve months. IPPN has been a member of that working group, together with the Management Bodies, the INTO and the DES. In addressing the issue of Principals’ workload the initial focus of the group has been concentrated on the issue of In School Management (ISM) and to review the procedures of Circular 07/03. As a member of the working group, IPPN strongly asserts that the underlying philosophy of In-School Management should be one of teamwork, with flexibility and accountability. The concept of distributed leadership, as evidenced by an effective ISM team, would provide crucial leadership opportunities for teachers, be of immense support to the Principal and would bring about positive outcomes for teaching and learning within the entire school community. CRITERIA FOR APPOINTMENT TO ISM TEAM As the underlying philosophy of In-School Management should be one of teamwork with flexibility and accountability, the criteria for appointing ISM posts should therefore focus on:
That any changes to Circular 07/03 be communicated with great clarity by the DES, INTO and Management bodies. That selection criteria for ISM posts be changed to facilitate the appointment of the most suitable person regardless of length of service. That the new circular would include a clear statement that the work and meetings of the In-School Management Team be undertaken outside of class contact time or, in the case of infant teachers, outside preparation time, with a suggestion for one meeting of the ISM to take place per month. That appointment procedures be streamlined with particular reference to significantly shortening the timeframe for appointment to Posts of Responsibility and also the appeals process. That Deputy Principals in schools of more than 16 teachers be free from teaching duties. This is required to enable deputies perform at a senior management level within a school of such size. Examination of best practice shows that team leadership is a key indicator of success in larger schools. That Teaching Principals be relieved of teaching duties for one day per week. That an annual ISM review process be provided for in each school. 1. ABILITY The applicant’s ability to actively manage their responsibilities and carry out the tasks required of them. A track record of an applicant’s competence and effectiveness as a teacher and colleague would be essential. 2. BEHAVIOURAL TRAITS The applicant’s disposition and contribution to PAGE 3
positive staff relationships and to the greater good of the school community should be considered, together with a willingness to do the work with energy and enthusiasm, the ability to work as part of a team, the flexibility to respond positively to and anticipate the changing needs of the school and a commitment to improve the quality of learning in the school. 3. SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS The applicant’s interpersonal skills should be considered as well as their ability to foster a positive spirit in the school among teachers and between staff and pupils. Other essential skills to consider would be the applicant’s organisational and administrative skills, time management skills, verbal and written communication skills, the ability to prioritise as well as the ability to work on one’s own initiative without need to refer to the Principal. Technical or other qualifications and/or skills, as required for the nature of the role, should also be assessed. In-School Management posts should contain a variety of duties across the curricular, organisational and pastoral spectrum, but most importantly should be considered as a distributed leadership/management position, requiring greater input in all areas of school life. In particular the duties of the Deputy Principal and the Assistant Principal should contain specific and clearly-defined managerial responsibilities. The post of Principal is awarded on merit. All other ISM roles should be awarded on the same basis. Length of service and seniority should no longer be a criterion.
Controlling interruptions and unsolicited visitors Controlling the Length of Interruptions Indicate the length of time you have available and ask if that will be sufficient to deal with the issue. If so, adhere to that time and do not exceed it. If not, rearrange for a later date at a time and place that suits both.
www.text-a-sub.ie The fastest way to find a substitute teacher for your school.
If the interruption is by a casual caller, remain standing. If the caller is inclined to sit down in the hope of an extended hearing, perch on the edge of your desk.
Simply log on and upload the contact details of the school, the nature of the vacant class and the minimum duration for which the sub is required.
If responding to a request for a meeting, it is useful to ascertain the purpose of the meeting and to set the parameters in advance. Indicate that owing to pressure on time, you wish to set an appropriate deadline. Sometimes it can be useful to meet on neutral ground so you can determine when to leave.
This information is then automatically sent by text message to all substitute teachers who have registered their mobile phone numbers with www.text-a-sub.ie Hundreds of teachers, in all counties, registered to receive text-a-sub notifications Only the substitute teachers that are available will receive your text message. The Principal / DP can offer a school, home or mobile number to receive a call from subs The Principal / DP then chooses from the most suitably experienced / qualified teachers that reply. This service is totally free!
“The leader gets the right people on the bus, the wrong off the bus. Puts the right people in the right seats and decides where to drive.” Jim Collins, Good to Great
Avoid small talk when you are busy as it doubles the amount of time lost to interruptions. Interruptions are an inevitable part of the working day for most people. Given the busy daily schedule of the Principal teacher, all possible interruptions must be controlled in order to minimise their impact on teaching and learning in the school and on the fulfilment of your role as Principal. The Principal must protect at least some of his/her ‘A’ time so that high priority tasks are given the attention they require. The following strategy should be considered: An analysis of the Principal’s time log will show that most interruptions will be: Caused by a few frequent callers. Centred around a few persistent and recurring responsibilities One should begin to address this problem by initially putting in place a policy requiring all visitors to the school to first contact the secretary in order to arrange an appointment. This policy should be displayed in the school and circulated to all parents. If the interruptions revolve around a recurring issue, perhaps there has been a failure to communicate clearly school policies and procedures. Effective school leadership involves firmness, the making of an informed and well – balanced decision in the best interests of all concerned and strict adherence to that decision. Delegation may often form part of the solution to this problem. PAGE 4
Get to the point quickly. Don’t be afraid to interrupt the caller as it often helps to bring the curtain down on the issue. Make sure the office clock is in a prominent location where visitors can clearly see it, and don’t be afraid to glance at it regularly. When dealing with an unsolicited call, mention your next appointment. It makes people realise that time is both limited and valuable. Use a call back system. Unless the incoming call is of utmost importance give people a specific time when you will call them back. It is important to follow through on this arrangement. Be ruthless with time but gracious to people at all times. For the time you have allotted, listen well and give your full attention. Be firm but friendly and helpful. Try to have people leave in a positive frame of mind. Follow up on any promises you make. Remember – don’t interrupt yourself! Decide the amount of time you are going to spend on a task and enter it in a diary as a meeting with yourself and try to keep to the timescale. Finally discourage staff from interrupting you, unnecessarily unless they are coming with possible solutions to problems!
“Special Needs Assistants are recruited specifically to assist in the care of pupils with disabilities in an educational context” (( Guidelines Guidelines on on Special Special Needs Needs Assistants Assistants INTO) INTO)
In-School Management of
Special Needs Assistants The Special Needs Assistant works under the direction of the teacher. They provide support for the pupil, the teacher, the curriculum and the school. Although the SNA is employed with specific responsibilities for one pupil, the whole principle of inclusion means that a child who has a physical or learning disability should be helped to work in the company of other children. So, support for the pupil means support for all pupils with whom the SNA comes into contact.
Support for the teacher This involves the SNA being of general assistance to the class teacher, under the direction of the Principal in carrying out duties of a non-teaching nature. Support for the teacher will involve the SNA in carrying out a number of routine tasks such as escorting groups of young children to work areas outside the classroom, preparation and tidying up of classrooms, assisting children boarding and alighting from buses etc (See Role and Responsibilities and Duties of SNAs - Board of Management Members’ Handbook).
Support for the Curriculum and the School This involves supporting teaching strategies, to help give pupils access to all areas of the curriculum, including PE and IT. SNAs are not only part of the staff of the school, but part of a team which is involved in translating policy into practice in order to further the aims of the school.
The SNA always works under the direction of the class teacher. The teacher plans lessons and directs learning. The Role of the Class teacher The SNA always works under the direction of the class teacher. The teacher plans lessons and directs learning. The SNA provides support to the teacher, to the pupils and to the teaching of the curriculum. The SNA works under the direction of the teacher whether in the whole class situation or on her/his own with a small group of pupils or an individual. For the SNA to work most effectively it is important to define his/her responsibilities PAGE 6
clearly. The SNA needs to be aware of the standards of behaviour expected and what the pupils are expected to learn in a given class, as well as knowing what the school's, and class teacher's expectations are in terms of pupils' progress. He/she should be made fully aware of pupil's Special Educational Needs and what they entail, if he/she is to be able to deal with them confidently and provide better access to the curriculum for the pupil. The SNA should be given relevant information on the needs and attainments of the assigned pupil and on the special educational provision being made for him/her. Because the SNA often spends more time with the pupil than the teacher does, he/she may well have important contributions to make to lEPs and Reviews. The Role and Responsibilities of the SNA The role of the SNA is To foster the participation of pupils in the social and academic processes of the school To enable pupils to become more independent learners To help to raise standards of achievement for specific pupils.
