ISSUE 32 • MAY 2006
Investing in School Leadership Last December in our Principals’ survey, 89% of respondents told us that you wanted a separate salary scale and 100% of respondents wanted a separate submission for Principals to be made by the INTO to the Benchmarking Body. IPPN, acting on your behalf, has prepared a report entitled ‘Investing in School Leadership’ which has been submitted to the INTO for their consideration whilst preparing for Benchmarking II. Based on the evidence provided in the December ‘05 survey this report: Recommends that Principals deserve to be benchmarked separately for their leadership and managerial role as defined in section 22 of the Education Act. Calls for a separate Principals’ salary scale to remove Principals from the entrapment of the common basic salary plus Principals’ allowance system. States that Teaching Principals should receive a separate allowance on top of their Principals’ salary to reflect their additional responsibility as a class teacher. Profiles the on-going crisis in the recruitment and retention of school leaders and the consequences arising if the situation is not addressed. Investing in School Leadership recommends a seperate salary scale for all Principals plus a teaching allowance for those with class duties. Our research shows that there are legitimate and compelling arguments for this course of action:
Principals are the only managerial grade in the Public Service that are paid on the same scale as those they manage with an additional allowance for their primary role as leaders of teaching and learning. This anomaly is not repeated in any other OECD country. The role of Primary Principal is quantitatively and qualitatively different from the role of teacher and should be rewarded as such. 7 out of every 10 Principals are also full time teachers and the current system of reward awards arising from Benchmarking I. “Report calls for We invite you to consider its contents cannot by its very nature reflect their enormous a seperate salary carefully as Benchmarking II findings workload and responsibility will be published in Spring/Summer scale for all in fulfilling both roles. Principals plus a 2007 and are likely to set the Proposals for a separate parameters and structures of public teaching Principals’ salary scale were sector pay for a considerable number of offered in the context of two allowance for years. previous rounds of public those with class sector pay talks. IPPN does not and cannot process a duties. ” The current recruitment and salary claim for Principals. Our retention crisis makes it an research is driven by our professional imperative at this time to think differently concerns for both the quality of school and radically about making Principalship leadership and its consequential impact on attractive financially for all current and the quality of learning, if appropriate reward aspiring Principals. levels are not put in place. Investing in School Leadership is currently available on www.ippn.ie and will be sent to all schools in due course. This report reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of Primary Principals who were bitterly disappointed with the
You have already made your views clear through the December ‘05 survey. If the report ‘Investing in School Leadership’ is to create the desired impact it’s now over to you. Le Meas, Seán Cottrell & Tomas Ó Slatara
Developing SEN Resources.......................................10 Legal Diary ......................................................................12 Standardised Assessments .......................................14 Special Needs Assistants ...........................................15 Mentoring Teachers ....................................................17
School Bus Escorts .......................................................18 What Makes Finland’s Education So Good .......21 Schools of Thought.....................................................22 Barnardos Make the Grade......................................24 MMSA Cluster ..............................................................25
President: Tomás Ó Slatara email@example.com Director: Seán Cottrell firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Larry Fleming email@example.com Assistant Editor: Virginia O’Mahony Advertising: Nicole Walsh firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish Primary Principals’ Network Glounthaune, Co Cork e: email@example.com l: 1890 21 22 23 t: 353 21 452 4925 f: 353 21 435 5648 w: www.ippn.ie
The opinions expressed in Leadership Plus do not necessarily reflect the official policy or views of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network ISSN: 1649 -5888 Design and print: Brosna Press 090 6454327 • firstname.lastname@example.org
F E AT U R E S
Surviving or Enjoying the Summer ..........................2 Benchmarking 1 Failed Principals.............................3 IPPN Goes International .............................................4 Positive Interventions ..................................................7 Challenging Behaviour..................................................9
Surviving or Enjoying the Summer? The following article appeared in the June ’05 edition of Leadership+ and is being reproduced here due to many requests from Principals. Since last September you have given considerable time and energy to the pastoral care of the children and staff in your school. Constantly giving of yourself is a major drain on your personal and emotional well-being. It is an undeniable fact that in fulfilling a role where one is frequently supporting, caring and ‘looking after’ others, such a role is unsustainable on a long term basis, if one does not ‘ look after’ oneself. It is probably true to say that you will be of little use to those whom you are leading and caring for, if in the course of your work, you neglect to care for yourself. Regrettably, it is so often true that Principals put themselves last in the long line of people’s needs. The end of the school year for most people, involves looking forward to the enjoyment of a summer break. On the other hand, Principals juggle with a multiplicity of deadlines and pressure points which one would normally associate with something traumatic like moving house. Why is the end of an academic year so stressful for Principals? Is it absolutely essential that most aspects of school business are ‘wedged’ into a common deadline? Is there any other line of business that would arrange staff
recruitment, stocktaking, financial year end, refurbishment, annual maintenance, professional reporting and administrative deadlines, all to happen at more or less the same time – when everyone is on official holidays and communication with key contacts is often impossible? Needless to say, you as Principal, cannot walk away from school on June 30th, if you have any intentions of the school being ready to reopen on September 1st.
time to the ever growing queue of requests, consequently postponing many of your own priorities which inevitably back-up and remain on your list until July 1st. That’s when you get the mixed feelings of relief, because the external pressure has been released, followed quickly by the feeling of exasperation in knowing that you have so much to do and you are more or less alone in both knowing what needs doing and getting it done.
Factors beyond your control relating to SEN staffing, disadvantage resources, NEWB reporting, Summer Work Scheme, a building programme, and the recruitment of temporary and permanent staff, could easily wipe out any hope of a summer holiday, if one were not careful. Is it your fault that others didn’t complete their planning on time? Will the world stop revolving if you don’t meet unreasonable deadlines set for the convenience of others? The main risk arises from the frenetic pace of school life in the last fortnight of June. You as Principal are constantly responding to everyone else’s needs based on their desire for ‘closure’ by June 30th. In order to effectively address these needs, you feel forced to give every minute of your
Alternatively, you may decide to be proactive and strategically plan the impending workload arising from the management needs of the school. This approach is the only alternative to that workload occupying your time and your mind throughout the summer. In early June 2005, a Kildare based Principal faxed the IPPN Support Office with her ’10 Self-Care Commandments for Principals’. On reading these, it is likely that you will probably feel – ‘I could never do that in this school!’ Why not? There is a first time for everything. Unless you can assert your right to distribute leadership and delegate management responsibilities, you are consigned to perpetual martyrdom 365 days a year.
10 Self-Care Commandments for Principals:
I Before the end of term, arrange a meeting with your BoM Chairperson and Deputy Principal to make a collective list of the main outstanding tasks for the months ahead.
VI Arrange that the school secretary handles all mail during the holiday period. If you do not have a school secretary, delegate it as a task to some member of the ISM or BoM.
II Collectively prioritise key tasks and decide which items can wait until September. Just because the school has been given a deadline, plan your response based on what you consider to be a reasonable time frame.
VII Organise a telephone answeringmachine. The voice message should advise parents why the telephone is not answered, where books and uniforms can be purchased, the date of school re-opening, how to apply for late enrolments etc.
III Examine each of the prioritised tasks and decide who should take responsibility for them. IV Delegate as much as possible to individual BoM members and the In-School Management team. V Where certain key functions such as recruitment must be scheduled, make a plan for July and August which facilitates the Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson, Principal and Deputy Principal, to provide cover for each other whilst also being able to plan a family holiday etc.
VIII Delegate the responsibility to manage keys and alarm codes for summer camps, maintenance work, staff access and other unplanned events, e.g. burglary, vandalism etc. IX Take a complete break from school by organising a holiday which physically prevents you from being available. X Remember that although you are the principal you are not indispensable. Turn off your mobile phone and take a decent holiday.
Fresh Voice supporting Principals The Benchmarking Body is currently accepting submissions from relevant bodies in relation to the next round of Benchmarking which commences shortly. The recent INTO Annual Congress in Killarney heard many delegates express disappointment with the last round of Benchmarking which did little to acknowledge the unique managerial and leadership role occupied by Principals in the educational system today. In particular IPPN acknowledges and supports the forceful and articulate arguments put forward by Declan Kelleher of the INTO Central Executive Committee at Congress in support of greater financial recognition for Principals.
The treatment of Primary Principals is one of the most contentious issues in education today. Primary Principals have still to receive the same pay and allowances their counterparts at postprimary receive, despite a long-running campaign for parity. Mr Kelleher was rightfully angered when Minister for Education Mary Hanafin gave no hint that she was willing to address the long-standing issue. Mr Kelleher continued that for years, the Department of Education & Science had preyed on the goodwill of Primary Principals. "Measure after measure has been introduced into Irish Primary schools without any regard to how the Principal can manage."
Mr Kelleher stated that "the number applying "Current Principals' allowances were paltry", he for the post of Principal in primary schools has said, "and there has been no improvement in declined by some 75 per cent in the past two back-up, such as release time, secretarial or decades” and also said that while a regular caretaking staff. In fact, so callous is the teaching post would now attract up to 100 disregard of Principals by the Department, that applicants, “the same school would be fortunate they must be accused of breaches of to receive two applications if a “Primary Health and Safety Standards", he vacancy should arise for the post of Principals and added. Principal." He went on to state that "Primary Principals and in particular Teaching Principals are among the most exploited group of workers in the entire public service".
in particular Teaching Principals are among the most exploited group of workers in the entire public service ”
Mr Kelleher also highlighted that "16 primary schools failed to attract any suitable applicants for the post of Principal last summer. Moreover, the posts had to be re-advertised again and again before, in most cases, just one suitably qualified candidate applied."
