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Foreword The role of Principal has experienced more radical and continuous change in recent years than any other role in Irish primary education. The Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) was established to professionally represent the leaders of 3,300 primary schools. IPPN has extensively researched the role of Principal both formally, through conferences and surveys, and informally, through direct contact with Principals in focus groups and “listening” to individual Principals, both teaching and administrative, of all school types. The evidence accumulated indicates that all Principals have four basic needs: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Dedicated professional representation and guidance Practical supports and resources Systematic high-quality professional development Remuneration appropriate to the role

1-2 The raison d’etre of IPPN is the provision of dedicated professional representation & guidance along with practical supports and resources for Principals relevant to the uniqueness of the role. These are areas of responsibility in which IPPN has already made significant progress. 3.

Since the first dedicated National Conference for Principals in 1994, our Network has sought a comprehensive national programme of professional development for Principals. Our representation on this issue has finally borne fruit with the recent initiation of the DES School Management/Leadership Development Programme. The DES In-Career Development Unit and Clare Education Centre are presently initiating this project. The nature, scope and importance of this programme will become evident in the near future.

4.

The responsibility for representing and negotiating the salary and conditions of Principals rests unequivocally with the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO). Virtually all Principals are members of the INTO. However, the reality evidenced in IPPN’s research concludes that Principals believe their role was underserved when previous opportunities to address the remuneration of Principals arose. The key issues which must be addressed by the INTO in the benchmarking process on behalf of Principals are clearly outlined in the document “The Value of Leadership?” This document makes a professional argument as to why Principals, who are full members of the INTO, deserve to have a comprehensive and properly researched case made on their behalf to the Public Service Benchmarking Body. Principals have high expectations that this process will give due regard to their leadership role and that they will be rewarded appropriately.

While stating the case for the Principal, IPPN fully recognises the role played by the Deputy principal, middle management, teaching and ancillary staff and in the running of schools. A strong statement of the role of Principal is not meant to diminish other roles. It should serve to highlight what each practicing member of the teaching profession is aware of - the fact that the ‘buck’ stops with his or her Principal. It is time that such common knowledge found its way into the formal documentation that can influence such areas as pay and conditions. “The Value of Leadership?” urges the INTO to fully acknowledge and appreciate the leadership role of Principals in primary schools and to make an accurate representation on our behalf in the final stages of the benchmarking process. Excellence in school leadership is pivotal to quality in education. It is vital to the future of the teaching profession that Principalship becomes a more attractive position for younger teachers, thus ensuring greater levels of ambition towards school leadership. Serving the needs of leadership at this time of great change will actually stand to the long-term benefit of the entire teaching profession.

Jim Hayes, President, IPPN © IPPN

Seán Cottrell, Director, IPPN 1


The Value of Leadership? Contents Page 1.0 Introduction

2

2.0 Background

5

3.0 Administration and Management

9

4.0 Leadership

13

5.0 Skills

16

6.0 Communication

18

7.0 Policy

22

8.0 Compliance

23

9.0 Educational Initiatives and Reports

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10.0 Principalship & The INTO Written Submision to The Benchmarking Body 11.0 Conclusions

26 30

12.0 Appendices Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Appendix 4 Appendix 5 Appendix 6 Appendix 7 Appendix 8

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The Principal and Administration The Principal and Management The Principal and Leadership The Education Act 1998, Part V DES Circular 16 / ‘73 The Education (Welfare) Act, Part lll DES Learning-Support Guidelines, 2000, Chapter 3

IPPN Committees

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33 38 43 45 47 51 54 56


1.0 Introduction 1.1 The Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) was founded in 1999 following a series of National Conferences for Primary Principals, which began in Cork in 1994. The Network was established to provide for the professional development of Primary Principals and to give Principals a voice in the development and implementation of policy at national level. The appointment of a National Director and the expansion across the 26 counties has enabled the Network to achieve a great deal in its key objectives in a very short time. 1.2 The IPPN, as currently constituted, does not have an industrial relations mandate, relying on the INTO for representation on such matters. However, the issues surrounding professional development of Principals to allow them to respond to an ever expanding and complex role on the one hand and the matter of proper compensation for delivering on a demanding role in a professional and competent manner, are opposite sides of the same coin. Principals have shown enthusiasm and commitment in responding to the challenges of what is universally accepted as a diverse and onerous role by accepting and embracing the opportunities provided for their professional development. 1.3 Opportunities to affect matters of compensation for the role of Principal arise very seldom in the context of national agreements. When such an opportunity arises, as it does now in the context of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF), it is essential that it be grasped and the role of Principal be reflected accurately in all its complexity to provide the Benchmarking Body, set up under the PPF, with the information, background and role descriptors to enable it to make an accurate and realistic assessment and identify suitable comparators for the Principal’s role. 1.4 Benchmarking is a concept normally reserved for organisations and has been used primarily in industry and the private sector. It has been defined as follows:

“Benchmarking is a tool for improving performance by learning from best practices and understanding the processes by which they are achieved. Application of benchmarking involves four basic steps. Firstly, understand in detail your own processes. Next, analyse the processes of others. Then, compare your own performance with that of others analysed. Finally, implement the steps necessary to close the performance gap. It follows that benchmarking involves looking outward (outside your own organisation, industry, region or country) to examine how others achieve their performance levels and to understand the processes they use. In this way benchmarking helps explain the processes behind excellent performance. When the lessons learnt from a benchmarking exercise are

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applied appropriately, they facilitate improved performance in critical functions within an organisation or in key areas of the business environment.” 1

Benchmarking as applied under the PPF, is closer to Job Grading than comparison across organizations with a view to improving performance. Job Grading involves comparison of posts across a range of factors, usually including some or all of the following: Range and nature of the duties involved Skills and experience required Level of Responsibility Level of Decision-making and the independence or otherwise of such decision making. o Responsibility for Leadership and Direction o Responsibility for assets and data o Responsibility for Contacts and Confidentiality

o o o o

Clearly, any ‘benchmarking’ of posts, which identifies the features of the post and establishes suitable comparators, either within or external to the public service, must be based on a precise and adequate description of the post involved. 1.5 On the basis of the foregoing, this document will: 1. Provide the background and context in which the role of the Primary Principal should be assessed. 2. Outline the role of Principal under a number of headings viz. o Administration and Management o Leadership o Communication o Skills Required for the post o Policy o Compliance o Educational Initiatives While not an exhaustive account of the Principal’s role the document will provide the basis for presenting that role as separate and distinct from any other in the primary education system. 3. Assess the INTO submission to the Benchmarking Body and its representation of the Role of Principal. 4. On the basis of the description of the role of Principal this document will assert that: a) the role of Principal, which in the past was considered fundamentally a teaching role with some added administrative duties, can no longer be characterized in this way. 1

http://www.benchmarking-ineurope.com/library/archive_material/articles_publications/archive_psi_articles/explained.htm