Fostering the participation of pupils in the social and academic processes of the school This form of support for pupils is seen in: Supervising and assisting small groups of pupils in activities set by the teacher. Activities are set by teachers and the SNA works with the group under the management of the teacher. The SEN pupil is then able to work with the group without being stigmatised as 'different' because of frequent separation from their classmates for individual tuition. Developing pupils' social skills. Supporting children in groups, who might otherwise have been separated from other children for individual attention, promotes the inclusion of those children in mainstream work. Spotting early signs of bullying. Some children find it easier to confide in an SNA and she may be the first to be alerted to instances of bullying. All such information must be treated as serious and be notified to the class teacher straight away. Helping the inclusion of all children. The SNA can do much to help the inclusion of children into their school and support individual children who for one reason or another find it difficult to form friendships and good relationships with others. Organising games in the yard is a particularly successful way to do this. Keeping children on task. Helping the child to maintain focus and bringing him/her back on task will enable them to become better learners. The SNA can do this by explaining points quietly, and repeating the teacher's instructions. It is helpful to make notes for the pupil as the teacher is speaking . Enabling Pupils to become more independent learners Children learn better if their efforts are appreciated and they feel valued. As they gain confidence they will become more independent. SNAs can help pupils develop independence in their learning in several ways: Showing interest SNAs have an important part to play in raising the self-esteem of children by showing interest, not only in their work, but in what they do outside of school. Assisting individuals in educational tasks The SNA can assist the pupil to increase his/her knowledge, skill and understanding but this assistance must be balanced. Only intervene if absolutely necessary. They should allow the pupil to make mistakes â€“ and never do the work for them. They are there to help, support and encourage - not to provide the right answer.
It is important not to allow or encourage the child to 'cling' as this can be stultifying and demeaning for the pupil. It can also mean the child gets insufficient input from the teacher. The SNA needs to know when to stand back and enable the child to work with other pupils in a group. Working with outside agencies The SNA can play an important part in supporting the work of outside agencies such as speech therapists and educational psychologists, under the guidance of the class teacher. Assisting pupils with physical needs Assisting, in a tactful manner, enables pupils with physical disabilities to become more independent learners and to move towards independence in adulthood. This applies to assistance with clothing, feeding, toileting and general hygiene. The pupil may need assistance to board and alight from school buses or on out of school visits, walks and similar activities. The SNA will also be required to assist the teacher in the supervision of pupils with special needs during assembly, recreational and dispersal periods. Help to raise standards of achievement of all pupils Being involved at whole class level SNAs can assist with other pupils in the class. An extra pair of hands, eyes and ears are very useful in art, games and PE. Supporting the teacher by listening to reading or reading to small groups is very helpful. He/she can also reinforce the teacherâ€™s work on other areas of the curriculum. Preparing classroom materials. Getting materials ready for the lesson, preparing worksheets, preparing books and setting up equipment all helps to free up teaching time for the benefit of all the class. Confidentiality Information received on children, and observations made in classrooms, need to be handled sensitively and carefully and are often only to be shared with particular members of staff. SNAs may be closer to parents than teachers, as they may themselves be from the immediate community, and may, or might have been, themselves parents of pupils in the school. Some parents may therefore consider them more approachable than teachers. It is very important, therefore, that the SNA recognises the rules of confidentiality which governs their role as a member of the school staff. No discussion on a child, the teacher, the class or the events of the school day should take place without consultation and agreement with the class teacher. PAGE 7
Parents with questions or issues about school policy or practice should be referred directly to the class teacher or the SEN co-ordinator. This applies to direct face- to face communication or indirect telephone communication. (It is not always appropriate for parents to have a phone number for a member of staff)
No discussion on a child, the teacher, the class or the events of the school day should take place without consultation and agreement with the class teacher. General SNAs, as a rule, are only appointed to assist schools who have pupils that may have physical or toiletry needs, or to pupils that may be a danger to themselves or to others. SNAs are appointed to foster the participation of Special Needs pupils in the social and academic process of the school and to enable pupils to become independent learners. The SNA gets a better chance to perform if they can be part of a team. This means at class level and at school level. It might be useful for the SNA to have their own space in the classroom (if it is possible) at which to work. This has the benefit of having the SNA removed from the pupil, except when needed, and often removes a barrier between pupil and teacher. The vast majority of SNAs like to be kept busy - all teachers should put together a list of suitable work/jobs they would like done if an SNA is free. (See circular 07/02, Appendix 1, for suitable work/duties) Movement of SNAs between allocated pupils should be considered in your policy - this cuts down on over dependence by pupil and also gets rid of the 'ownership' factor by some parents. Also some pupils are harder work - it spreads the load. Ground rules for parents, teachers and SNA's are a must. For example, an SNA might chat to a parent re physical/toiletry needs, etc., but it would be inappropriate for them to discuss academic progress. Contracts of Employment for Special Needs Assistants Please ensure that you, or your Board, are familiar with Circular Letter SNA 15/05. In the case of existing staff they should be offered the option of transferring to the new contract. The option of transferring to the revised contract is a once off option and must be exercised on or before the 30th September 2005. If an existing SNA does not wish to avail of the revised contract it would be good practice for the Board to have this in writing.
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PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE With the new school year now in full swing, many Principals are faced with the task of filling new Posts of Responsibility arising from increased enrolments and/or a favourable outcome from the new General Allocation System.
As outlined in the June addition of Leadership+, the Principal should firstly consult with the entire staff and submissions in relation to the revision of the agreed schedule of duties should be invited. The agreed schedule of duties should then be summated to the Board of Management for approval. Following Board approval, the Principal is then free to proceed with advertising the new post.
Advertising the Post The vacancy should be posted in the staff room where all staff have access to it. The notice must contain the precise schedule of duties. A copy should be sent by registered post to all teachers on leave or career break. The post must be advertised for 5 consecutive school days with the closing date for receipt of applications specified â€“ normally 10 school days from the last day of posting the notice. All interested staff must apply in writing.
Appointment Procedure Teachers eligible to apply for the Posts of Responsibility include: Qualified permanent and temporary teachers including teachers with restricted recognition. Teachers on approved leave such as career break, secondment, maternity leave, sick leave etc. Teachers who are job sharing or shared with another school are eligible if the post arises in their base school.
Length of Service In many schools, appointments to Posts of Responsibility have been closely linked to seniority. Some important facts relating to length of service need to be noted: Leave of absence of 1 school year or longer taken after 1/09/99 is not reckonable whilst all leave taken prior to this date is reckonable. Maternity leave, adoptive leave, unpaid adoptive and maternity leave, parental leave and certified sick leave do not constitute leave of absence in this instance. Leave of absence of less than a school year is not reckonable. Permanent, temporary and substitute service given in a school for a minimum of 60 days is reckonable as a full year (subject to verification).
Appointments to Posts of Responsibility Service in a school prior to amalgamation into the existing school is reckonable.
Selection and Appointment The interview board should consist of 3 people, ideally the chairperson of the BOM, the Principal and an independent assessor taken from the agreed list between the INTO and the patron bodies. All applicants must be interviewed even if there is only one applicant. All questions should be recorded and interview notes should be taken relating to all candidates. A sample of the questions that could be asked are as follows: What is your understanding of the role of Middle Management? What contribution can you make to the work of this team? In what way do you see yourself supporting the Principal in the day to day running of the school? Why did you apply for this particular post? The duties of the post cannot and shouldnâ€™t be carried out during class contact hours. How will you manage time so that all the duties are adequately carried out? What are your short term plans for the post? If an issue in relation to your post arose in the absence of the Principal, how would you handle it? Is there an area which you see as being vital to the school that you would like to see addressed? The above are just a few sample questions that could be asked in an interview situation. When the Selection Board has reached a consensus on the candidate to be recommended to the BOM, a written report should be submitted. Following the Board of Management meeting, the intention to offer the post to a named candidate should be posted on the staff notice board (for appropriate wording see Circular 07/03). If there is no appeal, the appointment should be confirmed and a contract drawn up PAGE 9
outlining the agreed duties. The Department should then be notified of the appointment. Recommended criteria to be used for appointments to Posts of Responsibility are as follows: Excellence as a teacher with a demonstrable track record Commitment to personal development Ability to work as a effective member of a team Ability to contribute positively to staff relationships Leadership and organisational competencies Commitment to improving the quality of learning in the school Recognition of the changing needs of the school Length of service
Appeals Many appeals arise from appointments to Posts of Responsibility. The main areas of conflict are: Failure to consult with all teaching staff Interview procedures Failure to have enclosed duties or the duties being too onerous Marking schemes Lack of clarity as to which post is under consideration where simultaneous interviews are being held Selection of independent assessor Failure of BOM to approve the schedule of duties Equality issues such as marital status, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender, religious beliefs etc. The incidence of appeals can be lessened by: having an appropriate gender balance on the interview board having a structured interview approach retaining interview notes and marking criteria having a marking scheme approved in advance avoiding discriminatory questioning in the areas of gender, age and disability A comprehensive appeals procedure can be accessed on P17 of Circular 07/03
A Framework for a School Policy on
Assessment Assessment is a process that involves gathering, interpreting, recording, using and communicating information about pupils’ social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Assessment in the Primary School serves at least two important functions – it can be used to improve teaching and learning (Classroom Assessment) and it can be used to fulfil official requirements such as those set out in the Education Act (Official Assessment). I use the five processes (gathering, interpreting, recording, using, communicating) and the two functions of assessment to outline a framework that might be useful to consider when writing a school policy on assessment. Questions to be addressed at the inter-section of the processes and functions (cells 1-10) are outlined in the table on the opposite page. Some of the ethical issues to be considered are highlighted at the bottom of the same table.