Mr Kelleher also said that "many Principals are suffering damage to their health because they are being allocated a workload which can not be undertaken without the required infrastructure."
He said the paltry allowances meant that "teachers would no longer put themselves in the firing line of the most difficult job in education. Every primary school now has its in special education section for its Special Needs Pupils yet the
presence of Special Needs Assistants [SNA] and other ancillary personnel working in school under the direction of the Principal isn't counted in the Principals remuneration." Mr. Kelleher cited St Anne's special school in Roscrea as a typical example. "Ten years ago, as Principal, he managed eight colleagues and one SNA. Today he manages eight teaching colleagues, 17 SNAs, seven escorts, as well as part-time speech and language, occupational, behav-ioural and physical therapists. "In those 10 years, he has gone from a staff of nine to a staff of 37, yet his remuneration rate as Principal has remained exactly the same as it was, as it's only the teachers who are counted in calculating the Principal's salary. Beat that for logic! Who would want to be a Primary Principal?" Other delegates also pointed to the income differential between pay levels for Primary and Post Primary Principals. The allowance for a Primary teacher in a 20teacher school is €19,897, compared to €25,304 for post-primary Principals. It is imperative that issues such as parity with post-primary Principals and a separate salary for Principals be given serious consideration by the Benchmarking Body when the serious business begins shortly. A very useful meeting was held recently between officials of the INTO and IPPN when the issue of Benchmarking was discussed and areas where both organisations could work together to further the case for Principals were identified. A further meeting between the two organisations was scheduled for 23rd May.
IPPN Goes International International Confederation of Principals Reykjavik April 2006
Virginia O’Mahony, Past President of IPPN and Principal of Scoil Chaitríona Senior, Renmore, Galway has been elected to the Executive Committee of the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) Virginia was a founding member of IPPN and President of the organisation from 2003 to 2005. This is a hugely significant and historic honour for IPPN in that the organisation now exercises a strong and credible voice on policy formation and other issues relating to Principals worldwide. As IPPN grows and develops its services for Irish school leaders, it is fitting that it is now asked to play an influential role on the international stage, where Irish Principals have much to contribute. The ICP is a global association of school leadership organisations. It has over 40 members, made up of school leadership associations. Each member is itself a major organisation that supports the professional development and work of school leaders. The ICP represents over 150,000 school leaders across five continents and, as such, commands a unique global position as a major voice for school education. The ICP is non-political and non-sectarian.
HISTORY The ICP was founded in 1990 by 9 nations: Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, USSR, UK, and USA. Since then it has grown to include many more countries and Principals organisations and has a constitution, a set of bylaws and a strategic plan which reflect a growing need to provide support and professional development for school leaders all over the world. ICP membership is officially held by Principals’ Associations in Europe, Africa, North and South America and in Asia and Oceania. Through their Association's membership, all individual school leaders within an ICP member organization have access to ICP events and resources. Because of the geographical spread of ICP, it now represents in excess of 150,000 school leaders. These include educational leaders from both Primary and Secondary sectors of education. The Council, the governing body of the ICP, is responsible for all decisions and policy making.
Virginia O’Mahony, a founding member of IPPN recently elected to the Executive Committee of the International Confederation of Principals.
The Executive Committee, to which Virginia has been elected, comprises six people charged with carrying out the work of the Council over a two-year period.
result in changes to the structure and decision making processes in the future. The ICP has a website to communicate with its members worldwide.
WORK OF THE ICP
IPPN Members can access ICP’s website through www.ippn.ie. A section of the website provides contact details for your association and lists association office -bearers.
The ICP Council meets once a year to conduct its business. Meetings always include professional development opportunities. A World Convention, organised by different countries, takes place every other year, usually in July. The Executive Committee meets twice per year, to monitor and evaluate the progress of past initiatives, to prepare the new initiatives and to carry out policy as determined by the Council. Virginia is committed to expanding initiatives such as the research already carried out by IPPN on the Challenge of Recruiting and Retaining School Leaders. The opportunity for IPPN to give such work a broad international dimension and perspective will add influence and value to the research and developmental work of the association. The ICP addresses many themes on behalf of Principals worldwide. The research results and policies developed are produced as Position Papers for use by members. ICP encourages regions to add their national flavour to these papers so that they can be used to lobby Governments and Education Departments worldwide. The ICP is in the process of developing a regional approach to better achieve the objectives of the organisation. This may well PAGE 4
SHARING EDUCATIONAL EXPERTISE While an important focus of the Council meetings is ICP business, there are also many opportunities for Council members to gather and share experience and expertise. The organisation which hosts the meeting will always provide participants with the opportunity to learn about the local education system, to meet with the Minister for Education and education officials, to visit schools and to meet teachers and students. In addition, the Executive Committee strives to maximise the opportunities for discussion of education and educational issues at all meetings. Membership is open to any organisation of school leaders whose constitution contains nothing contrary to the constitution of the ICP. We wish Virginia success in her new and challenging portfolio and look forward to furthering the IPPN perspective on professional development internationally through her participation in ICP activities.
Challenging BEHAVIOUR Paul J O'Mahony & Mark Candon ‘Challenging behaviour is behaviour of such intensity, frequency and duration that the physical safety of the person or others is likely to be placed in serious jeopardy. Such behaviour is likely to limit or delay access to ordinary community facilities’. (Emerson etal'1987) Challenging behaviour inhibits participation in school activities and isolates pupils from their peers and the demands on teachers and resources increases dramatically as a result. Types and causes of challenging behaviour The most common forms of challenging behaviour include aggression, non compliance, threats, and destruction of property, temper tantrums, inappropriate social and sexual behaviour and absconding. What causes this type of behaviour? The most common underlying cause is the inability to communicate a need and a lack of understanding. Boredom and lack of choices may also be the reason or there may be medical causes such as a change of medication. Abuse and neglect may also be a factor as can being in pain, being hungry, thirsty etc. Over 10% of people with severe learning disabilities exhibit severe challenging behaviour. Surveys of Challenging Behaviour carried out since 1995 reveal pushing, punching, kicking, and non co-operation, shouting, screaming and throwing objects as the most common incidents in Special Schools. The 2004 NABMSE Study on Challenging Behaviour revealed that of the 3,694 pupils involved, 31% presented with challenging behaviour.
Effects of challenging Behaviour Challenging behaviour affects all areas of school life and contributes significantly to staff and pupil stress levels. Teachers confront intimidation and fear in the playground and Principals find that a disproportionate amount of time and resources must be directed towards the cause. Many teachers voice a real concern at not being allowed to teach the other pupils. Other children can be hurt intimidated or frightened and may need counselling. The child exhibiting the behaviour also suffers through being restricted and being punished.
Awareness Raising: Building Competence and Confidence The practical experience of one school with a disproportionate number of pupils with challenging behaviour on rolls was quite frightening. A 'blame on culture' shrouded the staffroom, there was a huge turnover of staff, pupil numbers dropped and parents became angry and frustrated with an average of three parents visiting weekly to complain. The Principal /BOM suspended an average of two pupils per week and there was a minimum of one serious incident per day. Within 4 years, challenging behaviour had been reduced by over 400%. How was this achieved? To obtain a clearer picture, we must return to the causes of challenging behaviour listed above: • Inability to communicate a need. The school put in place a programme to identify, understand and meet the needs of pupils. • Lack of understanding. The school adopted an imaginative approach i.e. teaching smarter using multi-sensory approaches.
• Pain, Hunger, Thirst. Children 'grazing' on a diet of sweets and in mental anguish leading to mood swings. The school adopted a 'gradual approach' banning different types of sweets each year until a 'healthy lunch' was fully introduced in year 4. • Medical Causes. A school-time diet change is not unlike a medication change-It can change behaviour.
Addressing Challenging Behaviour- Structures and Cultures Routines and roles must be clearly defined at the outset, i.e. Who does what? Where? When? And how? Consistency must be the benchmark. In the school we are discussing, new structures were introduced gradually. New school rules were introduced each year, policies were reviewed and updated, a procedure for recording was introduced and there was a renewed focus on extra-curricular activities. In following years a new school uniform was introduced, additional rules were introduced, a Breakfast Club and an After- School Club was formed and an Awards System was established. In subsequent years going home for lunch was stopped, SNA's from the community were employed, a pupil council was set up, school trips were encouraged and Christmas and end of year concerts were staged. This gradual introduction of new structures worked exceedingly well.
Crisis Management Scenario: If a pupil is aggressive, tense, is shouting and throwing things, what can we do? We can manage the situation by being calm. Use the 5 S's, speakslowly-softly-simply-short. Listen carefully and help the pupil identify and express his/her needs. Make no unnecessary demands and avoid touching if possible. Gently distract the child to a preferred activity and ensure the safety of other children, preferably through their removal. After the Crisis • Record the antecedents, the behaviour and the consequences. • Talk to an appropriate person/colleague about the incident. • Learn from the event, discuss and review Physical containment should only be used as a last resort. The full text of the workshop on Challenging Behaviour presented by Paul J O’Mahony and Mark Candon is available on www.ippn.ie. Mark Candon and Paul J O’Mahony are serving Principals and have extensive experience in the areas of Educational Leadership and Specials Needs Education.