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b) the difference between the teaching role and that of Principal, previously viewed as a ‘quantative’ difference must now also be viewed in ‘qualitative’ terms. c) the role of Principal relative to teaching or middle management in the school must be examined in the light of primary, and in some cases, ultimate responsibility. For this purpose the matter of the delegation of duties, which has become increasingly possible with the development of middle management, must be differentiated from the issue of responsibility, which cannot be delegated. d) benchmarking the teaching role is not an acceptable basis for a reasonable and accurate analysis of the Principal’s role and a separate case must be made and a different set of comparators at managerial level identified. Duties, and particularly responsibilities, must be comparable. The focus should be on the Principal as manager with suitable comparators among managerial staff in the public and private sectors. e) in the light of d) and of the role description of the Principal, a compensation package commensurate with the range and nature of the duties, the responsibilities etc. involved must be put in place. f) it is no longer acceptable that such a compensation package be based on a common basic scale with a percentage allowance for Principalship. This approach is anachronistic and will not result in Principals receiving just reward for their input, with long-term consequences for recruitment and retention in this crucial area of school management. g) the Benchmarking process allows for such situations: “Within each sector, it is accepted that internal relativities would be a relevant criterion but it will be made clear in the terms of reference that traditional or historical relativities between groups in a sector would not prevent the Benchmarking Body from recommending what it considers are appropriate pay rates on the 2 basis of existing circumstances”

2

Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, Annexe to Framework, ii Public Sector Pay, No.13

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2.0 Background 2.1 Historical Background Historically the role of Principal has been viewed essentially as a teaching role with some additional administrative duties with the ‘Master’ having a certain status in both school and community. Principals up to the final two decades of the last century found it relatively manageable to teach a class and manage whatever administrative duties were imposed by the Rules for National Schools. Management functions and most certainly issues of leadership rarely if ever arose for the Principal. The pace of change, the task of managing staff and the broader school community through such change would have found little resonance with Principals in the 60s or 70s or in the era prior to that. In such a context the concept of a Principal’s allowance as compensation for the extra duties seemed a reasonable and plausible response. The Common Basic Scale plus a percentage reflected the de facto situation, as it then existed. This is no longer the case. 2.2 The Role of the Principal Teacher: A Review (1991), INTO Introduction: “In response to the resolution on the duties and responsibilities of principal teachers which was adopted by congress1990 the Central executive committee decided to commission Mr. Don Herron to prepare a report on the duties and responsibilities of principal teachers with a view to presenting the findings of the report to congress 1991. A steering committee consisting of Senator Joe O’Toole, General Secretary Designate, Ms. Marjorie Murphy, Mr. Noel Ward, Mr. Donal O’Longsigh, and Mr. John Carr, Education Officer was established to oversee the project”. Conclusion: “The tasks and responsibilities of principal teachers, both what they do and what they are expected to do, have changed significantly in the last twenty years. The majority of the changes have occurred to schools and for principal teachers. They have resulted from initiatives to reform the curriculum (1971), to facilitate delegation to post-holders (1973), to involve laypersons in the management of schools (1975) and to change the basis of school evaluation from a focus of the individual teacher to the whole school (1979). All these changes were to schools as part of the primary education system and were improvements welcomed by the various participants, teachers, parents and management. These participants were directly affected by one or possibly two of the major changes; principal teachers have been adversely affected by all the changes”. : 2.3 Changed Context In the Report of the Working Group on the Role of the Primary School Principal, the Chairperson, Teri Garvey states in her introduction: “The enormous development in the role of the Principal following societal, legislative and educational changes involves increasing responsibilities and

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wider aspects of the role, leading to new challenges and new tensions in carrying it out” 3 and on Page 85 of the same Report: “There is general agreement and recognition that responsibilities of leadership, management and administration have become more onerous and diverse in recent years. Review, rationalization, reconceptualisation and refocusing are timely, therefore, if the position (of Principal) is to continue to attract high quality candidates and if its occupants are to continue to make a considerable contribution to the quality of teaching and learning in Irish primary schools” 4 The context referred to in the first quotation has changed dramatically over the past decade. Changes include: o Fundamental shifts in attitudes, values and mores in Irish society. o Changes to the family and the definition of family. Increasing diversity in the background of pupils with the traditional ‘nuclear’ family less prevalent. o A huge improvement in economic standards. o Social and economic need resulting in changed work practices in which both parents work outside the home. o Development of a legislative framework, some of it driven from Europe, much of which imposes requirements on the school, which must be addressed by the Principal as a statutory requirement. o Increased requirements of accountability and transparency. The use of public funds is now open to scrutiny at all levels. ‘Delivery’ and value for money are becoming the focus in a world in which taxpayers want to know how and where their money is being spent. o A rapidly broadening cultural mix in schools. o Leadership and management responsibilities are increasing exponentially. This results in a burgeoning administration load. 2.4 Recruitment and Retention The demands of Principalship based on the context outlined in 2.2 have been reflected in a sharp fall off in the numbers applying for Principalships over the past five years. It is now impossible to categorise the role of Principal in anything other than managerial terms. The Principal is the day-to-day manager of all aspects of the school. Certain duties may be delegated to others but ultimate responsibility for the running of the school on a daily basis rests with the Principal and the Principal’s duties, as will be seen later, encompass those of managers in onerous and responsible positions in the public and private sectors. In this light it is interesting to consider the Buckley Report No. 38 on Higher Remuneration in the Public Service 5 The Report suggests the following in relation to Senior Managers in the Public Sector: 3

Report of the Working Group on the Role of the Primary School Principal, DES, 1999, Intro. Page ii Op Cit. Page 85 Consider: Uncompetitive salaries undermine the retention of top managers_Buckley Report No.38 4

5

REVIEW BODY ON HIGHER REMUNERATION IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR Report No. 38 To The Minister for Finance on The Levels of Remuneration Appropriate to Higher Posts in the Public Sector 25 September 2000 (Buckley Report No. 38)