How the policy was formulated
(e.g. who was involved, consultation process)
(e.g. reference to 1999 curriculum, Education Act, educational reasons; NCCA policy documents)
Policy in context of school’s educational philosophy and ethos
(e.g. assessment in the service of better teaching and learning, importance of individual needs/ differentiation)
The aims of the assessment policy
(e.g. to enhance teaching/learning, to aid the early identification of learning needs, etc)
Management & organisation of the policy
(e.g. role of the Principal/BOM/teacher with special responsibility)
How the policy will be supported
(e.g. staff professional development requirements, resources)
Timeframe for implementation
(e.g. beginning when?, Phases?
Review and evaluation procedures
(e.g. yearly? how? who?)
Procedures for having policy ratified by BOM
(e.g. at the start of the BOM’s term)
Procedures for communication to wider school community
(e.g. parents, NEPS, local secondary schools, inspectorate)
Process Function Classroom Assessment Official Assessment
Gathering Interpreting Recording
Cell 1 What will be assessed? What are the priorities? What methodologies, approaches will be used to assess the different curricular areas? How often will pupils be tested using teacher-made tests? Will pupils be involved in self-assessment? How? Will other partners be involved (e.g. parents, NEPS)? How? Cell 2 What are the priorities for official assessment? Reading? Maths? Other? What instruments will be used? Which standardised tests/diagnostic tests will be used? When will official assessments take place? What procedures will be put in place to facilitate the early identification of learning difficulties? PAGE 10
Cell 3 What criteria will teachers use to make judgements about pupil achievement/progress? Will work at different achievement levels be shared among teachers in the schools? How will this happen? Will other schools be involved? Will school-level targets in literacy and numeracy (if available)be used to support teacher judgements?
Cell 4 What assessments and how many will be used for important decisions (e.g. learning support)? What school contextual issues will be taken into account when evaluating the validity of outcomes from official assessments? What criteria will be used to select pupils for learning support? How will measurement error be included when interpreting a pupil’s score? What criteria will be used to decide when learning support ends?
Cell 5 What will teachers record at the different class levels? What should not be recorded? What form of record keeping will be used? What will be done with the records when the pupil leaves the teacher? Cell 6 What official assessment information will be kept on file? What will the file look like? Where will the file be kept? For how long? Is the record keeping procedure consistent with the requirements of the Data Protection Acts? Cell 7 How will classroom assessment information be used for whole school planning? What formal and/or informal procedures will teachers use to provide feedback to pupils/ to support pupils learning? When will this be done? How often? What subjects e.g. will subjects like PE or Art be included in plans? Will teachers’ informal classroom assessments be used to compile summative information for official purposes? If so, how will this be done? Cell 8 Will pupil performance on standardised tests and other official assessments be used for diagnostic purposes? How? Cell 9 Will classroom assessment information be shared with colleagues when pupils move to a new class within the school? How will this be done? What classroom assessment information will teachers report to parents/guardians/inspectors/psychologist etc? Cell 10 When will parent-teacher meetings be held? How many meetings? What procedures should teachers follow in preparing for and in conducting the meeting? How many school reports should be sent during the school year? What format should these reports take? What guidelines should be followed when compiling these reports? Will the school have an agreed procedure for grading? What information will be provided when pupils are transferring out of the school? What information will be made available to the school inspector, NEPS psychologist etc? What procedures should be followed in all these cases? ETHICAL ISSUES In all cases, what safeguards will be put in place to ensure the ethical use of assessment in the school? How will confidentiality regarding each pupil’s assessment information be maintained? How will the school ensure that bias in assessment is avoided and equity is ensured?
At a recent meeting of the IPPN Executive: Joe Diver, IPPN; Sean Kelly, GAA President; Tomás Ó Slatara, IPPN; Jim Hayes, IPPN; Damien White, IPPN; Sean Cottrell, IPPN. PAGE 11
By now all 26 County Networks have held their first meeting of the new school year. This meeting also coincides with the AGM at which two members are elected to represent the school leaders of their county on the IPPN National Committee which meets for its AGM on October 22nd at the Moran Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. Congratulations and thanks to those who have agreed to act as County Representatives, giving up their time and energy to IPPN at a National level. Information and guidelines on IPPN County Networks are available from the County Network page of the Networking Section on the IPPN website www.ippn.ie
‘SINE QUA NON’ Professor Michael Fullan, an acknowledged expert in the field of Educational Leadership, is at present putting the finishing touches to a document on School Leadership, specific to the Irish context. Entitled ‘Sine Qua Non’ – The Role of the Principal in Educational Improvements, this publication makes a strong coherent and irrefutable argument for significant investment in Irish School Leaders as a key strategy towards general school improvement and better learning outcomes. This document, when published, will further the argument for greater resource support and rewards for school leaders, and will be part of the overall IPPN strategy to address the alarming fall off in the numbers of teachers applying for the post of Principal.
NABMSE Annual General Meeting and Conference The Annual General Meeting and Conference of NABMSE (National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education) takes place this year on the 10th and 11th of November in the Tullamore Court Hotel. The keynote speaker will be Ms. Mary Hanafin, Minister for Education and Science. The theme this year will be "Positive Environment Supporting Special Education". Invited speakers from the Building Sections, DES will present three workshops entitled "Physical Environment as a Means of Promoting Positive Behaviour", "Positive Environment Approaches to Facilitate Access", and "Cultural Environment and its effect on Promoting Positive Behaviour". All are welcome to attend the Conference and places may be booked by contacting: Antoinette Buggle, Administrator Kildare Education Centre, Friary Road, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare. Tel: 045-533753 • Fax: 045-533681 Email: email@example.com
Governance Principals generally enjoy a good working relationship with their Boards of Management. Having a constructive and respectful relationship forms one of the corner stones of a successful and effective school. However, in the five years since the IPPN was established to support and represent the role of the school leader, one of the key issues continuing to present itself is that of the accountability and sustainability of good practice within Boards of Management.
In the space of 10 years, principals have gone from being delighted with the BoM that ‘does nothing as it allows me get on with the running of the school’ to bemoaning the ‘unavailability of the Chairperson and the unwillingness of BoM members to take on a management role’. This shift in attitude can be attributed to a system established 30 years ago and designed for a different era which in turn has thrown up many new anomalies as follows:
What is the difference between Governance and Management and should Primary School Boards of Management be engaged in a Governance function or a Management function? What is happening in reality?
undue opportunity to manage the Board? In addition to this the Principal has stated (s)he is responsible to the BoM in law and is also legally obliged to provide leadership to the whole school community? Is there a risk of role contradiction in these parallel functions?
2. Composition of the Board
The BoM is a group of 8 people made up of 4 pairs, each coming from a different constituency. The Education Act stipulates the Board of Management operates as a ‘Body Corporate’. In the context of the local nature of school communities is this achievable or do members of the BoM revert to functioning in a representative fashion? What are the dangers when this happens?
In an era of declining volunteerism, why is it acceptable that many Patrons and Principals have to coerce individuals to serve on a BoM? And if somebody is acting on a purely voluntary basis and is an ‘education amateur’, can this person be held accountable for his/her part in decision-making? Is there a serious risk that volunteers will come forward willingly on the premise of pursuing a hidden agenda?
3. The BoM Structure and Functions
6. Sharing Governance
The current BoM structure was designed in 1975. Is the same infrastructure appropriate or indeed capable of exercising its function in 2005? In the event of a serious challenge based on decisions made (or not made) by the BoM, would a Board of Management be able to successfully defend its competence given that the majority of its members would not be within the profession of the "business" they are managing?
Does every school need its own BoM? Approximately 1,000 schools have three teachers or less, yet these schools have an eight person BoM. Is there a value in considering a number of small schools being governed by a shared BoM?
1. Governance and Management
4. The Principal’s role Is it good practice that the Principal is accountable in law to the Board of Management yet most BoMs are predominantly dependent on the Principal for advice and information? Or does it run the risk of a Principal having PAGE 12
7. BoM Accountability Is there a clear understanding of a BoMs level of accountability, responsibility and authority, where their role ends and where that of the Principal teacher begins? With growing trends of lobbying teachers and Principals by vested interest parent groups, what are the implications for BoMs if more and more operational decisions are being referred to the BoM by the Principal and staff?
Unfortunately there is a dearth of answers to these important questions. In its capacity as the representative of the professional needs of Principals and Deputy Principals in 3,300 Primary schools countrywide, IPPN called for a radical overhaul of Primary School Boards of Management at a hearing of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Science on the 22nd of September last. The emphasis of this meeting was to outline the above issues while driving home the fact that Boards of Management have to operate within a completely new and ever more regulated environment one where some seven new pieces of legislation have been introduced into the education arena and where a whole series of new initiatives from Special Needs to ICT have been introduced. There has also been a marked decline in the role of religious orders, a dearth of volunteers and parents and members of the community are being press ganged on to Boards. The IPPN strongly recommended that the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Education and Science requests the Minister to establish an independently run research and consultation process to examine all aspects of school management and governance. There can only be one way forward and that is with properly structured Boards with the knowledge and expertise to fulfill their remit. Otherwise there is a danger that Boards become Principal and teacher led rather than a proper system of governance for schools. The IPPN also suggested that there be Joint Boards for clusters of small schools and that Boards of Management should continue to have representation on interview panels. However the de facto employer of teachers, the Department of Education and Science, become the official employer also. In the interim there is also the need for a stand alone support unit to be established and funded by the DES to assist Boards with expertise such as financial or legal when necessary and for more extensive training to be made available to all newly elected members of School Boards. It is unfair, unreasonable and irresponsible to place volunteers in a role where they are asked to make important decisions affecting the education of children without the necessary training and backup. There should also be a system that allows for continuity without the entire Board having to be replaced at the same time. There are few businesses as important as the business of educating our children. The quality of learning and teaching in a school is heavily dependent on the quality of leadership and governance in place.