Good Practice for the Deployment of SEN Resources DES Circular 02/05
The arrival of DES Circular 02/05, 'Organisation of Teaching Resources for Pupils who need Additional Support in Mainstream Primary Schools', together with the recent appointment of extra Support Teachers, will immediately present an organisational challenge for Principals and their staffs. Few Principals can deal with the organisation and management of SEN on their own, especially as 73% also have to teach a class and carry out the myriad of other management and administrative duties. Schools should adopt a Whole School Approach to meeting Special Educational Needs and where possible a Special Education Support Team should be formed. This will necessitate a full staff meeting to consider the implications of Circular 02/05 for each individual school. 1. In-school Management of SEN: If a school has no post of responsibility for the organisation of SEN, it is imperative that the Board of Management rectifies this immediately. The Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill states that the Principal may delegate the duties surrounding the organisation of resources. The organisation of SEN would be appropriate as part of the duties of the Deputy Principal, of an Assistant Principal where such exists, or of a Special Duties post. The duties might include the following: ■ Managing the day-to-day operation of SEN. ■ Supporting and advising colleagues. ■ Acting as a link with outside agencies. ■ Co-ordinating the provision of SEN. ■ Monitoring and evaluating this provision.
■ Co-ordinating the work of other team members. ■ Co-ordinating policies and ensuring that they are written up. ■ Co-ordinating meetings concerning lEPs.
■ Withdrawal from the class for one to one teaching ■ Withdrawal from the class for group teaching ■ Group teaching, along with the class teacher, within the class 2. Pupils' Needs: ■ Team teaching Schools should allocate teachers to pupils in ■ Group teaching for children who have line with the pupils' needs, ensuring that those similar difficulties with the greatest need get the highest level of ■ Group teaching for the development of attention. The needs of all the pupils should social skills primarily determine the manner in which The choice of strategy will be a decision of the support teachers are deployed. Where there is Principal and the Support Team, following more than one support teacher consultation with the parents. It is in the school, each teacher essential that the best educational “The might be assigned to a specific organisation of interests of the child be paramount. class or group of classes. This SEN would be would help communication and 4. Evaluation: appropriate as Regular evaluation of SEN resource reduce class disruption. part of the organisation within a school is vital, so 3. The Staged Approach: that the changing needs of the children duties of the Schools should adopt the are met on an ongoing basis. Deputy Staged Approach to Principal, of an SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS Assessment, Identification and Assistant Programme Planning as outlined in Circulars 24/03 and Principal where 1. Contracts of Employment for Special Needs Assistants Sp.Ed.02/05. In implementing such exists, or of Please ensure that you, or your Board, these programmes a number of a Special Duties are familiar with Circular Letter SNA possible strategies suggest post.” 15/05. In the case of existing staff they themselves: should be offered the option of PAGE 6
transferring to the new contract. The option of transferring to the revised contract is a once off option and must have been 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.
GENERAL GUIDANCE ■ SNA's, 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. ■ SNA's 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 themselves 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 SNA's 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 SNA's 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.
TYPES OF SUPPORT THAT ARE USEFUL FOR THE CLASS TEACHER 1. Participation in the IEP. Being involved from the start and knowing the details of a student's individual needs and strengths helps the teacher to understand the learning implications of the student's problems. 2. Practical help with differentiating instruction in the mainstream classroom and time for planning. 3. Assistants in the classroom can assist the teacher in meeting the needs of each child. 4. Smaller class sizes allow teachers to cope with extra demands. 5. Collaboration with other professionals involved with the student is also important.
TEAMWORK BETWEEN THE CLASS TEACHER AND SUPPORT TEACHER As more and more students with learning difficulties and diverse disabilities are placed in mainstream settings, there is an increasing need to look at ways of promoting partnership and collaboration between teachers, teachers and assistants and between teachers and parents and other professionals. Teamwork, mutual support and trust all come into play. Successful collaboration requires: ■ Mutual goals ■ Voluntary participation ■ Equality among participants ■ Shared responsibility for participation and decision making ■ Shared responsibility for outcomes ■ Shared resources There is more to be gained by the class teacher working closely with other professionals to solve problems rather than being presented with ready-made prescriptions for intervention from outside experts. The consultant in this process may be the Learning Support Teacher, Resource Teacher or the Special Needs Coordinator. Teachers often need more than advice sometimes they may need practical facilitative assistance.
THE CLASS TEACHER The Class Teacher has the primary responsibility for the progress of all students in his/her class including those with Special Needs. They are expected to implement teaching programmes that optimises the learning of all pupils and address the needs of those with learning differences. Their role has recently changed to include increased collaboration with parents and support teachers. This is a move towards inclusion that also recognises the class teacher's need for support in order to cater for such a diverse group of learners.
THE SUPPORT TEACHER
from genuine access to the mainstream curriculum. There should be a gradual move toward providing more support to the teacher by assisting with modifications to curriculum content, developing alternative resources and setting up student support networks in the class.
CO-TEACHING One teaches and one assists and supports: This is the most common form of co-teaching. Both teachers are in the classroom but one leads the instructional activity. The teacher in the support role observes, checks students understanding, supports the work of individual students or manages behaviour. This structure provides a good starting point for the novice collaborator. Station teaching: This is the practice of two teachers dividing the content to be taught to the class between them. Each teacher delivers a portion of the lesson to a section of the class group and then students rotate between the two teachers. Students gain the experience of two styles of teaching and two points of view. Planning and timing are important. Parallel teaching: This involves two teachers teaching two groups the same content simultaneously. The benefits are smaller groups and more participation but it is time consuming in terms of planning. Alternative teaching: This is where the class is divided into two groups, one small, one large. One teacher takes the large group for instruction while the other teacher works intensely with the small group. While this has the advantage of providing small group instruction to those who need it, it risks creating a situation where pupils are pulled out to the back of the class and publicly identified as needing extra help. One way out of this would be to rotate the groups on a regular basis.
Learning Support teachers are responsible for Team teaching: setting up and implementing systems for This is probably the most complex but the identifying, assessing and instructing most rewarding. Both teachers jointly plan the students with Special Needs. Also included in lesson content and are equally involved in the their role are areas of management and instruction. They take turns providing coordination, curriculum support, “The Class information, leading activities and collaboration and liaison with the Special Needs Coordinator and Teacher has the discussions and demonstrating concepts. assistant coordinator as well as primary parents and outside agencies while responsibility Co-teaching can be difficult to achieve providing direct educational support to pupils with special for the progress ..... finding time to plan is a persistent needs. Each school should have a of all students challenge. Substitution to free up learning support team. in his/her class time for joint planning would be ideal. Withdrawing children for thirty including those Research shows that teachers involved in cooperative teaching minutes per day individual help with Special experience feelings of effectiveness runs contrary to the philosophy and Needs. ” and professional renewal. intent of inclusive education and runs the risk of excluding pupils PAGE 7
The Safety, Health and Welfare Act at Work 2005 This act replaced the 1989 act as of September 2005. The act requires a Safety Statement to cover the workplace. Developing a Safety Statement involves conducting a thorough risk assessment incorporating ■ Risk identification ■ Risk Assessment ■ Selection of control measures These control measures are then included in the Safety Statement which should be reviewed annually.
RISK ASSESSMENT There are many areas of risk to children in the typical school. It is the duty of Board of Management to assess these hazards in relation to the likelihood of an accident occurring and the severity of the consequences. It is incumbent on the Board to select appropriate measures to eliminate the hazards or at the very least to significantly reduce the risks of an accident occurring.
Writing the Safety Statement When drawing up a Safety Statement it must be understood by employees. It should be done annually and on recruitment. The Board should ensure that a competent person oversees the management of Health and Safety in the school i.e. someone who is able to give informed and appropriate advice on Health and Safety to Management rather than someone who just possesses technical knowledge. Are we talking about the Principal here? Not necessarily.The Health and Safety Officer can be an individual member of the Board of Management and in many schools the position of Health and Safety Officer is a Post of Responsibility. However, in all schools, Health and Safety issues must be monitored by all staff and the BOM.
Low Medium High Tree Roots through tarmac
Remove the Roots and patch surface with tarmac
Torn and curly edge carpet
Caretacker to fix and glue carpet
Spillages – slips and trips
Area to be sealed off and wet care sign put in place
If problem persists – replace
Wet floor inside main door Running on yard
Trial a running ban for 6 months to see if number of accidents reduces
Was it possible to enforce running ban? Was it worth the effort?
Children outside office at lunchtime
Must have a written note to be kept off yard
How effective was the written note
Children being collected early from school
All children must be signed for in advance
Fire windows in classrooms must be signposted
Get labels form Apex Fire
Parking cars on Fire Exits
All staff informed in writing of parking on exits
Broken bottles on yard
Caretaker to check yard in advance each day
Caretaker to come to school early and salt/clear area
A typical Risk Assessment / Control Measures Template A lot of duties placed on Boards of Management are qualified by the matter of balancing the degree of risk against the time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty of the control measures necessary to avoid it.
VETTING OF SCHOOL EMPLOYEES The Garda Central Vetting Unit was opened late last year in Thurles with a staff of 30. The implementation group involved in the setting
up of the facility included the Departments of Justice and Health, D.E.S, I.S.P.C.C and I.M.P.A.C.T. Already over a quarter of a million employees have been vetted. Most of these work under the umbrella of the Health Service Executive but Child Care workers and Special Needs Assistants are also being vetted. Voluntary organizations also come under the remit of the C.V.U and all school employees will eventually be vetted. The Unit has the capacity to vet over 4,000 applications per week including entrants to Training Colleges and all Primary and Secondary Teachers. It must be borne in mind that vetting merely confirms that there is no criminal record.
TEACHING COUNCIL ACT 2001 The new Teaching Council, under the above act, is responsible for the registration of all newly qualified teachers. All existing teachers are being granted provisional one year recognition while the council accesses D.E.S records. The I.P.P.N recommends that the Garda Central Vetting Unit gives the Clearance Certificate to the Teaching Council. – a one stop shop facility, which would curtail duplication.