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2.2 Throughout the current review a number of issues have been common to virtually all the submissions and oral presentations. They relate to the rate of change in personal responsibilities arising from the modernisation of the public service, the reduced number of applicants for top jobs in the public service, the longer term implications of current recruitment problems for public service management and the potential retention problems, which will arise if senior posts are seen to be inadequately remunerated. (Page 21)6 2.3 We view many of the changes referred to by various groups as part of a normal process throughout the economy. In the private sector, roles and responsibilities are continually changing as companies respond to changes in market conditions — some of which, such as the impact of the Internet and e-commerce, are revolutionary. A key difference between the private and public sectors has been that, in the past, roles in the public sector changed more slowly. However, in recent years a real and sustained process of structural reform has been underway in the public service and is reflected in a significant increase in the responsibilities and the complexity of work of senior managers. Many senior managers have taken an active role in driving the change agenda. People at the top of the public service, and those who want to get there, must have a wider range of qualities than would have been required of them in the past. The focus now is on being good managers (rather than just administrators and advisers) and good leaders of their organisations.7 While modernisation is aimed at improving performance at both the individual/team and organisation levels, its success is critically dependent on the role of senior management who must provide the necessary strategic vision and leadership.8 And finally: We consider that there is an increasing risk that allowing pay rates at senior levels to fall significantly out of line with rates for comparable posts in the private sector will act, in the long term, as a disincentive to the development and retention of future top managers of high quality. In a modern and rapidly expanding economy, with high demand for the scarce supply of skilled and experienced personnel, it is not sufficient to rely on the commitment of senior managers to giving ‘‘public service’’ as the principal means of retaining their services.9

The premises on which Buckley bases his arguments apply equally to managers across the three levels of education. The Report of the Working Group on the Role of the Primary Principal focused very clearly on describing the complexities of life as a Principal and the upskilling required to assist Principals in accomplishing the task. It is essential, but not enough, to provide Principals with tools to deliver what is required of them. Remuneration must match those responsibilities and that delivery.

6

Op cit. Page 21 Buckley Report No. 38 Page 21 8 Op cit. Page 22 9 Op cit. Page 23 7

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2.5 Survey A survey conducted by Mercator Market Research on behalf of the IPPN found inter alia that: * 67% of teachers do not wish to apply for the post of Principal. * 56% of teachers are now less likely to apply for the post of Principal, than 5 years ago. * Only 5% of teachers intend to apply for Principalship.10 (Minimum number of teachers required at any one time to ensure a Principal in every school is c.16%)

The reasons cited for not seeking the post of Principal were: • • • • • •

Salary and conditions Lack of role definition and excessive responsibility Lack of professional development and support Teaching Principalship Stress Selection procedures11

In the two years prior to the survey the post of Principal in 35 schools had two or less applicants. In six schools there were NO applicants. In a situation where Principalship is one of the few promotional routes available to teachers, it is inconceivable that over two thirds of the profession have decided that the job has developed in such a way, and the conditions are such, that they cannot envisage applying for a Principalship. The trend evidenced by Mercator is a matter of serious concern. As the role of Principal becomes more complex and less attractive the interest in the position continues to slide. The following table gives a clear indication of this slide:

DES statistics 1996 - 2000 Year

Applications

1996

921 1027 799

1998 2000

Vacancies / Appointments 170 226 204

Ratio 5.4 : 1 4.5 : 1 3.9 : 1

Principalship is a managerial role. It must be viewed and treated as such with adequate levels of support, training and professional development. The role, and in particular the management and leadership function of the Principal, is now recognised as crucial to innovation and change in schools. The remuneration for the post must be examined in the appropriate context and must match the responsibilities and duties involved if teachers of the appropriate calibre are to be encouraged to take it on thus ensuring the standards of management and leadership in our schools into the future.12

10

Presentation by the Director of IPPN, Seán Cottrell to the IPPN Conference, Galway, February 2001 Op cit. 12 Consider: If a contract with job description were to be drafted for Principalship in 2001 what would it include? 11

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3.0 Administration and Management 3.1 Administration and management are at either end of a micro – macro continuum that blend seamlessly into the stream of activity and decision making that constitute the Principal’s working day. Both are well defined in the Report of the Working Group: “…school management is taken to mean those functions that require a range of skills and capacities including consultation, decision-making, planning, motivation, influencing, negotiation, listening and political nous. Administration is defined to include the frequently repetitive, time-consuming and monotonous, routine tasks that are part of the school day.”12 The responsibilities of the Principal for both administration and management are set out in both Circular 16/73 and in the Education Act (1998) 3.2 Circular 16 / 73

See Appendix 5

This circular from the Department of Education is still the most recent, though now quite outdated attempt to outline the responsibilities of the Principal and states inter alia: “2. Subject to the authority of the Manager (BOM), the Principal Teacher is responsible … for the discipline of the school generally, the control of other members of the teaching staff, including co-ordination and effective supervision of their work, the organisation of the school, the keeping of the records of attendance, the promotion of pupils, the time-table arrangements and their observance, the books used by the pupils, the arrangements in connection with the Free Books Scheme for necessitous children, and all other matters connected with the school arrangements in each division.” 14 The circular goes on to outline the responsibilities of the Principal in relation to familiarisation with the teachers’ work, staff meetings, pupil induction, schemes of work, progress reports, organisation of classes, distribution of teaching duties, timetables, pupil assessment, remedial/gifted pupils, relations with parents, transition to post-primary school, school books, school tours etc.

Whilst the responsibilities of the Principal are not divided into administrative, management or leadership categories, Circular 16/73 nevertheless is a useful outline of the role of Principal in the ‘70s.

13 14

Report of the Working Group, Page 43 4.1.1 Department of Education Circular 16/73, No.2

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See appendix 4

3.3 The Education Act (1998)

The Education Act sets out the statutory responsibilities of the Principal: Part V THE PRINCIPAL AND THE TEACHERS 22 (1) The Principal…shall have responsibility …for the instruction provided to students in the school and shall contribute generally, to the education and personal development of students in that school. (2) (a) encourage and foster learning in students. (b) regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results of the evaluation to the students and their parents. (c) Collectively promote co-operation between the school and the community it serves. (d) … carry out those duties that …are assigned by the board. 23 (2) (a) the Principal shall be responsible for the day to-day management of the school, including guidance and direction of the teachers and other staff of the school, and be accountable to the board for that management. (b) provide leadership to the teachers and other staff and the students of the school (c) be responsible for the creation together with the board, parents and the teachers, of a school environment which is supportive of learning among students and which promotes professional development (d) …set objectives for the school and monitor the achievement of those objectives (e) encourage the involvement of parents of students in the school in the education of those students and in the achievements of those objectives. (g) (3)…a Principal shall carry out his or her functions in accordance with such policies as may be determined from time to time by the board and regulations made in accordance with section 33 (i)

(4) The Principal shall be entitled to be a member of any and every committee appointed by the board.