Reducing the Administrative Burden on Schools At the IPPN Conference in February 2005 Minister Hanafin announced that she was establishing a broader view of the administrative requirements of schools. She acknowledged that Principals and schools were generally becoming overburdened with administrative tasks which were a distraction from the core purpose of a school i.e. Teaching and learning. Representatives of IPPN have made a written and oral submission to Mr. John Quinlan, Principal Officer at the Central Policy Unit of the DES. The full text of IPPN’s submission is available as a downloadable file from the Publications page of the Resources Section in the IPPN website www.ippn.ie. The key thrust of the IPPN submission was centered around the need for appropriate software for administrative purposes with particular regard to the prevention of repetitive form filling and data collection which should be held centrally by the DES and shared with other sections and agencies accordingly. The collection of the same information repeatedly by different groups and individuals about the school, staff, pupils, parents etc should be broadly eliminated through the provision of suitable data base and administration software to schools. Nevertheless schools better nature will always require administration support and currently 40% of all Primary Schools operate without the essential services of an office and almost all Primary Schools report the lack of a suitable and sustainable secretarial service. Whilst welcoming the termination of ways of reducing school administration the fact that the 75% of Principal Teachers who are full time class teachers correlate almost directly with those who either have very poor secretarial service and/or have not got a basic office. Until such basic supports and infrastructures are put in place other strategies to reduce administration will not benefit the majority of Principals.
Risk To laugh is to risk appearing a fool To weep is to risk appearing sentimental To expose true feelings is to risk exposing your true self To place dreams and ideas before the crowd is to risk their love To love is to risk not being loved in return To reach out is to risk involvement To live is to risk dying To hope is to risk despair To try is to risk failure But the greatest Hazard is… To risk nothing For he who risks nothing, does nothing, Has nothing, and finally is nothing He may avoid suffering and sorrow But he cannot feel, change, grow, love! Chained by his certitude he is a slave He has fortified his freedom Only one who risks is free. PAGE 13
www.texta-parent.ie Would you like to be able to send a brief message to the parent in your school at short notice? Unpredictable events e.g. enforced school closure no heating etc Last minute timetable change e.g. cancellation of sports day Timetable change e.g. a reminder of early closing for staff meeting Happy announcement e.g. victory in sports final For large schools – reminding staff about a particular event.
How can I use texta-parent to send messages to the parents in our school? Arrange for the collection of the parents’ mobile telephone numbers Log on to www.text-a-parent.ie Register your contact details Send cheque to IPPN to purchase "credit" for the cost of the text messages When your cheque is received, a text message will be sent to you informing that your account has been set up and is ready for use Follow the on-screen instructions which enables you to type your short message & specify the mobile telephone numbers to which the message will be sent
Contracts of Employment One of the issues of focus for schools at the commencement of the new school year is the issue of Contracts of Employment. Principals have been issued with sample contracts for Special Needs Assistants and Temporary Teachers. Many schools have in their employment, Temporary Teachers, Special Needs Assistants, Secretaries and Caretakers with no formal written contracts. Tradition and formality is alive and well. Some people ask is there a legal requirement to have a written Contract of Employment? The answer strictly speaking is no, but an employer must provide an employee with written account of their terms and conditions of employment. Why not go the extra distance and offer a formal written Contract of Employment? Apart from the obvious advantage of having something in writing, there is the Unfair Dismissals Act to consider. If say, a temporary teacher is employed for more than 1 year and has no written contract, they could claim they have an indefinite contract when in fact the requisite permanent position does not exist. The advantage (from the Board of Management’s point of view) of a fixed term contract is the insertion of the exclusion clause in relation to the Unfair Dismissals Act.
TEMPORARY TEACHERS It is essential that when employing a Temporary Teacher that it is clearly explained that the position is temporary i.e. (non permanent). The construction of contracts for temporary teachers is governed by protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work Act 2003). This Act puts onus on Boards of Management to give reasons as to why the contract is Fixed Term and remains fixed term. The BOM must justify the reason by stating the fixed term nature is determined by an objective condition. This objective condition may be a) arriving at a specific date b) completing a specific task c) the occurrence of a specific event EXAMPLES OF OBJECTIVE GROUNDS ARE Career Break Secondment Job sharing Leave Adoptive Leave Parental Leave Carer’s Leave Unpaid sick leave Short term leave of Absences The protection of employees (Fixed Term Work Act 2003) requires insertion of the objective grounds on renewal of contracts. C.P.S.M.A advise that the objective grounds are inserted whether the contract is initial or renewal. PAGE 14
Are the objective grounds defined in legislation? No! However an objective ground is subject to the scrutiny of a Rights Commissioner. Does the list of objective grounds cover all situations? No! For example it does not cover all temporary positions i.e. Temporary Resource posts etc. In light of the fact that some temporary positions are not covered does one have to amend Section 6 & 7 of the C.P.S.M.A draft Contract of Employment for Temporary Teachers? The answer is yes! One would have to insert something like "and derives from the creation of a temporary post under the education provision for non English speaking pupils for the year 2005 – 2006" etc, If a Board of Management offers a renewal contract and doesn’t insert objective grounds are we in breach of the law? Yes! Most definitely! However, as of now, we have no Case Law dealing with a breach of the 2003 Act in relation to schools. It is vital that the excellent guidelines in relation to Temporary Teachers and Fixed Term Contracts issued by C.P.S.M.A are read in conjunction with circular 23/05. The draft contract issued by C.P.S.M.A is skeletal in nature and needs possible alteration in relation to the objective grounds i.e. Sections 6 & 7 need to be amended to cater for objective grounds not listed.
L E G A L
D I A R Y
Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 It took three years from the watershed Sinnott decision for this Act to finally become Law. It is gratifying that at last the detailed structures sorely required for providing adequate services for children with special needs have finally been put in place. It is disappointing however in two major areas which should have been addressed. It does not change the age limit of 18 years placed on educational services which was decided in the Sinnott case and although there is a guarantee that resources will be provided for the education of children with special needs this is subject to the approval of the Minister for Finance. In the 2004 Act the definition of child includes all children under the age of 18 and all of its sections except one will apply only to children under 18. Section 15 makes a weak gesture towards those who need ongoing education by placing a duty on a person preparing or reviewing an education plan to, "have regard to the provision which will need to be made to assist the child to continue his or her education or training on becoming an adult". However, it does not say whether an education plan should continue after the child reaches 18. The whole section seems nothing more than an aspiration and appears to simply dump those over 18 out of the educational system. Under Section 13 the Minister for Education and Science and the Minister for Health are responsible for the provision of money for the implementation of education plans. Let's hope that this will be demand led so that the resources given to the Board of Management of each school will be guided by the costings for the education plans prepared by them, rather than by the allocation of an overall limiting budget figure decided by the Department of Finance.
SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELFARE AT WORK ACT 2005 This new Act was commenced on September 1st 2005. It replaces the original 1989 Act. The Act puts Risk Assessment at the core of Safety Statements. In the past identification of hazards was the priority. Now one must take those hazards and categorize the level of risk i.e. it could be low, medium or high. In doing a risk assessment one must consider the likelihood of harm occurring and the severity of the consequences if it does, arising from the hazards listed. Having executed an appropriate risk assessment one is required to select control measures. The control measures eliminate the hazards and where that cannot be achieved it reduces the risks i.e. if your school has an upper-storey you might identify the steps as constituting a hazard. However you cannot eliminate this hazard but procedures can be put in place in order to reduce the level of risk, in relation to children descending the stairs. When bringing a Safety Statement to the attention of staff it must be done in a form and manner and if necessary in a language that can be understood by employees. A Safety Statement should be brought to the attention of staff annually and on recruitment of new staff. A Board of Management is required to appoint a competent person to play a key role in the management of Safety and Health. Who is a competent person? A competent person means someone who is able to give informed and appropriate advice on Safety and Health to management (rather than a person with technical knowledge). A lot of duties placed on Boards of Management are qualified by the term "reasonably practicable". "Reasonably Practicable" is defined as a matter of balancing the degree of risk against the time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty of the measures necessary to avoid it. The enforcement of the Act is accompanied by severe and enhanced penalties which include fines of up to â‚Ź3,000,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment.