FIXED TERM WORK ACT 2003 Is there a legal requirement to have a written Contract of Employment? The answer is NO! but the employer however, must provide the employee with minimum terms on conditions of employment. Why should you have a
written contract? The answer is simple. A written contract provides the cushion of having something in writing. Also, there is the Unfair Dismissal Act to consider. If a teacher is employed for one year or more and has no written contract, they could claim they have an indefinite contract when in fact a permanent position does not exist. The advantage of the written contract is the insertion of the exclusion clause. In relation to the above, from a school context, it is vital that each temporary teacher understands clearly that his/her post is temporary. Why is it necessary to inform a temporary teacher of the "objective grounds" when reviewing a fixed term contract?
Job Sharing Parental Leave Unpaid Leave of Absence
The Fixed Term Work Act (2003) imposes an obligation on employers, when renewing a fixed term contract, to inform the employee in writing of the "objection grounds" justifying the renewal of the fixed term contract and the failure to offer the employee a contract of indefinite duration. The C.P.S.M.A recommends that Boards of Management informs all Temporary Teachers in writing of the objective grounds, when these teachers are being offered a fixed term contract (whether initial or renewed).
Remember, if we offer a renewal contract and don’t insert the objective grounds we are in breach of the law. The C.P.S.M.A has excellent guidelines re the employment of Temporary teachers. The contract entered into between a Board of Management and a fixed term teacher should contain a clause which refers directly to the objective condition determining the contract. A sample contract wording for a fixed term teacher replacing a teacher on career break could read "This Contract is a Fixed Term Contract of _____ duration and is offered to the absence of a Permanent teacher in the school who is currently on career break. The contract will end after a period of a year with annual application to renew up to 5 years”. This ensures a specified purpose contract rather than a Fixed Term one.
What are these "objective grounds"? Broadly they can be categorized as follows: Career Break Leave Carer’s Leave Secondment Adoptive Leave Unpaid Sick Leave
The above list does not cover a Temporary teacher filling in for a Resource Teacher for Travellers, Non English Speaking pupils etc. In light of the fact that some temporary positions are not covered it is necessary to amend sections 6 and 7 of the Contract of Employment. A paragraph such as "and derives from the creation of a temporary post under the Education Provision for Non English speaking pupils for the year 2006 – 07” could be inserted.
See also article on Employment Law by Emer Woodfull elsewhere in this issue
Standardised Assessments Harnessing Their Potential
Dr Eugene Wall Co-Author of the Micra-T and Sigma-T Attainment tests The heightened interest in the value of educational assessment can be traced to two relatively independent and distinct sources. Strong concerns about academic standards and resultant pressures for educational reform in the U.S. and other countries. 2. Changing views of assessment theorists on the nature and practice of learning Assessment for Learning. The growing recognition that the use of sound assessment practices can lead to a significant enhancement of the quality of schooling and learning has been gathering momentum in recent years i.e. Assessment for Learning vs. Assessment of Learning .
behalf of the public for information being made available on school performance (75%), publication of inspectors reports (73%) and literacy and numeracy attainments (66%).
It was felt that for too long in the U.S. the education system had not been accountable for its results with far too many children locked in failing schools and falling behind. Testing and providing independent data was seen, as the way to get information into the hands of parents, educators and taxpayers.
WHY TESTING WORKS ■ It provides information. We can only intervene effectively when we know what exactly is wrong. ■ It raises expectations. ■ It prevents children slipping "through the cracks" ■ Testing allows progress to be monitored. ■ Testing affirms the good work being done in school. ■ Testing ensures accountability. Accountability is associated with sanctions and/or incentives which drive better teaching pupil motivation and more effective school management, resulting in improved performance.
TESTING IN IRISH SCHOOLS Two years ago, the DES announced that from September 2006 teachers will be required to test their pupils in 1st Class, 6th Class and at one other time with the likelihood of an aggregation of test results nationally. Following consultation with NCCA, mandatory testing in literacy and numeracy at the end of 1st Class - beginning of 2nd Class and at the end of 4th Class/beginning of 5th class is proposed in conjunction with existing tests already in use. Is this a first tentative step towards league tables nationally? The views of the Irish public on Education Survey 2004 clearly shows a desire on
THE FUNCTION OF ASSESSMENT These functions could be classified under Decision making, accountability and certification. Instructional decision making is based on monitoring levels of progress, screening diagnosis and feedback which allows for a programme of whole school planning. Of course much of this is dependent on the availability of suitable accurate tests in clearly defined curricular areas with the results used to address problem areas identified. PRIMARY CURRICULUM REVIEW (NCCA) The 2005 review of the Revised Curriculum identified teacher observation as the most frequently used assessment tool, being used by almost all teachers at least a few times a week. Lack of time to carry out assessments was considered one of the greatest obstacles to progress. The importance of ensuring that the contents of various standardized tests are aligned to the content of the revised curriculum was also noted. The introduction of the General Allocation Model in the last school year has seen the devaluation of decision making and responsibility regarding which pupils qualify for learning support and how much provision they should receive. However, Standardised Attainment Tests will continue to play and important role in facilitating the selection of children for Learning Support and Resource Teaching. The needs of children with low achievement should at all times be the focus of Learning Support provision. Pupils achieving scores that are at or below the 10th percentile on standardised tests can be regarded in numeracy and literacy as having low achievement and should be given priority access to Learning Support. Schools should implement a policy of early intervention with the majority of children receiving supplementary teaching being in the Junior range of classes (1st - 2nd). Group sizes should be appropriate to the needs of the children and the Learning Support teacher should restrict his/her case load to no more than 30.
TESTS AS TOOLS FOR SELECTION Given the potential margin of error in test scores it is neither reliable nor appropriate to select PAGE 10
pupils for supplementary tuition solely on the basis of arbitrary cut-off scores e.g. a sten score of 3 or less or a standard score less than 80. In selecting pupils for Learning Support teacher's knowledge of pupils and informed teacher's judgment should be central factors. This is especially so where a teacher's judgment is based on extensive analysis of a pupils difficulties and strengths. The DES continues to stress that the effective assessment of children's learning and of teaching methodologies should be viewed as a key professional skill for teachers. Clear reporting structures should be established in all schools and pupils progress in literacy and numeracy should be closely monitored to ensure teaching programmes are appropriate. Classroom planning should focus clearly on the expected outcomes of learning and assessment should provide information on the actual outcomes. Each school should have a whole school plan for assessment which should provide data to inform teaching and learning.
CHALLENGES Contrary to what is often touted assessment is not "an unqualified good". In so far as assessment shapes instruction and schooling, it has the potential to positively or detrimentally affect the learning outcomes of pupils nationally. The main challenges are 1. Recognising the limits of assessment. 2. Improving the "technology of assessment" 3. Ensuring the manageability of assessment. 4. Avoiding the excess of a high stakes accountability culture. Thus far, teachers are far from convinced that extra time and resources invested in assessment would yield a worthwhile payoff in terms of improving the quality of instruction and learning. Greater awareness is needed of the fallibility of test instruments and consequently, there is a need to use multiple sources of evidence when making important decisions about pupils. Not everything that is worthwhile can be assessed and not everything that can be assessed is worthwhile - The full text of Dr. Eugene Walls presentation is available on www.ippn.ie Dr. Eugene Wall is Vice President Academic Affairs, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick and Chairperson of the NCCA’s Technical Working Group on assessment (Primary)
SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS: In-Service Training Over the last number of years the Department of Education and Science has been assigning a number of days for In-service Training as part of the Primary Curriculum Support Programme along with School Development Planning days. This year, the total number of days, inclusive of Curriculum and School Development Planning days is 7. All teachers attend these days, benefit from what they have to offer and regard them as essential for the delivery of high quality education in schools. However, Special Needs Assistants are not included in these days and must report for duty to an empty school and are assigned whatever duties are deemed appropriate. In addition to these 7 days this school year (2005/2006), Special Needs Assistants are expected to "spend a couple of days at the start and finish of each term in the preparation and cleaning up of equipment, etc", as per the Qualifications and Conditions of Service of Special Needs Assistants from the Department of Education and Science. If the SNA were to attend for just 1 day at the end and beginning of each term this would add up to another 6 days when Special Needs Assistants would report to school when teachers and children are not there. Over the course of the school year there could be a total of 12 such days. With the numbers of Special Needs Assistants having increased significantly in the last few years, schools could have a significant number of Special Needs Assistants on the school premises on these days. According to a recent NAMBSE report, the opportunities for schools to make better use of this yime for SNAs is obvious. If financial resources were made available to schools a range of training opportunities could be facilitated during these days. This would allow for the ongoing professional and personal development of Special Needs Assistants and would ultimately benefit the child by adding to the overall education provision in the school. Possible areas for professional development for SNAs would be the following: ■ Health & Safety training ■ Positive Programming / Applied Behaviour
Analysis ■ Manual Handling ■ First Aid ■ Crisis Preventative Intervention ■ PECS ■ TEACCH ■ Autism Many of the above training courses would need to complement refresher courses while the development of an "Induction Programme" for new Special Needs Assistants would be essential. The possibility of Special Schools within a locality coming together to provide training for SNAs should be considered thereby increasing the opportunities for ongoing training on days when children are not in school. It is clear that there are a lot of opportunities for the development and training of Special Needs Assistants providing that funding can be made available. It is now time for the development of an integrated plan to address this challenge. The NAMBSE survey raised the following issues with regard to the employment of Special Needs Assistants: ■ Concern at the low level of qualifications needed for entry ■ Changing pupil profile makes the need for SNA training essential ■ Facilitators are not willing to allow SNA’s to attend teacher training days ■ The Principal may not experience flexibility in trying to provide appropriate duties for SNAs on days when children are not in school. ■ The cost of providing training facilitators is expensive ■ Where in-house training is offered to SNAs it is often carried out by the Principal, who misses the curricular in-service on the day and tries to catch up on another occasion. ■ All schools found the cost of external facilitators prohibitive and also found it difficult to source the right person to deliver the in-service.
www.textaparent.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 textaparent to send messages to the parents in our school? Arrange for the collection of the parents’ mobile telephone numbers Log on to www.textaparent.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
National Pilot Project on Teacher Induction – a Principal’s Perspective
Aoife Ryan (NQT), Emer O'Dwyer (Mentor), Laura Leahy (NQT), Aiden O'Brien (Principal). Scoil Náisiúnta an Chroí Naofa, Glounthaune, Co. Cork.