(6) Whenever practicable, the Principal shall, in exercising his or

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her functions under this section consult with teachers and other staff. The Education Act envisages a clear managerial role for the Principal which is expected to be exercised in a consultative and collegial manner [23 (6)] yet vests responsibility unequivocally with the Principal.

3.4 Administration In relation to numerous functions in a school administration can relate to (not exhaustive See Appendix 1): Form Filling

Pupil progress Records

Registers

Pupil Transfer

Rolls / Attendance Records

Meeting Preparation and Follow Up

Statistical Returns

Purchasing, Invoices, Financial Records

Leave Forms / Records

Records Management

Regular Communication

Enrolment

3.5 Management The management function of the Principal is difficult to separate into discrete parts. In general it relates to management of –  Personnel.  Finances.  Physical plant.  Time.  Relationships – both internal and external (See Communication Net, Section 10), Board of Management functions.  Scheduling.  Planning.  Implementation and review in relation to curriculum.  Provision for safety, care, well-being and development of pupils. A fuller list of the Principal’s management activities is to be found in Appendix 2. Any adequate examination of the managerial role of the Principal will deal with his/her management functions across the full spectrum of activity. A document such as this can merely indicate the breadth and complexity of the role. To that end it is worthwhile examining the Principal’s role in the management of one the areas listed.

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3.6 Personnel Management / Administration Personnel Management Recruitment / Selection Induction of Staff Communication –Formal /Informal Staff Development Team Building Staff Meetings Delegation Consultation Involvement of Middle Management Motivation/ Encouragement Empowerment Provision of Feedback / Appraisal Conflict Resolution Negotiation Support and Assistance Ancillary Staff Management Health and Safety Requirements Mentoring Assignment of Teaching Duties Posts of Responsibility Policies – supervision, absence etc. Requirements based on Equality and Employment Law Policy Development School Planning

Personnel Administration Monthly Returns Annual Returns Absence due to Illness Maternity Leave Parental Leave Substitute Cover + Administration Career breaks Other Absences Force Majeure Secondment Job Sharing - internal Intra-school Job Sharing Supervision Rotas Short-term preparation Cuntaisí Míosúla Parent-teacher Meetings

A similar table can be constructed for each of the Management areas listed above. The composite picture of the Principal’s role and the consequent issues of time management, prioritisation, and leadership highlight the qualitative difference in the role from that of class teacher. It is not an add-on to any role. It is a distinct and complex set of duties, skills and responsibilities which stands alone and should be assessed and rewarded accordingly.15 See also Appendix 2

15

Consider: Who speaks to the teacher who is persistently late? Who intervenes in interpersonal disputes - Teacher/Teacher. Parent/Teacher, Teacher/Pupil?

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4.0 Leadership. 4.1 An interesting aspect of leadership and in particular the role of Principal as leader is captured in the foreword to the Report of the Working Group: “On a more local level the importance of a Principal to a school is recognised by a type of shorthand whereby the school is frequently described as John X’s school or Mary Y’s school rather than by its official…title… This naming of the Principal rather than the school doesn’t in any way play down the role of the other staff but it does affirm the reality that the Principal of a school has a crucial, pivotal role in creating the spirit and atmosphere by which the school is recognised and in which the school community works.” 16 4.2 Leadership involves the establishment, in conjunction with the staff and the school community, of a shared Mission and Vision, the ethos and atmosphere in which the Mission can be pursued and the Vision realised through the clear enunciation of Goals, Targets and Objectives and the prioritisation of these short-term objectives etc in the daily life of the school. It requires the maintenance of a ‘big-picture’ perspective through the daily grind of activity, crises etc.. The response of Principal and staff to such daily occurrences must be informed by the Mission and Vision of the school if such are to be realised. The Principal while managing the school must also lead the school community. “The Principal’s role as leader of the school community and as a leading professional with extensive classroom experience is pivotal in guiding staff and pupils towards reaching their full potential. The role of the leader is to have a clear vision, shared by colleagues and to see the school not only as it is but also as it can become.” 17 4.3 Leadership involves more than having a vision. The Principal as leader must be capable of sharing and communicating the Vision to the wider school community and generating trust, co-operation and support and a sense of unity of purpose among the staff of the school. The style of leadership required in schools has changed. While leaders still function mainly from the front, leadership now also involves inclusivity, empowerment and advanced communication skills on the part of the Principal. Leadership also involves strategic planning, the establishment of a positive pro-active ethos in which innovation and risk taking are not only possible but also desirable.

16 17

Report of the Working Group, DES, 1999, Foreword, Page i Op cit., Page 30

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4.4 The management of change in schools is a key function of leadership. All improvement and innovation requires change and while change is a agreed by everybody ‘in principle’ to be worthwhile and desirable, the consequences of change for existing ‘comfort zones’ make the management of people through the change process one of the most difficult and demanding tasks of the leader. It requires all the influencing, negotiation, motivation and communication skills of the Principal to encourage staff through change. The greater the pace of such change the greater the challenge. Change has to be managed also in terms of plateaus and cliffs. Sharp periods of change need to be followed by periods of respite (plateaus). The pacing of change in an environment of ever-increasing pressure is a skill in itself and a key responsibility of the Principal as leader. 4.5 The Principal as leader of the school community must be capable and prepared to ‘walk the talk’. Neither school staff nor the community in general settle any longer for the ‘do as I say’ approach. In this sense the Principal as leader must still function to a large extent from the front. His/her ability to do so and to fulfil the function of leader has an overriding influence on the educational learning and performance of the school and ultimately on the quality of the provision for pupils and the environment in which they are taught. “One of the most challenging aspects of the Principal’s role is that of instructional leader in the school…research 18has shown that good instructional leadership by the Principal is one of the most crucial factors in determining the overall success and effectiveness of a school and in providing a quality education for the children”.19 “Analysis and clarification of the role of Principal as instructional leader is crucially important …it is this aspect of the Principal’s role that distinguishes it most sharply from leadership and management in other organisations and areas of endeavour. The Principal’s role in leading the school towards the provision of the optimal learning experiences for the children is more than a management and administration function. It requires an understanding of professional and educational leadership which is unique to education and schooling.” 20