VETTING OF SCHOOL EMPLOYEES The Garda Central Vetting Unit opens its new office in Thurles on or about the 2nd week in November 2005. The unit will have a staff of 30. The business of the unit is supervised by an implementation group which includes representatives of the Department of Education and Science, Justice, Health, Impact and the I.S.P.C.C. PAGE 15
Already under the transitional system 120,000 employees have been vetted. Most of these employees are from the Health Sector and include childcare workers and Special Needs Assistants. The next priority will be voluntary organizations. The new unit will have a capacity to vet 4,000 applications a week. It is expected that new entrants to the Colleges of Education will be given 1st priority (55,000 approx). Primary and Secondary teachers will then be processed. The vetting process will ascertain whether or not a teacher has a criminal record or not.
TEACHING COUNCIL ACT 2001 The registration of newly qualified teachers will be given priority by the new Council. All existing teachers will be issued with a provisional 1 year registration. This one year period will give the council an opportunity to access records from the DES. The new Head Office of the Council will be based in Maynooth Co Kildare. Administration and support staff are being recruited presently.
Challenging Behaviour Dr. David Carey
Special Education Co-Ordinator Froebel College of Education
What causes challenging behaviour? Challenging behaviour, whether it occurs in children, adolescents, or adults can arise from , but are not limited to a number of different factors such as Severe Autism Severe/Profound General Learning Disability ADHD And other special education conditions The issue of challenging behaviour is of increasing concern to educators at every level of schooling. In todayâ€™s world children are coming to school with increasing levels of stress and uncertainty in their lives. Coming to school with anxieties, a history of poor early years experiences, and familial difficulties, they bring with them a variety of behaviours that can disrupt the learning environment for themselves and others. Efforts are underway to create and sustain interventions at classroom, school, and system level to reduce the frequency and severity of behavioural disturbances in schools. An understanding of the psychological, social, familial, and brain-related factors that contribute to challenging behaviour is the first step towards creating effective whole-school policies and related classroom strategies that reduce behavioural disturbances in schools. From the educational perspective whatever the form of behaviour labelled "challenging", it is a type of behaviour most unlikely to respond to the customary strategies used in the classroom and school. Behaviour is challenging when our efforts as educators, assuming they are appropriate in the fist instance, fail to reduce either its frequency or intensity.
Given the fact that the cause of challenging behaviour can be varied it is critical for educators to be mindful that whatever interventions, be they at classroom level or school policy level, must be tailored to the cause. Interventions for challenging behaviour that arises from ADHD, if applied to children with autism, will likely be harmful to the child and lead to increased difficulties. For this reason it is not possible to generate one-sizefits-all interventions or to find a manual of quick fixes. Before anything is done to create interventions it is necessary to investigate the causal factors, research the causal condition, take a close look at the class and school environment and assure there is a proper "fit" between cause and intervention.
Issues in Identifying Challenging Behaviour Since there is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes challenging behaviour it follows that there can be great variation in what is identified as challenging, by whom it is identified, and from whom it is manifested. All behaviour is relative to a context be it social, environmental, cultural, or historical. What is challenging in one context can be perceived as quite normal in another. PAGE 16
The contextual nature of human behaviour makes it difficult to be certain what is appropriate or inappropriate. Another difficulty in ascertaining whether or not behaviour is challenging is the fact that we cannot be definitive as to whether what we call challenging is a continuum of behaviour or is a distinct category of behaviour. At what exact point does a behaviour cease to be irritating and become challenging? Who makes this judgment and how? What criteria are used to make this judgment? It is well recognised in schools that a child who is described as challenging by one teacher is perceived as a typical youngster by another. All teachers, like all parents and all adults, have differing thresholds of tolerance for behavioural variations. We must exercise caution before we conclude that a child is exhibiting challenging behaviour. As hard as it may be to consider there are times when the problem is within us, not the child. Researchers continue to tease out biological versus environmental factors as causal agents in challenging behaviour. The old question of nature or nurture has been answered definitively now. It is neither one nor the other but both; it is how our nature is nurtured that largely determines our behavioural repertoire. There are however, biological factors that put an individual at greater risk of developing challenging behaviour. Among these are a strong family history of mental health problems or delinquency and temperament.
There are gender related issues involved in challenging behaviour as well. In the West, as in most countries, girls are socialised differently from boys. Right from infancy, males are played with more vigorously than girls, are allowed to engage in more active play, and have behavioural patterns that are tolerated differently when they occur than if they occur in females. Research seems to indicate that only one factor accounts for the difference in how fathers parent children as opposed to mothers-the amount of physical play they engage in with their children. Fathers tend to play more vigorously with children than mothers, and play more vigorously with their male children than their female children. There is research that seems to indicate that the male sex hormone plays a role in aggressive behaviour in boys. A definitive answer to some of these gender issues has yet to be arrived at. Ethical issues will always raise their head when attempting to create interventions, and policies for children with challenging behaviour. What sorts of measures are appropriate? What is the role of punishment? Are sanctions appropriate? What behaviours will we attempt to change and what cost will the child pay if we are successful in changing them. Children who live in a violent and aggressive environment in their community may pay a price if their own aggressive responses are totally eliminated in school. There are certain survival factors that have to be taken into account when we begin to change children’s behaviour in significant ways. I am not making a case for the tolerance of aggression in school but attempting to raise the ethical issues involved in placing an obsessive focus on individual behaviour rather than on behaviour and school structures.
Perspectives on Challenging Behaviour The response to challenging behaviour is affected by the perspective one takes to behaviour. The behavioural perspective assumes that all behaviour is learned and shaped by reinforcement. Positive reinforcement increases behaviour, punishment or negative reinforcement reduces the frequency of behaviour. From this perspective we are pawns of our unconscious minds, pushed and pulled by powerful forces beyond our awareness. There is a new model emerging of an alternative perspective. In this understanding of behaviour the human brain has been influenced by genetic and environmental events and factors and the resulting organisation of the brain is what causes any particular behaviour to emerge. Whether we are aware of it or not every educator has one of these perspectives about children’s behaviour. Our perspectives become our understanding and our understanding shapes our responses, so we need a greater understanding of what’s happening under "the bonnet".
The Biopsychosocial Perspective All children are born with a particular temperamental constitution. This is the biological, largely genetic basis of personality. Temperament is a given and remains relatively stable throughout the life span. The behaviours we exhibit change over the course of time, some can be suppressed to live a more functional life, but the unique temperament of a person does not change much. Any parent of more than one child quickly notices the different temperaments of their children and gradually becomes aware how different temperaments translate into different parenting styles. Simply stated, some children are easier to rear than others and it is temperament that is responsible for this. Just as they can be either easy or difficult to rear, the differing temperamental traits of children make them more or less easier to teach. This is nature and it is this natural disposition of children that requires us to create environments at home and school that closely match temperament. The Spirited Child Writing in 1998, Kurcinka describes children she refers to as spirited. Using temperament as a starting point she identifies six parameters of behaviour characteristics that make some children difficult to contend with. These are: Intensity-powerful reactions Persistence-not giving up easily, not changing one’s mind Sensitivity-quickly responsive Perceptiveness-notice everything Adaptability-uncomfortable with change Energetic-need to be on the move Kurcinka makes a powerful case to support the idea that it is the responsibility of the adults in a child’s life to profile the child’s temperament, match it to their own temperament, and create environments and interventions that facilitate a balance between the two. There is growing evidence that some of what we call challenging behaviour results from biological traits and must be recognised and dealt with in an ecological perspective, adapting the surroundings, expectations, and methodology to the needs of the child.
The Three Ages of the Child Chronological Age Every 6th class teacher knows that children at this age differ widely in physical traits and characteristics. Physical differences translate into different expectations about levels of maturity and behaviour. Children who appear physically beyond their age are often perceived, as being able to function at a more mature level than their brain will allow. So looks can be deceiving and it is important, as a general rule, to tailor interventions to chronological age. PAGE 17
Intellectual Age Intellectual age refers to the general level of intelligence of the child, that is, stated in lay terms, IQ. Intellectual age can be greater than or less than chronological age. Intellectual age tends to remain stable throughout the life span unless disease, trauma, or environmental toxins impact it.
Children with General Learning Disabilities all have significantly below average IQ. This low IQ means that their level of conceptualisation, generalisation, abstraction, and comprehension will be below chronological age.. Matching our interventions to the intellectual age of the child makes it likely we will create more effective solutions to behaviour difficulties. Emotional Age The emotional age of a child fluctuates with environmental factors such as stress, trauma, anxiety, and health status. A child’s emotional age can be well below their chronological or intellectual age. Take for example the nine-year old who pitches a fit after losing a football match. He is acting like a three-year old in a tantrum. Now, what is important to realise is that emotional age can be below chronological or intellectual age but can never be truly above either of them. All children who appear to be mature beyond their years, who have "old heads on young shoulders" have been socialised to act that way, and it is an act. A good example is the child from a home in which there is severe alcoholism. They are often placed in a position of caring for the parent or other sibling. Becoming "adultified" they develop attitudes and vocabulary, a pseudo-sophistication, that is deceiving. When we interact with them at this false level of development things often go awry. As a general rule it is always advisable to intervene with a child at the level of their emotional age (remember-it can be below or equal to chronological and intellectual age, but never above it). This is especially true of discipline.