Our school Scoil Cholmcille, CBS, Blarney Street is an eleven teacher school situated on the northside of Cork City, overlooking the river Lee. The school has evolved and grown over the last few years with the result that seven of the teachers have joined the school since 2002 and for five of the teachers, Blarney Street was their first appointment after leaving college. We have had a teacher doing their diploma for the past four years and have been involved with the National Pilot Project on Teacher Induction (NPPTI) for the past two years.
different procedures in the school. However, even very experienced teachers, I think, sometimes feel uncomfortable offering advice to new teachers. We underestimate the wealth of experience we have and may not feel too confident about telling others what to do. Teaching styles can be very personal and many teachers don’t want to appear to be interfering. Nevertheless, it became obvious to us that this system, where experienced teachers helped new teachers, was something that we could build on and formalise.
Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) are a valuable resource for schools. They bring energy as well as new ideas and methods from the training colleges and can contribute greatly to the overall life of the school. Starting any new job is difficult but I believe that starting your first day as a teacher is particularly daunting. Understandably, there is confusion about procedures and policies- knowing where to line up your class, what to do with sick children, how to deal with challenging behaviour, learning how to balance authority with friendship, having insufficient materials, even finding a seat in the staff room are all potential challenges for the new teacher. As the year goes on, new challenges present themselves – differentiation for special needs pupils, assessment, parentteacher meetings and of course the inspector’s visits and the diploma. It is an exciting year but it is a tough one also and NQTs need and deserve extra support.
Having recognised that there was a need for a more formal system of inducting new teachers, I was very happy in September 2004 when a letter arrived from St. Patrick’s College in Drumcondra inviting schools in the Cork area to get involved in a new pilot project on teacher induction. The experience has been very beneficial and has had a positive impact on the school. The main objective of the NPPTI at school level is supporting the professional development of NQTs by way of systematic support in their first year of teaching, thus laying the foundations for subsequent professional growth and development. The NQT receives support on three levels professional, personal and pedagogical. For the NQT the allocation of planning days, observation days, professional development days and access to a trained mentor have proven to be most beneficial, positive and valuable. These days are also approved for substitute cover, as is the time allocated to mentors to engage in mentoring activities and to facilitate attendance at professional development days. The professional development days are also an opportunity to meet other NQTs and mentors from other schools who are a wonderful resource. Through these contacts and other networks, we have also set up opportunities for the NQTs to visit other schools to look at their systems and observe other teachers teaching.
As much as I, as Principal, wanted to support and advise new staff I was very often unavailable when they needed me. The problem for me was that, as a newly appointed Principal and as a teaching Principal, I was often too busy to give the NQTs the full level of support they require. The NQTs have commented that they could see that I was busy and often didn’t want to bother me. Luckily, the more experienced and longer serving teachers in our school are very helpful and were very supportive and generous with their time and knowledge. They gave the new teachers practical tips and explained the
However, the key characteristic of the programme is access by the NQT to a mentor at school level. NQTs are offered support at school
level by experienced teachers, referred to as mentors. The mentor is a key person in this project. We were lucky in that we had a teacher on staff, Noreen, who was more than willing to take up the responsibility. Noreen has received professional training for her role and has been allocated release time, with substitute cover, to engage in mentoring activities with the NQT(s). She also undertook an optional weekend course, entitled ‘Mentoring for Newly Qualified Teachers’, which is an accredited part of the Certificate/ Diploma in Education (Mentoring) offered by D.C.U. While we have a whole school approach to the induction of NQTs, the role of the mentor within the whole school context is crucial to the support of the newly qualified teacher. NQTs value and acknowledge the importance of having ‘someone there for them’ in their first year of teaching. Noreen also frequently refers to the benefits she has gained as a result of working in close collaboration with NQTs. As well as the professional development, she has picked up new ideas about curriculum and teaching and has reflected on her own teaching. She has found the key methodologies of observation and reflection very enlightening. Teaching in front of an NQT and observing while an NQT teaches in front of you takes a bit of getting used to you, but Eddie, one of the NQTs, told me that observation is easily the most beneficial aspect of the programme. For it to be sucessful there needs to be a sense of trust between the teachers and the relationship needs to be built on openess, empathy and collegiality. I believe that the fact that the mentor is a fellow teacher who is formally trained and part of a national programme helps remove the unease. Once the initial awkardness had passed we found observation and reflection to be very beneficial. NQTs understand that observation is part of the programme and view it as an opportunity. I also feel that it is very beneficial that the mentor is a teacher rather than the Principal as it adds to the sense of shared leadership in the school. Continues on page 18
Continued from page 17
There are many ways of organising the observation sessions, but the system we adopted was that the mentor taught the NQT’s class lessons selected by the NQT. Then they would swap roles and the NQT would teach for the mentor. Other teachers on the staff were willing to participate and, occasionally, they also taught for the NQT while the mentor supervised their classes. We organised the observation sessions for dates when we knew that substitute cover was available for the mentor. Later in the day the mentor and the NQT would sit down and discuss how they got on. This ongoing conversation about the craft of teaching and the sharing of good practice fostered a sense of collegiality and collaboration in the school. Personally, I found it interesting and inspiring to sit down with teachers and discuss the nuts and bolts of classroom management and how teaching and learning could be improved. All of us are still learning and as Stoll and Fink (1996) say ‘There is a fundamental belief that learning never stops; there is always more to learn and pupils can only learn alongside adults who also learn, because ‘When teachers stop growing, so do their students’ (Barth 1990:50)’ Finally, as Principal it is great to see this programme further promote the culture of collegiality, openness and sharing that already exists in the school and to witness experienced and less experienced teachers trade tips and good practice. It is very interesting to have time to reflect on and discuss the craft of teaching and wonderful that an NQT receives the support that s/he deserves. It was great too to witness the empowering of my colleague who has taken up the role of mentor. While I am very much involved in the induction of new staff I am no longer their first port of call. This has freed up more of my time so that I can go and try to sort out the electrical system, collaborate on our English plan, liaise with the SETs about special needs provision, talk to Tullamore about the construction of a new boundary wall and try and do everything else that crops up from day to day!!! Billy Lynch, Príomh Oide, Scoil Cholmcille, CBS, Cork. March 2006 Reference Stoll, L. and Fink, D. 1996, Changing Our Schools, Open University Press, Buckingham, p.94 The National Pilot Project on Teacher Induction (Primary Pillar) is managed by a Primary Steering Committee consisting of representatives from DES, INTO, Colleges of Education and a Principal representative. Dr. Mark Morgan is Director of the National Pilot Project on Teacher Induction and Mary Burke is the Co-ordinator of the project (primary pillar). The project team will be writing to schools, in selected regions, in the coming weeks outlining its plans for forthcoming mentor training. If you are interested in finding out more about the pilot project please contact Ms. Suzanne Stone, Executive Officer, National Pilot Project on Teacher Induction, St. Patrick’s College of Education, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, at 01-8842288 or email@example.com
www.ippn.ie Easing Your Burden Are you a fan of the blank sheet of paper approach to developing policies, curriculum plans and so forth? Thought not! Do you prefer to use a template and tailor it to your school’s needs? Read on and you will see that www.ippn.ie hosts a wealth of useful templates, exemplars and other resources that could save you and your school valuable time and effort. All of the documents have been developed and submitted by Principals and we have placed the best examples in each case on the website. You can find the resources listed below on www.ippn.ie in the Resources section under the following headings: Curriculum Plans, Organisational Policies, Management Resources, Publications, Survey Results. Click on the relevant section heading; To view all of the documents in the section scroll to the bottom of the page and click on More Documents.To tailor these documents to your needs It’s So Easy! – Click on the document of your choice and Save it to your PC! Curriculum Plans ■ English Plan ■ Gaeilge Plan ■ Maths Plan ■ Science Plan ■ SPHE Plan ■ Visual Arts Plan ■ Monthly Planning Sheet ■ English Curriculum – The essential changes ■ English – A Play: Moving Statues ■ Curriculum schedule 2005/2006 ■ Also includes links to: : PCSP curriculum webpages : SDPS curriculum webpage Organisational Policies ■ Administration of Medicine ■ Anti-bullying ■ Attendance ■ Bus Safety ■ Career Breaks ■ Child Protection ■ Code of Discipline ■ Critical Incident ■ Data Protection ■ Enrolment ■ Equality ■ Equality of Opportunity ■ Healthy Lunch ■ Home School Liaison Scheme ■ Homework ■ ICT ■ In-Service Training & Education ■ Internet Acceptable Use ■ Job-sharing ■ Learning Support ■ Learning Support – Clustering ■ Parental Involvement ■ Parents’ Association – Constitution ■ Parents’ Association – Role and functions ■ Phone Policy – Staff & Children ■ Safety Statement ■ Sexual Harassment and Adult Bullying ■ Special Education Needs ■ Sports Code of Conduct ■ Student Council - Role and functions ■ Substance Use ■ Supervision ■ Use of ICT resources ■ WISC Assessment & Guidelines Management Resources ■ Absence recording tool – for each class ■ Boards of Management - Boards of Management - A Framework for Good Practice ■ Caretakers Contract ■ Class Preference Sheet ■ Commonly-used Acronyms & Terminology ■ Confirmation Mass Booklet ■ Contract for a School Secretary ■ Criteria & Marking Scheme for Shortlisting & Interviewing for a Teaching Post
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Cúntas Míosúil Cúntas Seachtaine Curriculum schedule 2005/2006 DES Building Grants Contact Details DES Planning and Building Guidelines Employee Expense Claim Form Employee Timesheet Template Example Contract for secretary & other ancillary staff Healthy Eating guidelines In School Management - A Critical Review This report was submitted to the D.E.S, Management Bodies, and the I.N.T.O. Infants Booklet – information booklet for parents of infants Information Leaflet for parents of Asylum Seeker and Refugee Children - Information Pack - available in English, Arabic, Croat, Albanian, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, French, Czech Interviewing SNAs – possible questions and marking aid IPPN PAYE & PRSI Information Meeting Minutes Template Monthly Planning Sheet Nut Allergy - Letter to Parents Parents' Survey Prescription Drugs Administration Form Pupil Behaviour Chart Pupil Transfer Form School Report Student Transfer Form Substitute Teacher Daily Record Templates to aid Principals gather information required for the Education Disadvantage Survey.