Today’s Principal must fundamentally be about improving the quality of teaching and learning. The Principal, as leading professional, understands the needs of the school, has an appreciation of what goes on in classrooms where learning and teaching take place and is aware of the progress of individual pupils. Among the attributes needed to monitor and raise standards are:  

A vision of the curriculum Personal sense of appropriate standards

18

Mortimore P. et al, School Matters: The Junior Years, Somerset, 1988. Report of the Working Group, DES, 1999,Page 28 20 Op cit. Page 28 19

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The strength of personality and the interpersonal tact needed to engage with teachers in raising standards The administrative drive to plan programmes of improvement and see that they are carried through

The importance of instructional leadership in the context of school improvement and the implementation of change was never more evident that in the context of two of the more significant initiatives in primary education in recent years. The Primary Curriculum Support Programme and the School Development Planning Initiative have brought high quality professional development and best practice in curricular and organisational development to individual schools. 4.6 The role of Principal as leader has become more apparent as the pace of change increases. Innovators in curriculum and schooling now recognise the paramount role of the Principal in initiating and supporting change and in supporting staff through change. It involves an array of skills which would allow the proficient Principal to function in any management context - the type of skills that are valued and rewarded properly elsewhere and must now be recognised in the primary system. See Appendix 3

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5.0 Skills Attempts to describe the role of Principal tend to focus on duties and responsibilities. The duties and responsibilities of the Principal as Administrator, Manager, Leader, and Change Agent etc., if comprehensively mapped will give an indication of the breadth and complexity of the role. The performance of theses duties and the fulfilment of responsibilities require an array of skills ranging across: o o o o o o o o

Decision Making Administration / Organisation Management Leadership Communication Self-management Team management Strategic Management People Skills

The Mind Map on the following page is indicative of the skills required to fulfil the role of Principal. It is a work in progress but is included as an indicator of the range of skills required of the Principal. It has been compiled by a number of practising Principals from a variety of school types. In any “review, rationalisation, reconceptualisation and refocusing”21 of the role of Principal as suggested by the Report of the Working Group, the skills required by the post holder need to be evaluated. Similarly, any serious submission to the Benchmarking Body which attempts to validly and comprehensively portray the role of Principal should specify the distinctive skills required for the post. In addition those skills which differentiate it from other posts in the primary school should be specifically highlighted.

Cf. Primary Principal Skills Net

21

Report of the Working Group, DES, 1999,Page 85

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Insert – The Primary Principal Skills net

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6.0 Communication 6.1 In recent years, there is a greater awareness of the importance of good relationships within the school community. Cultivating good relationships, trust and openness in the entire school community places a huge onus on the Principal. This is achieved through the creation and nurturing of a positive climate. “…communication is critical to all aspects of the Primary Principal’s role”22 6.2 Communication is the gel that holds the school community together and the Principal is at the hub of that communication. This short section cannot describe in adequate detail the range and complexity of communications in the primary school nor the Principal’s role. However, any reasonable and detailed analysis of the Principal function for the purposes of comparison with other roles, must of necessity scrutinise this and the other areas highlighted briefly in this document. The Communications Web on the following page is an attempt to graphically illustrate the scope of communication involved. It cannot encompass the facets of communication that may be necessary in each interaction or with each subject on different occasions or regarding different matters. 6.3 The role of the Principal as the communications hub of the school is recognised in the Report of the Working Group: “…the Principal’s role as manager of the school as an organisation and as leader of the school community demand that Principals play a pivotal role in the school communications network with the burden of responsibility for much school related communications resting with the Principal. The Principal is central to the effective flow of information in the school. The Principal acts as a conduit, supporting the constant formal and informal flow of information, facilitating exchange between teachers, pupils, parents, the board of management, the school community, and others, on an ongoing basis, and creating a synergy between the partners in education”23 6.4 The spectrum of communication is complex. It can be verbal, non-verbal or written. Verbal and written communication can be formal or informal, often the tone of communication being far more significant than the message communicated. When consideration is given to the fact that communication doesn’t come in neat packages but permeates practically all aspects of the Principal’s day, occurring in the midst of other tasks, diverting attention, taking over swathes of time when a crisis occurs. The phone may ring, a fax or e-mail arrive, an important letter in the post, several parents call to discuss matters ranging from the mundane to family break up, pupils are sent to the Principal either during class or more likely after the lunch break, reps call, the inspector visits. Some of these interactions are predictable; most are unplanned and on 22 23

Report of the Working Group, DES, 1999,Page 64 Op cit. Page 66

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the spot and failure to deal with them, there and then, in the appropriate manner can have serious consequences not only for the Principal but also for the school. The Principal must get these communications right regardless of what s/he was doing seconds before. S/he must shift from consoling a child who has had a problem in the yard to disciplining another and immediately switch to welcoming a visitor to the school. The complexity of these communications is increasing, a fact recognised by the Working Group: “The nature and extent of relationships in which a Principal engages has changed dramatically over the years. The variety of individuals, groups and organisations with which Principals must deal continues to grow, making their task in this regard increasingly demanding” 24 6.5 As stated above, the manner of each communication is as important or more important in some instances than the content. The Principal portrays the school to the wider community, to the world outside the school. Inside s/he has a central role in setting the tone, in maintaining the ethos. The Principal must often fulfil the role of facilitator or mediator in communication difficulties between others, be they pupil/pupil, pupil/teacher, teacher/teacher, parent/teacher etc. and do so in manner that creates as many ‘win/win’ situations as possible. Failure in this third party communications role can have consequences for interpersonal relations within the school and with the wider school community. 6.6 Communication skills are now crucial also in the exercise of leadership. The involvement of staff, parents etc. in the development and realisation of a shared vision and the generation of high levels of involvement and commitment requires advanced communication skills. These skills are set out in the Skills Net in this document. To focus on just one area – non-verbal communication skills - it is becoming increasingly evident that there is more involved in good communication than verbal ability, written or oral. Listening skills, body language, the ability to empathise with others and open communication are difficult to describe and teach but vital components of good communication. “Good communication is about more than words therefore; it includes every gesture, intonation and facial expression that combine to establish trust, openness, honesty, integrity and empathy within the school community, where all learners are encouraged to take risks, and where mistakes are the basis for further learning” 25