The Child’s Brain A basic understanding of brain growth and development can help us understand the root causes of some challenging behaviour. The brain grows from bottom up. The first part of the brain to grow and develop is the brain stem, which controls all basic life functions such as heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. Any injury to the brain stem usually results in death. The brain stem is fully formed and developed in utero. The next region of the brain to grow is called the diencephalon; developing throughout infancy into childhood
it regulates and controls motor skills, and some sensory processing. The third brain region to develop is the limbic system, the seat of human emotional regulation. Developing through early childhood and into adoles-cence it controls, in additional to emotional functioning, memory, primary sensory integration, and attachment to significant people. The last region of the brain to grow is the neocortex, which does not finish maturing until early adulthood. This brain region is responsible for reasoning, problem solving, abstraction, planning and evaluation. It is well documented that children who live in chaos or who are victims of severe neglect, physical or sexual abuse, or who live in violent surroundings have altered brain functions. Alterations of brain function resulting from trauma, chaos, or neglect can cause the brain to reorganise itself and become fixed in a state of alarm and stress response. Children in our schools who live in these environments are often the one’s presenting the most challenging behaviour.
The Importance of Attachment and Other Protective Factors Attachment, that is, the bond between the child and the significant adult is one of the most powerful predictors of how acceptable our behaviour will be. When the attachment is secure the child feels safe, loved, and loveable. Under this condition the child, and this is happening during the first two to three years of life, knows that adults can be trusted and will not cause harm. When attachment is insecure the child learn the opposite, he is neither lovable nor loved, adults cannot be trusted, they will harm you one-way or the other. These inner beliefs, formed before we have language to comprehend them, shape the way we interact with the adults who are significant to us.
What Are We to Do About Challenging Behaviour? Prevention is the best beginning. A school that recognises the basic foundation of children’s behaviour as has been outlined above will create whole-school structures that instil in the child protective factors such as attunement, respect, etc. This begins in infant classrooms with a focus on the development of an emotional vocabulary, feeling words that help us talk about how we feel rather than having to act out how we feel. For most of the children in our schools this sort of curriculum, which places as much
emphasis on emotional and social development as it does on academic development, works just fine. We are fortunate to have ample opportunities to develop these protective skills by using the creative arts curriculum, circle-time, and SPHE to facilitate personal growth. For some children however, this curriculum is insufficient. Whole-school policy is the way forward. Classroom based, simplistic interventions will not solve the problem, and at their best they can only result in temporary reduction of challenging behaviour. There are a number of strategies that can be implemented such as the "social autopsy" (www.ldonline.org) and "social stories" (www.thegraycentre.org) that are of proven effectiveness when applied systematically over extended periods of time as part of school policy.
Suspension is totally ineffective, as is punishment and sanctions. We also know what doesn’t work. Suspension is totally ineffective, as is punishment and sanctions. Challenging behaviour arises because children have not learned a better way to meet their needs. Reducing the unacceptable behaviour of children without increasing the acceptable behaviour will never prove successful. Sustainable, comprehensive interventions that use the curriculum, the school environment and whole school policy are the way forward.
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The Single Most Important Person and the Single Most Important Factor There is one person in the life of every child who exhibits challenging behaviour that can make the essential difference-the teacher.. Nothing is more important than the teacher’s ability to sustain hope that children can learn to change their behaviour for the better using the curriculum and classroom environment. The Principal also plays a pivotal role in this area as leader of the school. The single most important factor to instil in every child is hope. Hope saves lives. There is no room in any school building for an adult who does not have a hopeful outlook for all the children they teach. Extract from The Essential Guide to Special Needs Education in Ireland, by Dr. D Carey, Special Education Dept, Froebel College of Education.
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Convention of the International Confederation of Principals Cape Town, South Africa, July 2005 Last July, a number of IPPN executive members were invited to travel as delegates to the Convention of the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) in Cape Town, South Africa. ICP represents 160,000 Principals worldwide. It is an organisation that creates opportunities for principals across the world to meet, network, ask questions, and make international contacts. The flagship of the ICP is its biennial Convention. The theme of this year’s Convention was ‘Ubuntu’, which is a traditional Zulu maxim that translates: ‘A person is a person through other persons’ or in other words ‘An individual’s whole existence is relative to that of the group’. The communal self provides the basis for ‘Ubuntu’. The Nigerians have a saying: ‘It takes a whole village to educate a child’. In Ghana, it is exemplified in proverbs with literal meanings: ‘A single tree can hardly withstand the pressure of wind, it falls’ and ‘Knowledge is like the baobab tree, no one person can embrace it’. The baobab tree metaphor drives home the fact that wisdom, knowledge and skills needed for solving an organisation’s problems go beyond the capacity of a single individual. Would it be stretching the idea to suggest that a connection could be made between this African philosophy and that of
I.P.P.N.? Archbishop Desmond Tutu stated that ‘ A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs to a greater whole…’ Is that not what we in IPPN are about?
IPPN on the world stage Almost two thousand Principals from over thirty countries attended this Convention. Speakers included such illustrious people as Professor Andy Hargreaves (who is due to present workshops in Ireland during October at the invitation of IPPN) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. One of the workshops most in demand was that given by Professor John WestBurnham (Senior Research Advisor, National College for School Leadership, United Kingdom), who spoke on ‘Leadership Development as Personal Growth’; indeed, the demand was so great that he was requested to repeat his presentation to another audience who were unable to get in to his first talk. We are delighted that our Director, Sean Cottrell, seized the opportunity in Cape Town to arrange with the Professor that he make the keynote speech at our Conference 2006. The Irish delegation was immensely proud of our own contributors who performed admirably in such an international setting: Tomas Ó Slatara (Deputy President, IPPN) spoke on ‘The Future of Small Schools’, and Sean Cottrell spoke on ‘Recruiting and Retaining School Principals’; both speakers and topics resonated strongly with their respective audience. Of even greater significance,
perhaps, was the fact that our own President, Virginia O’Mahony, was one of three nominations for the position of President of ICP. This gives an indication of the profile that IPPN have gained on the world stage since its foundation in 2000. One workshop that was different to the others was ‘Drumming Does It !’ , presented by Gaye Dorkin, music teacher from South Africa. She explained how the use of drumming in schools helps build self-esteem and encourages social interaction amongst children as well as developing their numeracy and literacy skills; how it also improves co-ordination , listening skills, concentration, word patterning and more. This was a particularly enjoyable, handson and practical educational experience. African drums were given to each participant with which to perform rhythm exercises together, and so an international teachers’ percussion band was born! There were other aspects to the Convention. Inbuilt to the week was a half-day tour, with a choice of visits to Robben Island, local townships, museums, Cape of Good Hope, and other intriguing places. Visitors got a good insight into the country’s fascinating history and rich culture, its diversity and uniqueness. South Africa (the Rainbow Nation) is a beautiful country, with spectacular scenery and friendly people. Most days throughout our stay had weather like that of very good summer days in Ireland, despite it being the middle of their winter. The whole experience was informative, inspiring and enjoyable.
Top Quality Resources – Policies and Plans IPPN has always shared the belief that it is unreasonable to expect every school in the country to develop all its policies and plans organically from a blank page. This may be feasible in a very large school where there are sufficient numbers to have several ongoing sub-committees dealing with the research and development and the writing of such documents. However, it is not possible to achieve this as easily or in a professionally acceptable manner in smaller schools. For this reason IPPN has encouraged members to engage in a professional sharing of resources, curriculum plans,
organizational and management policies. That is not in any way to say that a policy in one school will automatically suit another as the ‘one size fits all approach’ might suggest. It is nonetheless a very useful resource for a school to have a number of sample documents from other schools which they can use in the form of a design template or simply for discussion at the outset of a process to develop a school’s own policy. Faced with the pressure of time and increasing demands on schools to have documented policies in their school plan, feedback from IPPN Members suggests that this practice of pooling resources is PAGE 19
something we must continue to do in order to support one another.