Publications ■ Quality Leadership Quality Learning – Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt - Michael Fullan (2006) ■ New Horizons for Smaller Schools - St. Patrick’s College & IPPN (2005) ■ The Future of Small Schools & Teaching ■ Principalship in Ireland - St. Patrick’s College & IPPN (2004) ■ Defining the Role of Primary Principal in Ireland – HayGroup Consultants (2002) Survey Results ■ IPPN Survey of Principals – Jan 06 ■ IPPN Questionnaire on Autistic Provision – Nov 05 ■ IPPN / NAPD Survey on Attitudes & Aspirations towards the role of Principal – Mar 05 ■ IPPN Survey of Newly Appointed Principals – Jan 05 ■ IPPN Survey on Principals' Workload – Oct 04 ■ IPPN Obesity Survey – Apr 04
We are always on the lookout for additional resources and would greatly appreciate if you could send the templates and exemplars you use to firstname.lastname@example.org (electronic copies) or to IPPN Support Office, Glounthaune, Co. Cork (hard copies). Many thanks in advance!
What makes Finland's education so good? Finland has often been hailed as having one of the most successful education systems. But what drives its high level of achievement? And what makes it different? Education Minister, Tuula Haatainen, puts the question into a stark economic context. How can a small, affluent country such as Finland maintain a high-wage, high-skill economy? It can't compete with the low-cost economies of Asia, so it must, as a matter of economic survival, invest heavily in education and training. "In Finland, we believe we have to invest in education, in research and in higher education. Education can pioneer new areas for jobs. We always need new skills for the labour force - so it means that we have to keep investing." This policy received an endorsement last month from an annual report from the World Economic Forum, which identified Finland as the world's most competitive economy, citing its "culture of innovation". Ms Haatainen, a minister in a centre-left coalition government, says that this economic imperative is best served by having a broad-based, openaccess education system. And in particular, she says the country's educational success can be attributed to the "unified" school system, which sees children staying at the same school between the ages of seven and 16, rather than having primary and secondary schools.
COMMON PATH "We don't divide at an early stage between students who do well and those that don't manage so well in schools," she says, speaking at Finland's Education Ministry in Helskini. EDUCATION IN FINLAND ● Pre-school begins at age 6 ● Comprehensive school: age 7 to 16 ● Upper secondary school or vocational school: 16 to 19 ● Pupils in Finland, age 7 to 14, spend fewest hours in school ● Higher education places for 65% young people
● Second-highest public spending on higher education. (Source: OECD)
also have longer holidays than in the UK, including a 10-week break in the summer.
"Studies show that it is dangerous to divide too This places greater responsibility on families - and early into different educational paths. We believe Ms Haatainen says that an important ingredient that if we invest in all children in Finland's high achievement in for nine years and give them “In Finland children enter reading and writing is a strong the same education then we of reading in the home. school at seven - and then culture will reach the best results." Parents nurture a love of reading only for half days. They also among children and this is From the perspective of have longer holidays than supported by a network of public parents in the United in the UK, including a 10- libraries, says the minister. Kingdom and Ireland, this removes the recurrent week break in the summer.’ In the last international education questions about selection and league tables, produced by the the scramble for school places at the age of 11, OECD, Finland's 15 year olds were judged to have when children change from Primary to the highest standards of literacy in the world. Secondary. Ms Haatainen also says that the country has made In Finland, this divide comes at the age of 16, a conscious effort to have highly-qualified when pupils will decide whether to go to teachers throughout the school system. academic upper secondary schools or into RE-SKILLING WORKERS vocational education - with very few youngsters entirely dropping out of education or training. Compared to the UK, Finland has a higher unemployment rate - currently about 8% - and an The emphasis on investing in education has aim of the education policy is to improve adult created a system where as much as possible is education. delivered to students without charge. School meals are free to all pupils, there are no university "We have lots of people who do not have any fees and students can stay in the upper secondary education beyond basic education and they have stage (loosely equivalent to sixth forms) for up to been in the labour force for a long time. And we four years. have a special programme for these people to 'FAIR PLAY' give them chances to come back to vocational training, such as ICT [information and There is a philosophy of inclusion underlying this communication technology], so that they can system, she says - arguing that widening manage in the changing labour market." participation in education is the most effective way of finding the most talented students. Language learning is also a key to this effort to compete - and the success is apparent in the "It's like ice hockey. We let all the girls and boys hugely impressive standards of English to be play, not only the best ones. With this fair play, we heard throughout Helsinki, whether it's from can give everyone the same chance to practise shop staff or people talking to overseas visitors. their skills - and this also gives us the way to find the best ones." In a relatively short of space of time, Finland has transformed itself from an agricultural country to a Finland's education system, when compared to high-tech economy, associated more with mobile the UK, is also different in the later age at which phone company Nokia than with timber-felling. pupils enter schools. While pupils in the UK enter formal schooling at five, in Finland children enter And the fast-forward button has been education. school at seven - and then only for half days. They
Taken from Law Societ Gazette Education 34
Emer Woodfull Schools are hitting the headlines. Discipline, bullying, health and safety in creches, and school evaluations are hot topics. With the growth in school related legislation it’s an area of increased litigation. But are the people managing schools competent to do so? "While Boards of Management may be doing their best," says Sean Cottrell, Director of the Irish Primary Principals Network,"they are underresourced, unqualifed, untrained and undersupported. There is no value put on prevention. €1 million spent now on training them could save €10 million in litigation" Both Cottrell and Fr Dan O’Connor General Secretary of the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association agree that Employment Law is the biggest area of concern for Boards of Management. Fr O Connor says that "Boards of Management are supposed to be applying all the new employment legislation with no training and no back up."
Chief Executive of the National Parents Council said this case was "very significant and set down a real marker for schools not dealing with bullying and other behaviour issues in a fair way." The second case , that of Hennessy–v-St Gerard’s School Trust 2, concerned a probationer teacher in a private school who was awarded €15,000 damages by the High Court because of a failure by the School Board to grant her a hearing before deciding whether to keep her on or let her go at the end of the probationary period.
entitled I think the compensation should be on a modest scale," and accordingly he awarded a sum of €15,000. The plaintiff was awarded costs, at Circuit Court level for four days of a six-day hearing. In contrast, in a case where the court ruled that correct procedures had been followed a complaint against a school was not upheld. In Mulvey–v-Mc Donagh3 featured in the last issue, Mr Justice Johnson in refusing a claim for damages as a result of an alleged assault and bullying by a fellow pupil said, inter alia, that "the school had provided documents for the parents, had attended seminars and were all very concerned about the question of bullying." He also found that the required degree of care that of a prudent parent had been exercised by the school in the instant case.