24 25

Report of the Working Group, DES, 1999,Page 66 Op cit. Page 66

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6.7 Systems of communication are changing also. E-mail, fax machines, school websites etc. are now part of life for many Principals. All have the effect of making communication more immediate, expectations of rapid response higher. The ‘turnaround’ time for such communication is constantly diminishing. E-mail messages expect response within minutes. Fax messages, by definition, are sent because the standard mail is too slow, and so on. 6.8 Much of this communication is conducted during the school “contact day” by Principals who frequently have inadequate secretarial support and have full-time teaching responsibilities. At the other end of the spectrum administrative Principals in large schools are frequently overwhelmed by the sheer volume and intensity of communications that are inevitably channelled through the Principal. 6.9 In the introduction the concept of ‘benchmarking’ posts or grading posts was discussed and it was suggested that the kinds of criteria usually employed for such tasks are along the following lines:

Range and nature of the duties involved Skills and experience required Level of Responsibility Level of Decision-making and the independence or otherwise of such decision-making. o Responsibility for Leadership and Direction o Responsibility for assets and data o Responsibility for Contacts and Confidentiality

o o o o

It is clear that in examining the role of Principal, employing such criteria to the area of communication alone, that the role requires a separate and distinct analysis from that of classroom teacher, regardless of whether that teacher has additional duties in the school. Any adequate submission to the Benchmarking Body on behalf of Principals will contain such analysis. See the Communications Web on the following page for an indication of the communications role of the Principal.

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Insert - The Primary Principal Communications Net

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7.0 Policy In terms of ‘best practice’, statutory requirements and the efficient and effective management of the school a raft of policies are now needed in every primary school. Given the scope of the list below it is clear that priorities must be established, as policy development in each of these areas cannot be undertaken simultaneously. The Principal has a key role in such policy development – in prioritising, drafting and driving the process. The area of policy is onerous and continuous due to the requirement to keep policies up-to-date and relevant. Equality of Opportunity* 26 Access by Parents to Children’s’ Records* Data Retention / Protection Integration of Children with Special Educational Needs* Complaints Procedure Appeals Procedure* School Plan* Certified Accounts* Anti-Bullying / Sexual Harassment* E-mail / Internet/ Acceptable Use Policy Use of Mobile Phones Safety Statement* Administration of Medicines Health Education* Management and Staff Development* Admission/ Enrolment Policy* Code of Behaviour / Discipline* School Attendance Strategies* Reporting on Attendance Levels* School Tours

Transfer of Essential Information Notification of Absences

Pupil Transfer

Textbook Selection/ Book Rental Class and Classroom Allocation

Class Meetings

Homework Assignment and Correction School Organisation Pupils Lunch breaks Use of Common Areas / Grounds Class records and Roll Books

School Liturgy

Classroom Assistants/Special Needs Assistants Emergency Closures Environmental Awareness EPV Days Extra Curricular Activities Fire Drill

Use of AV and Other Facilities

Fundraising

Reports to parents Parent / Teacher Meetings Transition to Second-level Induction of New Pupils Reception of Student Teachers / Transition year students School Security Staff meetings – Procedure Assessment and Testing Parental Involvement

Home-School Liaison Opening Hours Infants after hours In-School Communication Learning Support Resource Allocation Library Litter Pastoral Care Photocopying Pupil Promotion

Assembly / Dismissal of Pupils

Participation in Competitions / Festivals Promotion for External Charities Commercial Promotions Guidance for Substitute Teachers School Milk Scheme

Booklists Yard Duty/Supervision * Sports Days Staff Development Stay Safe Programme Teacher Grievance

Junior School Wardens Record Keeping Resource Allocation Memos to Parents Reporting of Sexual Abuse Uniforms

Contacts with Other Schools Financial Accountability Annual School Calendar

26

* Required under statute

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Psychological Assessment Pupil Absence Pupil Illness During the School Day Pupil Insurance – Personal Accident Commercial Sales People School Savings Scheme Community Involvement School Medical Service


8.0 Compliance 8.1 Compliance is defined as “action in accordance with command” and is used generally in the context of statutory instruments passed by the legislature, which impose a duty or responsibility with which those who have specified responsibility must comply. Primary schools functioned for many years under the Rules for National Schools and an annual batch of Departmental Circulars with little or no reference to specific legislation on education. 8.2 In recent years the pace of legislative development has begun to match the rapidly increasing change in society generally. Legislation has been introduced which is specific to the education system. General Legislation in areas such as employment, equality, health and safety has also been put in place. All such relevant legislation imposes a duty either directly or indirectly on the Principal as the day-to-day manager of the school. Examples of such legislation are listed below: Education Education Act (1998) Education (Welfare) Act 2001 Employment Legislation Parental Leave Act (1990) Payment of Wages Act (1991) Unfair Dismissals Act (1991) Terms of Employment (information) Act (1994) Maternity Protection Act (1994) Organisation of Working Time Act (1997) Adoptive Leave Act (1998) Health and Safety Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (1989) Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regs. (1993) Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regs. (1994) 8.3 All of the above impose statutory requirements either directly on the Principal or on the Principal as manager of the day-to-day activity of the school. Many require policies to be put in place (See section 7.0) The Principal, in dealing with aspects of employment law, for instance, must be familiar with the provisions of the legislation, the statutory entitlements of employees and the responsibilities of the school as employer. Policy and practice on such matters must be driven by the Principal.

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9.0 Educational Initiatives and Reports The issue of change and change management have been addressed throughout this document. The Principal’s role in supporting and driving change is very clear. As schools are inundated with reports, policies, initiatives etc. the leadership role of the Principal in keeping the focus on the shared vision and mission of the school is crucial if the school community, and in particular the staff, are not to feel overwhelmed at the pace of change and the volume of material. The role of the Principal in pacing the change, in setting priorities and in guiding the school is a crucial management function. The list below is included to give an indication of the bombardment of schools with initiatives and reports in recent years. Most, if not all, are very worthwhile in their own right. Valid arguments can be posited in favour of the introduction of new subject areas, schemes targeted at particular areas of concern, programmes aimed at filling perceived gaps in the curriculum. What is unavoidable is the added burden on the Principal of reviewing, assessing and ultimately scheduling some of these initiatives in what is an already overcrowded school year.