How can you help? If you have developed management resources, administrative templates, curriculum plans or any organisational policies in your school that you consider to be adaptable for schools elsewhere: make a copy of the file and remove the name of your school and any other identifiable marks please email the file or files to firstname.lastname@example.org
IPPN Bursary to Mary McGarry and Siobhan Cartúir Mary McGarry and Siobhan Cartúir are delighted to be the recipients of the 2005 IPPN Bursary to visit schools in Ontario. The hosts for the three week trip, October 8th – 28th will be the Ontario Principals Council who are organizing the Canadian aspect of the study visit. Mary’s area of study will focus on school evaluation processes in primary schools in Ontario, Canada, with particular emphasis on the extent to which Canadian schools engage in their own internal or school self-evaluation. In addition, she will be examining the role of the Principal to ascertain how the leadership of the principal contributes to the overall effectiveness of the evaluative process. Central to any school evaluation are school improvement strategies that positively impact on pupil learning experiences. She will be seeking to identify effective intervention models in Canadian schools that target pupil achievement. Other aspects of importance in the study are the structures that are in place in Ontario schools to support effective and involved selfevaluation and the impact of school based evaluation on school staff and community. The topic of school evaluation is particularly relevant to the Irish school context today as more and more schools are undergoing Whole School Evaluation undertaken by the Department of Education and Science inspectorate. The experience of schools in
IPPN Conference 2006 Quality Leadership – Quality Learning Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th February City West Hotel, Saggart, Co. Dublin. Invited speakers include Ms Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Education and Science, Professor Michael Fullan, Professor John West Burnham and Mr Paddy Flood , LDS. Early booking is essential Application forms are now issuing from the IPPN Support Office
Ontario will contribute to the debate on school effectiveness and quality assurance in education here. Over the three weeks she plans to visit a representative sample of elementary schools in Ontario Canada to meet with school staff and principals to hear their experiences in relation to school evaluation – these schools include large urban schools in the Toronto city area with pupils from socially diverse backgrounds, as well as travelling outside of the city to visit smaller rural schools. All school visits will involve seeing at first hand classroom practice and the learning experiences of pupils in the schools. Mary will also be meeting with educationalists involved with a number of pilot projects focused on pupil achievement and with key personnel involved in the Centre for Leadership Studies in Ontario province. Tá Siobhán ag súil go mór leis an turas go Ceanada agus an seans cuairteanna a thabhairt ar bhunscoileanna in Ontario. Os rud é go bhfuil sí ag obair i nGaelscoil bheadh sé thar a bheith suimiúil cuairt a thabhairt ar "Immersion School" mar a thugann muintir Cheanada ar scoil a mhúineann trí mhodh na Fraincíse. However the main thrust of her visit is on an ICT theme. With the recent allocation of Networking Grants and the impending rollout of broadband to schools, Principals and teachers are faced with the question of how to implement these resources to ensure the maximum impact on their schools. By installing a computer network in schools communication within the school is improved. When
WORKSHOP CALL FOR IPPN CONFERENCE ’06 Quality Leadership – Quality Learning The IPPN Conference Organising Committee is interested in hearing proposals for workshops at the 12th Annual Principals Conference entitled "Quality Leadership – Quality Learning" to be held at City West Hotel next February 2nd, 3rd and 4th. The success of these conferences over the years has been built on the quality of workshops facilitated for those in attendance. PAGE 21
broadband is included the facility to communicate with the community and the world outside of the school building is enhanced. Therefore the theme of her visit is on two levels, 1) the online school community and 2) the school community as part of a wider online community. Canada is to the forefront in the area of online communities. By visiting some of the schools she would hope to add to her own knowledge and bring this back with her so that we in Ireland could learn from the experiences of schools in Ontario. It will be very interesting to see how some of the more remote schools use ICT in their communication processes. With the current development of a "Knowledge Society" we need to equip our children with the skills to cope with this technological age. It is advantageous in having a well-equipped school and having a broadband connection but quite another matter altogether in putting this to best practice. They hope that they can contribute daily via the IPPN website to an online blog (message board) so that their own schools and anyone else who might be interested can follow their progress. They shall be bringing laptop, digital camera and digital video camera with them to digitally record as much as they can of their visit and upload some news and pictures each day if possible. The link for this should be available on the IPPN website. Follow them on their virtual tour!
If you have relevant specialized knowledge and experience in a particular area of school leadership, management or administration please forward your proposals by email to email@example.com with "Workshop" in the subject bar of the email. Go raibh maith agat.
Special Schools and Special Classes The Burgeoning Challenge for Principals Principals and Deputy Principals of Special Schools and Special Classes in Mainstream Schools are being swamped with a huge administrative overload. This overload has been brought to the attention of the Policy Unit in the Department of Education and Science in recent months by the IPPN and other concerned bodies such as NABMSE (National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education) and the CPSMA. As a consequence of this overload, it is becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible to attract applicants for the Post of Principalship in these schools.
Non-Teaching Staff The major problem identified by Principals of these schools was the management of nonteaching staff. This aspect of the Principals work has never been recognised either through the payment of an additional allowance or through the provision of additional Posts of Responsibility. It is not
unusual for a school to have as many SNAs as permanent teachers on staff. The management of additional personnel must be recognised in any new benchmarking process. Principals / Deputy Principals of Special Schools and Classes also deal with various therapists from the Health Service Executive on a regular basis. This places huge demands on the time of the Principal thus leaving little opportunity to deal with core work. It is not unusual on any given day to have a number of therapists at work in a special class. These professionals require a designated area to work in and a timetable specific to their own needs as well as to the needs of the Special class. This creates additional management headaches for the Principal as does the management of bus escorts on the School Transport Scheme servicing the Special School/Class.
Dual Management Many Principals have stated that operating a Special class or classes in a mainstream school is akin to managing two schools at the one
time. Separate Policies have to be drawn up for these Special classes particularly Enrolment, Dismissal and Behaviour Policies. There is a huge level of duplication of requests for information from various Health and Education agencies. Changes in legislation render many school policies obsolete and there is an urgent need for the DES to assist Boards of Management by providing templates for the development of policies and to set up a central Data Base for children with disabilities that effectively eliminates the huge amount of duplication that currently exists. Entries on this Data Base should not be the sole responsibility of the Principal. Considerable work has been done in the area of Special Education in recent years. However, it is unreasonable in the extreme to expect Principals to bear the brunt of the additional workload created. Full time secretaries, paid for by the DES, the provision of financial accounting packages and additional release time for Board members would greatly help to alleviate some of the problems which have grown in recent years.
Moira Lynch An Appreciation Moira Lynch was one of those people who illuminated every room she entered, every conversation she held, every class she taught and every person she encountered. Her memory will be forever cherished by the people of Tubber, a village straddling the Westmath-Offaly border, where she served, first as teacher and later as Principal in the local National School. She began teaching there in October 1982 having previously taught in Shannonbridge and in her native Galway. When the then Principal retired in 1989, Moira took the reins and remained in that position until her retirement in June 2004. Moira was an extraordinary and visionary school leader. "Many of the initiatives put forward by the Department of Education over recent years were nothing new in Tubber, as Moira already had them in place for many years" was how Anne Marie Minnock, colleague and successor as Principal succinctly put it. Her energy for driving change led to her involvement in INTO where she worked
extremely hard to get the Principalsâ€™ Forum up and running, in an effort to get representation for Principals. In 1999 she was one of 16 people who turned up in Kildare Education Centre for a seminal meeting out of which IPPN was formed as an independent professional association supporting Principals. She was elected Minutes Secretary and the clarity of her records, written in her own beautiful handwriting will be invaluable when the story of IPPN is eventually written. Her sense of humour and timing and her vision for what IPPN could become led to her writing the cheque to become the very first official member of IPPN and remarking 'someday this could be significant'. Six thousand members and a vibrant organisation at the cutting edge of Primary Education later, her words were prophetic. Moira's sense of humour and 'devilment' was vital in the early days when IPPN was trying to find its feet. She could seize the moment and make everyone laugh when a light interlude was needed. Her contribution particularly on behalf of small schools and Teaching Principals cannot be overstated. When the day was over and the work PAGE 22
completed, she was charming company, her laughter infectious, had a ready smile and a wonderful singing voice. Moira announced her retirement in 2004, to be succeeded as Principal by her close friend and colleague Anne Marie, daughter of her predecessor Michael O'Halloran. When news broke of her illness, it caused shock and sadness for her family and amongst her many friends and colleagues. However the dignity and good humour, long the hallmark of her approach to life, helped to sustain her family and close friends throughout her final illness. When the Lord finally called Moira, on September 21st, 2005 the very large gathering at the removal of her remains and her Requiem Mass was testament to a life lived to the full and to the great many people on whose lives she touched is so many special ways. To her beloved husband Gerry, her son Adrian and her daughters Michelle, Ruth and Deirdre, her mother Annie, and to the Madden family, we extend our deepest sympathy on the loss of Moira, a truly special and remarkable woman. Leaba i measc na Naomh for raibh aici.