Commenting on this case, Fionnuala Kilfeather
While Mr Justice Kevin Haugh ruled that the school’s Board of Governors had been entitled to reach it’s decision not to continue Ms Hennessy’s contract, he went on to say that he was satisfied that certain agreements or It would appear therefore that schools that fail to understandings had been concluded between a have procedures in place in relation to how school school management organization of which St policies should be implemented, and or who fail Gerards was a member and the ASTI which to implement those procedures in a fair way, do would have afforded a probationer the right to so at their peril. address the Board. It would appear that in the lead up to the making of the decision the school The Board of Management of a had followed correct procedures in that the "headmaster had “The Board of Management primary school is charged with carried out approporiate and therefore which is unpaid, a very difficult task. While the overall responsibility for reasonable investigation", that the untrained and part time, providing education in the conclusion "was reached on reasonable grounds" and that "the with a requirement to meet state lies with the Minister4, the plaintiff had been informed in only four times a year, has to Board of Management of the sufficient detail throughout her negotiate and implement School has responsibility for managing the school5, is period at St Gerard’s as to the Principal’s concerns and that she the dizzying statutory array required to publish the policy of the school6 and is the had been offered help and of legislation” employer who appoints assistance." But the school fell at teachers and other staff and who may suspend or the last fence by not giving the plaintiff the dismiss staff7. The Board of Management opportunity to address the Board about therefore which is unpaid, untrained and part complaints about her performance, before they time, with a requirement to meet only four times made the crucial decision to terminate their a year, has to negotiate and implement the relationship with her. Mr Justice Haugh said dizzying statutory array of everything from the "since I am satisfied as a matter of strong probability Education Act 1998 to the Occupiers Liability Act that the plaintiff would have been let go, even had 1995, to the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work she been afforded the opportunity to which she was
1 Ó Donnchadha-v-Scoil Chearbhaill Uí Dhálaigh Irish Times Feb 07 2006 2 Hennessy –v- St Gerard’s School Trust, H Ct February 17 2006 3 Mulvey ( an infant) –v- Mc Donagh H Ct (2004) 1 I.R 497
4 Education Act 1998 S 7 5 Education Act 1998 S 8 6 Education Act 1998 S 15
Whatever the shortcomings in the current system, two recent cases have highlighted the penalties schools will face if proper procedures are not followed by Boards of Management. In February in the Circuit Court case of Ó Donnchadha-v-Scoil Chearbhaill Uí Dhálaigh1 Judge Joseph Matthews approved a settlement offer of €10,000 damages to include costs in relation to the claim that the then 6 year old boy had been bullied, verbally abused, kicked and punched, spat at and jeered and had stones thrown at him over a one year period. Counsel for the boy told the court that his parents felt the school was not doing enough to protect their son after complaints were made. Judge Matthews said that the circumstances of the bullying had not been beyond the control of the school and that it was unfortunate that it had taken so long to come to the attention of the school.
7 Education Act 1998 S 24.
Act 2005, to the Equal Status Act 2000 to the Employment Equality Act 1998 and to the Education Welfare Act 2000. In addition they need to have a general understanding of what the ever growing body of common law has decided in relation to school related and employment issues. It’s not surprising that teachers, Principals and Boards of Management may feel overwhelmed. Sean Cottrell has described the current system as "harnessing a team of Clydesdales to a 40 foot trailer and asking them to negotiate their way safely home along a four lane motorway." Cottrell would prefer to see a system whereby School Boards were governors of schools as opposed to managers.
Parents of course have a statutory right of appeal to the Board of Managment against the decision of a teacher or other member of staff of the school under the Education Act11, and they also have the right of appeal against a decision to expel a pupil12. While schools will no doubt be familiar with this procedure they may not have fully appreciated the increased obligations they must now take on board on foot of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005, which provides litigants with an enlarged statutory basis on which they might rely. Section 8 of that Act requires that,
It is essential however that all of these parties are aware of what they are required to do to ensure that the school is properly run and is following fair procedures that may go some way to providing a defence in the face of litigation. In addition to the areas of law outlined above, schools should also be implementing the Education Welfare Act 2000 which requires that the school publish a fairly wide ranging code of behaviour that covers matters including acceptable standards of behaviour by students, and the procedures to be followed in the event of any breach8. It also states that the Code of Behaviour shall be prepared in accordance with guidelines as may be issued by the National Educational Welfare Board, set up under the Act. Schools have however been in the somewhat unfortunate position of having had to meet this requirement without the assistance of those guidelines that still haven’t been published. In relation to bullying, Departmental Guidelines issued in 1993 state that the anti–bullying code outlined therein "should be included as part of the School Plan/Policy Statement and should be available to all by way of a written Code Of Behaviour and discipline for the school."9 While schools may indeed feel overwhelmed by and afraid of the law, it will not be a defence to plead ignorance of it. As a bare minimum schools must adhere to and properly understand the legal principles of audi alteram partem and nemo iudex in causa sua in all of it’s dealing. These principles should obviously permeate everything from fair and accurate record keeping, to sharing such records in a transparent manner where a party seeks to rely on them, to affording the other side the opportunity to respond to any allegations made, to conducting any oral hearing or job interview in an impartial way and not to ask questions such as "Considering that you’ve been teaching for 27 years, why would you now be bothered with the hassle of the job of Deputy Princlipal."? mentioned in the case of O’ Neill-v-Board of Management, St Gabriel’s N.S.10. An Equality officer held that the claimant had been discriminated against on the ground of age. 8 Education (Welfare) Act 2000 S 23 9 Guidelines on Countering Bullying behaviour in Primary and PostPrimary Schools Sept 1993. 10 Decision No.DEC-E2005/007 11 Education Act 1998 S 28.
"Every employer shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the safety health and welfare at work of his or her employees". The Act defines "reasonably practicable" as meaning, "that an employer has exercised all due care by putting in place the necessary protective and preventive measures, having identified the hazards and assessed the risks to safety and health likely to result in accidents or injury to health at the place of work concerned and where the putting in place of any further measures is grossly disproportionate having regard to the unusual, unforeseeable and exceptionalnature of any circumstance or occurrence that may result in an accident at work or injury to health at that place of work."13 Apart from requiring the school to exercise all due care in assessing any potential physical hazards in the workplace, and putting in place necessary preventive measures, there are clear implications for the school regarding identifying hazards such as adult bullying and having in place an adequate written risk assessment and safety statement in relation to this. The Act goes on to require that the risk assessment be updated as appropriate14 and that a safety statement be prepared based on the identification of the hazards15. In formulating such a statement schools should have regard to identifying what the hazard might be, who and how many people might be exposed to it, what might constitute a resultant injury, and what loss might a person might suffer (See David Ruddy’s Legal Diary also in this issue). In undertaking such an assessment schools might consider the kind of behaviour as reported to a teacher’s bullying helpline. It ranged from the discontinuing of school duties without explanation, comments ignored at school meetings, interference by Principals with arrangements made by teachers, teachers interfering with other teacher’s classes. They should also consider that, in addition to the most commonly reported instance of bullying reported to the helpline, that of teacher by Principal, parties exposed might be teacher by parent, teacher to teacher, and Special Needs Assistants also come into the equation. There is 12 13 14 15 16
Education Act 1998 S 29 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. S 2 (6) Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. S 19 (3) Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. S 20 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. S 8 (2) (g)
also an obligation on the Employer under the Act to provide training to staff16. This is an area where Boards of Management might find themselves exposed in not complying with the statutory requirements. In addition to these obligations it would appear that the Safety Statement should also be brought to the attention of other persons within the school including parents and pupils who may be exposed to any specific risk to which the safety statement applies17. Staff in school also have wider statutory duties. The Act states that , 13. (1) An employee shall, while at work— (a) comply with the relevant statutory provisions, as appropriate, and take reasonable care to protect his or her safety, health and welfare and the safety, health and welfare of any other person who may be affected by the employee’s acts or omissions at work, As the employees obligations now extend therefore to any other person that may be found to include parents and pupils and other visitors. The Act also mandates that the employee not engage in any improper conduct to those other persons18. As the Act has enlarged the category of persons it effects that would seemingly also widen the categories for which the employer will be vicarious liable for torts done by it’s employees, in this case, by teachers. There would also appear to be a reporting requirement placed on employees in relation to any breaches19. It will be interesting to see how strictly the courts require schools to follow these enlarged requirements. It is obvious however that Boards of Management and staff in schools carry a heavy legal burden. The publications of Departmental circulars obviously provide some guidance. Individual teachers can avail of legal back up from their unions. Support is also provided by the churches, the National Parents Council and the Irish Primary Principals Network. The publication of documents such as Working Together20, which set outs a very clear graduated procedural framework at primary level for inter staff complaints from the bottom up, is also helpful. However how well any procedures are implemented depends on how well they are understood. It appears however that there isn’t any one umbrella under which Boards of Management can find support and guidance in their pivotal role. Emer Woodfull, a former teacher and journalist, is a practising barrister.