1. Report of the Primary Education Review Body, Government of Ireland, 1990. 2. Procedures for Dealing with Allegations or Suspicions of Child Abuse, DES, 1991. 3. Stay Safe Programme, User’s Handbook, 1991. 4. Promoting Equal Opportunities for Girls and Boys in Primary Education, Resource Pack for Teachers, DES, 1992. 5. Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour in Primary and Post-Primary Schools, DES, 1993. 6. The Education of Traveller Children in National Schools. Guidelines, DES, 1994. 7. Bi Follain - A Programme of Social and Health Education for Primary Schools, Mid Western Health Board, 1995. 8. Report of the Expert Advisory Group on Relationships and Sexuality Education, Government of Ireland, 1995. 9. Information Technology in Irish Primary Education. Issues and Recommendations, INTO Professional Development, 1996. 10. Ireland U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. First National Report of Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs, 1996. 11. Whole school Inspection. Consultative Conference, DES, 1996. 12. Relationships and Sexuality Education. Going forward Together, 1997. 13. Report to the Minister for Education Niamh Bhreathnach on Discipline in Schools, Maeve Martin, 1997. 14. Schools IT 2000 - A Policy Framework for the New Millennium, DES, 1997. 15. Targeting Sporting Change in Ireland. Strategic Plan, DES, 1997. 16. A Guide to Insurance and Security in the School, Church and General, 1998. 17. A Study of Remedial Education in Irish Primary Schools, Summary Report DES, 1998. 18. Science in the Primary School, Forfas, 1998. 19. Schools IT 2000 - Teaching Skills Initiative Participant Material, © IPPN

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NCTE, 1998. 20. Schools IT 2000 Teaching Skills Initiative ICT Primary Introductory Course Phase 2, NCTE, 1998. 21. Schools IT 2000 Teaching Skills Initiative - Creating a Website, NCTE, 1998. 22. Strategy Statement Implementation of the Public Service Act 1997, DES, 1998. 23. Report on the National Forum for Early Childhood Education 1998. 24. Maintenance Matters - A Manual for Boards of Management, DES, 1998. 25. Bi Gnothach, Enterprise Education, CDU, 1999. 26. Dissolving Boundaries: ICT and Learning in the Information Age, NCTE, 1999. 27. Report of the Working Group on the Role of the Primary School Principal, DES, 1999. 28. Special Educational Needs Curriculum Issues, Discussion Paper, NCCA, 1999. 29. The New Deal. A Plan for Educational Opportunity, DES, 1999. 30. Developing a School Plan. Guidelines for Primary Schools, DES, 1999. 31. Whole School Evaluation. Report on the 1998/1999 Pilot Project, DES, 1999. 32. The World in the Classroom. Development Education in the Primary Curriculum, CDU, Mary Immaculate College, 1999. 33. Going to Court. A Preparatory Pack for Child Witnesses and their Parents/Guardians, Department of Justice, 1999. 34. Library File - Making a Success of the School Library, Library Association of Ireland, 1999. 35. Be Safe. National Safety Council, 2000. 36. Boards of Management of National Schools. Constitution of Boards and Rules of Procedure, DES, 2000. 37. Infection in School .A Manual for School Personnel, Health Promotion Unit 38. Innovative ICT Projects in Irish Schools, NCTE, 2000. 39. Learning Support Guidelines, DES, 2000. 40. Management Board Members Handbook, 2000. 41. Our Children. Their Lives. National Children’s Strategy, 2000. 42. Revised Curriculum Texts, DES, 2000. 43. Schools IT 2000. Scoilnet User’s Manual, NCTE, 2000 44. Supporting SPHE in the Primary School, Carol O Sullivan. 45. Working Effectively as a Parent Association, NPCP, 2000. 46. Evaluating Educational Software - A Teacher’s Guide, NCTE, 2001. 47. SIP Enabling Technologies - Guidelines for the use of Assistive Technology in Education, The Solas Project, 2001. 48. Various DES Circulars.

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10. Principalship and the I.N.T.O. Written Submission to the Benchmarking Body 10.1 The preceding sections of this document outline a complex and demanding managerial role which is carried out in a context of increasing demands, changing expectations, expanding management and administration functions and a requirement for leadership by the Principal, all of which have been examined, if somewhat briefly here, and accepted by the Working Group on the Role of the Primary Principal (1999). The INTO were party to the aforementioned working group and its subsequent report. 10.2 It would have been anticipated, consequently, that the managerial role of Principal and the responsibilities and duties attaching to that role would form an explicit and substantial part of any submission by the INTO – the union with responsibility to negotiate on behalf of principals as well as teachers. Alternatively, as will be proposed in this document, the separate and distinct role of the Principal must be recognised and a separate submission made by the union on behalf of those members holding the post of Principal. 10.3 The opportunity to make a detailed submission on behalf of Principals, which would adequately delineate the post and lead to the identification of proper comparators for Principalship at managerial level in the public or private sector, is not an opportunity that will arise frequently or at regular intervals in the future. Failure to address the issue of Principalship in all its complexity now, will lead to invalid comparisons, remuneration for Principals that will not reflect the responsibilities of the post, retention and recruitment difficulties being exacerbated, and long-term damage to both the profession and the education system. The oral submission soon to be made by the INTO is an opportunity to address this issue. 10.4 In making its case for principals and teachers to the Benchmarking Body, the INTO submission attempts to subsume Principalship into the teaching function. The managerial and leadership role of the Principal is either ignored or lost in an effort to portray a situation where the possibility of delegation of some duties is equated with the delegation of responsibility and any differences between the role of the principal and teacher are merely quantitative not qualitative. The above is best appreciated in the description on page 4 of the INTO’s Submission of eight teaching roles as applied by Pearn Kondola in their Competency Analysis: 1. The Classroom Teacher 2. The Promoted Teacher 3. The Principal Teacher with Teaching Responsibility 4. The Principal Teacher without Teaching Responsibility 5. The Principal Teacher within a Special School 6. The Special Needs Teacher 7. The Support Teacher 8. The Seconded Teacher

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Page 5 of the INTO’s submission includes a Classroom Teacher Competency Framework. No such framework is advanced for the Principal! 10.5 The following table is indicative of the profile of Principals in the INTO’s submission – a profile that, if left unrevised, will result in an inevitable underestimation and undervaluing of the managerial and leadership role and input of Principals.