Diary of meetings held by IPPN on behalf of Principals June 2005 National Education Welfare Board – meeting to simplify reporting structures National committee meeting – Kildare Education Centre School Development Planning – consultative meeting re In-School Management IPPN Executive committee meeting – Portlaoise
July 2005 DES working group on Principals workload and In-school-management National Centre for Technology In Education – meeting re broadband initiative Presentation of two workshops at International Confederation of Principals (ICP) biannual conference in Cape Town, South Africa
IPPN Executive committee meeting – Limerick DES Teacher Education Section – meeting re professional development
September 2005 IPPN Executive committee meeting – Portlaoise DES Inspectorate – IPPN submission on WSE Report publication CPMSA AGM – Dublin DES working group on Principals workload and In-School Management Study visit to Ontario – planning meeting with bursary winners Join Oireachtas committee for education and science – IPPN submission on school governance IPPN presentation to the DES Assistant Principal Officers Network annual conference DES Teacher Education Section – meeting re professional development
DES Special Education Section – meeting re general allocation model and SNAs DES Primary Payroll Section – meeting re SNAs contracts IPPN county network AGMs LDS Forbairt Programme for experienced Principals National Council for Curriculum Assessment – Cork Education Support Centre INTO Principals Forum Biannual Conference – Mullingar Professor Andy Hargreaves workshops – Maynooth & Limerick National Association for Principals and Deputies (second level) Annual Conference IPPN National Committee AGM
Newly-appointed Principals IPPN offers its congratulations to the following newly-appointed Principals. Please contact us at the IPPN office if there are names missing from this list. Scoil Naomh Laisrian, Carlow - John Threadwood St Marys NS, Cavan - Maebh Rehill Kilnaleck NS, Cavan - Finbarr O Baoill Ballybrohan NS, Clare - Marie Roberts Tuamgraney NS, Clare - Marie Moroney Inch NS, Clare - Rose Marie Corry Scoil na Mainistreach, Clare - Anne Fitzpatrick Ballycarr NS, Clare – Noel Murphy Eoin Baisde, Clare - Michael Canavan Scoil Chlochair Mhuire, Cork - Nora Moran Scoil Triest, Cork - Geraldine Bond Drinagh NS, Cork - Shiela Notowowynski St Johns NS, Cork - Margaret Canty Scoil Mhuir, Cork – Máire Dhuibhir Scoil Eoin, Cork - Donal Conway SN Seandrona, Cork - Carmel O’Regan Gaelscoil Bheanntraí, Cork - Eithne Ní Mhurchú Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire, Cork - Marie O’Connor Our Lady of Mercy NS, Cork - Dympna Daly SN Dairbhre, Cork - Yvonne Walsh St Patricks BNS, Cork - Ita Ahern Kilbonane NS, Cork - Mairead O'Sullivan Scoil Mhuire, Cork - Trisha La Comber St Josephs PS, Cork - Kathleen O'Driscoll Scoil Chlochair Mhuire, Cork - Nora Moran Kilcorney MNS, Cork - Con Meade 11An Rolsín, Donegal - James Gillespie Gaelscoil Éirne, Donegal - Niamh Nic Dhiarmada Scoil Taodhbhóg, Donegal - Gwendoline Furey Crannaghbois NS, Donegal - Marguerite Melly Little Angels School, Donegal - Angela Keane Scoil Treasa Naofa, Donegal – Bláithín NicLoingsigh Mary Queen of Ireland, Dublin - Henry Reynolds St Michaels CBS, Dublin - Mary Frewen St Andrews College JS, Dublin - Jacquie Campbell St Marys BNS, Dublin - Tom Mullins St Ciarans NS, Dublin - Sean Sheehan St Laurences NS, Dublin - Amanda Coleman Presentation Primary, Dublin - Jacinta Murphy Lucan Educate Together NS, Dublin - Mary Tuohy St Mochtas NS, Dublin - Terry Allen Glenasmole NS, Dublin - Niall Cassidy St Helens SNS, Dublin - Mary O'Leary St Patricks BNS, Dublin - Helen Kelly North Dublin Muslim NS Project, Dublin Niall Heneghan Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Dublin - Damhnait Uí Ruairc Notre Dame Junior School, Dublin - Suzy Doyle St Colmcilles GNS, Dublin - Bernadette Murtagh St Patricks JNS, Dublin - Miriam Jenkinson St Marys NS, Dublin - Maria Mowlan St Josephs NS, Dublin 11 - Brian Clarke
Our Mother of Divine Grace NS, Dublin 11 Alice Bermingham Scoil Mhuire Ogh 1, Dublin - Jacinta Crehan Good Shepherd NS, Dublin - Sheila Fitzgerald Tyrrelstown Educate Together, Dublin - Nicola Wilson Castleknock NS, Dublin - Sandra Moloney Scoil Carmel, Dublin - Ursula Martin St Brigids JNS, Dublin - Mary Mullen National Childrens Hospital School, Dublin - Barry Brett Scoil Neasain, Dublin - Máire Ní Mhaoileoin Scoil Aine, Dublin - Clodagh O' Gara St Louis SPS, Dublin - Marie McCabe Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Dublin - Mary O'Mahony Lindsay Road NS, Dublin - Jennifer Fulton SN Brighde Naofa, Galway - Shane McDonagh Scoil Mhuire, Galway - Máire Clár Ní Thuathail Scoil Mhuire PS, Galway - Mary Trayers Scoil Náisiúnta Leitirmallaín, Galway - Bríd Ní Liatháin Sylane NS, Galway - Sinead Cleary Scoil Mhuire, Galway - Sinéad Ní Chadhain Scoil Náisunta Bhríde, Galway - Marian O'Malley Kilgobnet NS, Kerry - Bernadette Costello SN Oilibhear Naofa, Kerry - Anne Walsh Scoil Mhuire, Kerry - Mary Scanlon Holy Cross NS, Kerry - Ursula Uí Chofaigh Convent NS, Kerry - Diarmaid ó Déasúnaigh Rathmorrell National School, Kerry - Sheila Egan Scoil an Linbh Íosa, Kildare - Mary Kavanagh Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Kildare - Catherine Gillis SN Pádraig, Kildare - Colm Ó Conchubhair Scoil Phadraig, Kilkenny - Mary Hahessy The Heath, Laois - David O' Brien Kolbe SS, Laois - Majella French O' Connor Newtown NS, Laois - Susan Corrigan Drumlease National School, Leitrim - David O'Farrell Scoil Mhuire Banríon na hEireann, Limerick - Síle Killeen St Marys BNS, Limerick - Seán Wolfe St Josephs BNS, Limerick - John Ahern St Brigids NS, Limerick - Elizabeth O'Farrell Galvone NS, Limerick - Margaret Cotter Our Ladys Abbey Scoil na gCailini, Limerick - Mary Lavin Realt Na Mara Senior, Louth - Mary Hession Scoil Mhuire na trocaire, Louth - Deirdre Sweeney St Fintan's NS, Louth - Padraig McEneany SN Bhride, Louth - Teresa Preston SN Brighde, Louth - Joanne Moore Dookinella NS, Mayo - Kathleen Smyth SN Beal an Mhuirthead, Mayo - Maire Maughan SN Phadraig Naofa, Mayo - Marion O'Connor-Byrne Mountpleasant NS, Mayo - Mary O' Reilly Ratheskin, Mayo - Sheila Jennings Scoil Olibheir Naofa, Meath - Mary Carpenter
Gaelscoil Thulach na n-Óg, Meath - Amanda Ní Dhaithí Scoil Muire Naofa, Meath - Colm Gallagher Scoil Naomh Deagha, Monaghan Tomás Mac Giollachomáin Killeevan NS, Monaghan - Mary McCarney Scoil Mhuire, Monaghan - Elizabeth Morehead Gaelscoil Eois, Muineach - Phádraig Ó Cuinneagáin SN Muire Naofa, Offaly - Marguerite White Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, Roscommon - Máire Ní Dhúill St Ronans NS, Roscommon - John Mahon Ballinlough NS, Roscommon - Geraldine Kelly Slatta NS, Roscommon - Coilín Kelly Cloontuskert NS, Roscommon - Margaret Nohilly Scoil N Mhuire, Sligo - Catherine McGinty Cliffoney NS, Sligo - Ita MacGowan SN Rónáin Naofa, Sligo - Michael Heffernan St Michaels NS, Sligo - Deirdre Kelly Our Lady of Mercy PS, Sligo - Mary Finan Roscomroe NS, Tipperary - Evelyn Smyth Cappawhite NS, Tipperary - Alice Flynn Bishop Harty NS, Tipperary - Joan O'Meara Bansha NS, Tipperary - Fiona Morrissey St Joseph's NS, Tipperary - John Slattery SN Iosef Naofa, Tipperary - Elaine Foley Anacarty NS, Tipperary - Olivia Ryan Leugh NS, Tipperary - Louise Corbet Carrig NS, Tipperary - Tony Sampson Central School, Tipperary - George Barry Cahir BNS, Tipperary - Brendan Horan Glór na mara - Liam O'Neachtain Gaelscoil na nDeise, Waterford - Marc de Grás Holy Family Junior NS, Waterford - Agnes Brick Holy Cross NS, Waterford - John Kinelon St Josephs Special School, Waterford - Ellen Crickley Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Waterford Caitriona O'Reilly Stradbally Convent, Waterford - Mary O'Mahony Lismore Mochuala NS, Waterford - Eilis Casey Glór na mara, Waterford - Liam Ó Neachtain Scoil Eoin Naofa, Westmeath - Caitríona Uí Mhuirí St Oliver Plunkett BNS, Westmeath - Mary Costello St Tola's NS, Westmeath - Fidelma Gaffney Scoil Réalt na Mara, Wexford - Yvonne Miller Gorey Central School, Wexford - Sandra Horan Ballaghkeene NS, Wexford - John Ormond Monageer NS, Wexford - Eoghan Ó Donnagáin Cill Damháin, Wexford - Regina Doheny Scoil Naomh Bríd, Wicklow - Ann Gartland St Fergals JNS, Wicklow - Margaret Gillespie SN Naomh Iosef C, Wicklow - Miriam Cahill Grangecon NS, Wicklow - Mary Shannon