17 18 19 20
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. S 20 (3) ( c) Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 S (1) (e) Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. S 13 (1) (h) (iii) Working Together, Procedures and Policies For positive Staff Relations INTO. 2000
Disadvantage Making the Grade Barnardos, Ireland’s leading children’s charity, works with children and families in areas of disadvantage in over 30 locations around Ireland. Through our work we see the intergenerational cycles of poverty and educational disadvantage and in response launched our ‘Make the Grade’ campaign on April 11th 2006, highlighting the impact of educational disadvantage on children. We issued the Government with a Report Card, grading it on its performance in six key educational areas, with the over-all comment being that the "Government must do better". The six key areas are literacy and numeracy; dropping out; pre-school/ school readiness; school costs; out of school activities; and support for children and teachers. These were chosen as a result of examining international best practice and in consultation with teachers, Principals, parents and unions including the IPPN. Evidenced based policy recommendations are presented in each of these areas and if implemented would greatly improve all children’s experience and performance within the educational system. Barnardos experience shows that the loss of education impacts on children throughout their childhood and also their adult lives as it will increase their likelihood of unemployment which in turn will affect future generations. In one particular area that Barnardos works in it was commented that the prevalence of educational disadvantage from a young age impacts on children’s ability to progress within the system resulting in "only 1 in 100 children from our catchment area will go to college, despite the county average being 1 in 4." Of particular concern is that despite extensive financial investment, overall literacy standards have not improved since 1980. Around 1 in 3 children in primary schools in disadvantaged areas are experiencing serious difficulties with reading and writing whereas the national average is 1 in 10. Although measures to tackle this are planned for the designated schools identified as disadvantaged under the roll out of the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools strategy (DEIS) Barnardos feels this will not go far enough. Barnardos recommends a reduction in class sizes, introduction of class room assistants especially in the early years, adaptation of teaching methodologies and more culturally appropriate materials for children from minority groups especially those for who English is not their first language. Barnardos believes it is tragic that up to 1,000 children annually fail to transfer to secondary school and that no system is in place to identify these children. The establishment of a primary school pupil database as a matter of urgency is recommended in order to track these children who drop out of school at this stage. Although preliminary work on this database has been completed it is not operational yet as there has been no political driver to progress it. Once established it must link with the secondary school pupil database so that children can be tracked from one academic year to the next. This weakness in the system results in children being excluded and as a staff member highlighted "a child came to this area
but did not register with any secondary school and now he has been out of school for two years and the system has not picked him up because there is no tracking mechanism." Having access to available and appropriate supports can assist teachers and Principals in ensuring that a child reaches their educational potential. In particular the National Educational Psychologist Service (NEPS) must be fully resourced to shorten the waiting times for children. The delay to receive an educational assessment obviously impacts on the child’s development and means that supports are not available to assist teachers and schools with children presenting with learning or behavioural difficulties. Early detection and intervention is best for the child, their class and teacher to ensure the child gets the most out of school. As one parent described "my fourteen year old child didn’t get the help he needed in Primary school even though it was clear that he was unable to reach the reading and writing standards for his age. The problem had got so bad that he could not cope with school and the school could not cope with him. He is now out of school, but his younger brother got help early on and the problem is being solved. Early intervention is the answer." Barnardos believes that the solution to educational disadvantage calls for systemic change permeating the whole educational system. It involves children, teachers, Principals, parents, community, statutory agencies such as NEPS and the NEWB and the Department of Education and Science. However, the partnership between all these agents can be hindered if there is inadequate support or insufficient resources to facilitate them to work collectively in the interests of the child. Examples of successful initiatives at local level that enhance partnership and promote leadership include the Bridging the Gap programme in Cork which offers a range of supports to 42 schools in the city. These supports include professional development of teachers, facilitating the sharing of best practice amongst teachers and Principals and combining school and community interventions aimed at improving educational experience and performance. The evaluation of this programme found improved performance of pupils and enhanced professional development for teachers and Principals. Through the campaign, Barnardos is highlighting that the education system is failing children who are already facing the challenge of living in poverty. Education could potentially help lift them out of poverty but if current trends continue not only will this generation of children be condemned to a life-time of missed opportunity and robbed potential but their children too. You can pledge your support for campaign and find out more information by clicking on the website www.barnardos.ie and sending a School Report Card to Government via e-mail. June Tinsley Policy Officer
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MMSA Cluster Mid-term Report Hunt N.S. Mohill; Tashinny N.S. Ballymahon; St.John’s N.S. Edgeworthstown The clustering of our 3 schools, an IPPN sponsored initiative, which officially began with the forming of an Association MSSA (Midland Small Schools’ Association) last September, has proved successful in achieving our main aims of: ■ Reducing the stress and the workload of the Teaching Principal in small schools. ■ Improving our schools by sharing best practice and planning days. ■ Clustering of our B.O.M. to share best practice. ■ Parents’ involvement in shared events.
We continue to plan for a shared sports day. We will use the expertise of a qualified P.E instructor with the attraction of our local Olympic contender both in Sydney and Athens, Derek Burnett to talk to the children and award the prizes.
To reduce the workload, we appointed a cluster secretary. Since her appointment, the secretary has streamlined and co-ordinated our administration systems - filing, accounts, etc. At present a common system of indexing policies is being put in place. (This of course, is in addition to preparing material for BOM and PTA meetings, and general office work). The secretary’s own words were ‘I couldn’t have set up these systems, if I hadn’t seen how other schools did it’ The stress levels will be reduced because deadlines are being met and if a school has a WSE, administration systems are in place and the cluster is there to support that school. It is demanding and exhausting for a small school with a teaching Principal to prepare for a WSE .on its own.
This, our first year of clustering, has been the most testing year. All three Principals involved have been absent for extended periods on either sick leave or maternity leave at different times during the year.
A fourth school has seen the benefits and is interested in joining our association. Our forthcoming plans to cluster the Boards of Managements of MSSA has been met with great enthusiasm and support. Three additional school Boards have now requested to attend our initial meeting in The Education Centre in Carrick-onShannon, where they will hear what ■ The Education Centre has to offer to the school community. ■ BOM - developing a vision for the school ■ Boards of Management and Whole School Evaluation ■ Importance of clustering small schools.
The clustering will empower parents as they meet other parents and help to organise events. It will encourage them in supporting what their children do and what their school does.
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Yet the cluster continued to liaise and give support, thus ensuring the seamless administrative running of the schools while still continuing to develop the aims of the cluster. Surely, this is proof that not only is clustering good for small schools it is essential for their survival. All good things come at a cost. There are additional expenses involved, especially in employing a suitable co-ordinator and in acquiring transport and venues in rural areas. Noting what the benefits of the €3000 bursary has allowed us to achieve, just think what could be done if the Department of Education and Science allocated funding for clustering projects. We would like to thank IPPN and especially Tomas O Slatara ,who put in so much time and effort in carrying out research into clustering as outlined in ‘Brechadh Re Nua’ We would like to commend and thank IPPN for their vision in awarding the bursaries and the confidence they have shown in our proposals.
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Diary of meetings held by IPPN on behalf of Principals Are you in the market for sports and leisurewear? Then contact AZZURRI, the Waterford-based supplier of quality sports and leisurewear. Benefits: • Genuine savings through IPPN’s competitive discounted rate • Experienced & dedicated service team • Quality playing kit, school jackets and tracksuits tailored to your schools needs • GAA licensed kit & AZZURRI CE approved hurling helmet • Quick and efficient delivery service countrywide For enquiries FREEPHONE 1800 380 980 quote IPPN for great savings email@example.com • www.azzurri.ie
MARCH 2006 IPPN - Post Conference Review Meeting IPPN / INTO – strengthening communications, links and benchmarking Barnardos - Discussion of Advocacy Campaign and IPPN /Barnardos roles One Teacher Support Group in Roscommon –establishing supports Microsoft – Programme for integrated learning Brigid Mc Manus & Peter Baldwin, DES –current education issues Áine Lawlor, Teaching Council – IPPN role and links with Teaching Council Enda Kenny& Olwyn Enright, Fine Gael –discussion on education policy Pat Rabbitte & Jan O Sullivan, Labour - discussion on education policy CPSMA AGM – represented by President and National Director National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), Northern Ireland AGM North South Exchange Consortium (NSEC)–assisting with research and NS links Dundalk Principal’s Focus Group and school visits by IPPN President Teaching Council Launch –IPPN represented Ian O’Herlihy, Arthur O’Hagan Solicitors – Legal issues for Principals
APRIL 2006 ICP Council meeting –Virginia elected to ICP Executive Barnardos Advocacy Campaign – IPPN represented Online Claims System (OLCS) - Management Group meeting re OLCS training Paddy Flood, National Co-ordinator for LDS –planning LDS/IPPN links/projects Frank Wyse, Director of Regional Offices –language supports for ‘New Irish’ Marie Dunphy, LDS – Newly Appointed Principals
MAY 2006 Prof Michael Fullan workshops – Athlone, Kilkenny & Maynooth Deputy Principals Conference, Portlaoise- Title ‘Giorraíonn Beirt Bóthar’ NAHT, Belfast meeting – collaboration on North /South links IPPN/INTO – Benchmarking Meeting with Frank Wyse DES – Function of Regional Offices NAPD – building IPPN/NAPD links
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The National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education
The National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education (NABMSE) was set up in the late 60s in response to the increasing numbers of Special Schools established by parents and friends organisations. Because these Boards of Management related to non denominational schools, they did not have formal representation. The main objective of NABMSE was and is to unite Boards of Management in Special Education and to give expression to their individual and collective concerns affecting children with Special Education Needs. In furtherance of this objective NABMSE seeks: (a) To achieve adequate deployment of resources to support education for persons with Special Education Needs (b) To promote the highest standard of education for persons with Special Education Needs (c) To encourage and facilitate communication and co-operation between persons engaged in the education of persons with Special Education Needs (d) To arrange or assist in arranging conferences, discussions and meetings on subjects of general or special interest in the field of management in Special Education (e) To promote the study of best practices with regard to their impact on enhancing the abilities of persons with Special Education Needs (f) To collaborate with Boards of Management of mainstream schools in the provision of education for pupils with Special Education Needs. And the organization has the power (g) to rent/lease or buy/build premises as may be needed (h) to provide equipment as may be needed (I) to raise funds (j) to apply for grants (k) to receive money and make payments on behalf of the group (1) to engage staff
(m) to do all such things as are necessary for, or ancillary to the furtherance of the main objective All Boards of Management providing Special Education are eligible for membership of NABMSE.
AIMS The aims of the Association of Boards of Management in Special Education is to unite Boards of Management of special schools, and of mainstream schools with special classes, and to provide a means for the expression of their individual and collective concerns on matters affecting the education of pupils with Special Education Needs. The Association represents Boards of Management of Special Schools and mainstream schools with Special Classes, those who provide support for children with low incidence and high incidence of Special Education Needs (SEN) and Learning Support needs, and those who are regarded as being within the following disciplines: (a) Mild general learning disability (b) Moderate general learning disability (c) Severe and profound general learning disability (d) Multiple disabilities (e) Orthopedic disability (f) Within the Autistic spectrum (g) Mild emotional and behavioral difficulties (h) Severe emotional and behavioral difficulties (I) Visual impairment (j) Hearing impairment (k) Language disorders (1) Specific learning disabilities
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