An analysis of pages 1- 52 of the INTO’s written submission to the PSBB is set out below. This document is accessable from www.into.ie INTO Submission to the Benchmarking Body Section/Area Contribution of Primary Teachers to the Transformation of the Education System

References to the Teacher

References to the Principal

6

0

Legislative Framework 1998 Education Act Freedom of Information Act Health and Safety in the Workplace 1997 Children’s’ Act 1998 Child Abuse Act

1 2 0 5 2

0 0 0 0 0

Early Start Programme Preschool for Travellers Breaking the Cycle Early School Leavers Initiative Teacher Supply Panel

7 3 1 1 5

0 0 0 0 3

New Curricular Areas RSE Children First Stay Safe Programme Walk Tall Bi Follain

5 5 8 3 5

2 0 0 0 1

9

2

10 2 4 2

3 0 0 1

Pupils With Special Needs

*

Learning Support Guidelines Resource/Special Needs Support Teacher Project Identification of Children with Special Needs Special Classes

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New Approaches to School Management Financial Management and Accounting Procedures Revised Recruitment Procedures and Contracts Curriculum New Curricular Areas Revised curriculum Existing Subjects Gaeilge INTO Submission to the Benchmarking Body Section/Area English Mathematics Physical Education S.E.S.E S.P.H.E. Arts Education Information Technology Modern Language Schools IT 2000 Management S.I.P. Additional Activities

2 2

1 1

4 5 1 2

0 0 0 0

References to the Teacher

References to the Principal

1 2 3 5 0 2 5 1 5 7 1 3

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

4

1

6 1

4 0

Quality Assurance Inspection of Schools Whole School Evaluation Accountability to Parents Accountability to Colleagues

4 2 4 3

0 0 0 1

Increased Demands on Teachers Support Structures Areas of Disadvantage Additional Skills and Responsibilities Factors relating to increased demands on Teachers Summary of this area

5 2 2 3 5

0 0 0 0 0

School Management Direct involvement of Teachers in School Management School Planning Policy development on an Organisational Basis

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Primary School Teaching: The Social Context

24

0

Commitment to the Broad Development and Socialisation of Children Participation in Extra-Curricular Activities Summary of this Section

10 7

0 0

Contribution of Teachers to the Economy

18

0

Total references

237

20

Commentary Required: None.

* See for instance: Appendix 7,

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11. Conclusions 1. Leading a school towards the provision of the optimal learning experience for children, by enabling and empowering the whole school community, requires particular skills and a keen understanding of professional and educational leadership. This leadership role is unique, as it requires an in-depth understanding and appreciation of teaching and learning.

2. The role of Principal, which in the past was considered fundamentally a teaching role with some added administrative duties, can no longer be characterized in this way. The context of Principalship and the expectations on the Principal mark it as a separate role at managerial level. The once quantative difference between the role of Teacher and Principal has now also become qualitative and the remuneration for the post must reflect this changed reality.

3. A percentage of the Common Basic Scale as an extra allowance for Principalship is no longer a reasonable and equitable basis for the remuneration of Principals. A completely separate salary scale should be negotiated, as is the case in several other countries.

4. The Principal has responsibility for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the school and this responsibility cannot be delegated. Duties and tasks can be delegated to Deputy Principals and post holders but not the ultimate responsibility.

5. The Principal’s role in administration, management and leadership of the school and the skills required to carry out the role are distinct and separate to the teaching role and any submission which attempts to portray principalship as an add-on to teaching is, by definition, flawed and inadequate. Such a submission will result in the selection of unsuitable comparators for the post and a negative outcome for Principals.

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6. The INTO, as the organization with sole negotiating rights for Primary Principals should be making a separate case for Principals, based on analysis of the role and seeking a compensation package commensurate with the range and nature of the duties. This should include the introduction of an agreed practice whereby expenses can be claimed for the aspects of the Principal’s work which by their nature happen outside of school. It is a source of amazement that no such agreed practice has been negotiated heretofore.

7. The INTO written submission to the Benchmarking Body appears to subsume Principalship into the teaching function. The managerial role of the Principal is either ignored or lost in an effort to portray a situation where management is spread across the school, leaving the Principal in the traditional position – with all of the responsibility and accountability but without the authority and necessary resources.

8. The opportunity for a root and branch assessment of remuneration vis-à-vis various roles arises infrequently in the public service. The position of Principal will remain poorly remunerated and the desirability of the post will continue to diminish unless commitment is given to improving the status of and compensation for the post at this critical juncture.

9. Principals, as full members of the INTO, have the right to expect that their role would be accurately reflected in the written and oral submissions to the Public Service Benchmarking Body.

10. Teachers, who are not Principals, have themselves identified (through independently conducted research) that the lack of appropriate remuneration is one of the three key reasons why ambition for Principalship is at such low level. Consequently, it is important for the career prospects and morale of all teachers that the role of Principal is made more attractive.

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12. Appendices

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Appendix 1 THE PRINCIPAL AND ADMINISTRATION [It should be noted that although this section deals primarily with Administration, aspects of Management would on occasion be included] The range of tasks, under Administration, though not exhaustive, includes the following:

In relation to the Board of Management o

Arranges, along with chairperson, for sanction to be sought for new appointments, permanent and temporary, due to rising enrolments, career breaks, job sharing, secondment, study leave, unpaid leave etc.

o

Arranges for the provision of substitute teachers.

o

Ensures that the salary form is completed to the satisfaction of the chairperson of BOM.

o

Arranges, along with chairperson, for contracts with teachers and other employees as required.

o

Liases, along with chairperson, with post holders regarding their duties including the review of such duties from time to time as laid down by procedures.

o

Prepares correspondence on behalf of the BOM as required.

o

Arranges for the use of school premises outside of school hours.

o

Arranges for the use of the school premises for use as a polling station, if required.

o

Ensures that standards of heating, cleaning etc. are maintained.

o

Ensures that health and safety regulation are implemented, including the preparation and implementation of a Health and Safety statement and making sure that it’s contents are made known to all school users.

o

Ensures that fire drills/evacuations are carried out regularly and equipment serviced

o

Ensures accident/incident forms are available and completed.

o

Notifies the BOM of any hazards that may need attention.

o

Alerts BOM to needs for capital expenditure.

o

Keeps records of petty cash, receipts etc.

o

Is responsible for the administration, on behalf of BOM, of any schemes that involve support staff e.g. recruitment, interviewing, provision of grants, allocation of work, drawing up of timetables, purchasing of materials etc.

o

Prepares and writes notices, letters and correspondence.

o

Makes and receives telephone calls.

o Photocopies and files material. o Meets scheduled and unscheduled callers to the school. o

Manages daily finances.

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o

Assists the BOM to prepare and submit to the National Educational Welfare Board a statement of the strategies and measures it proposes to adopt for the purposes of fostering an appreciation of learning among students … and encouraging regular attendance at school on the part of such students. Such a statement of strategy shall provide for – o

The rewarding of students who have good school attendance records

o

The identification at an early age of students who are at risk of developing school attendance problems

o

The establishment of closer contacts between the school and the families of such students

o

The fostering and establishing of contacts by the school with

o

other schools b) bodies engaged in the provision of youth work programmes or services… or engaged in sporting or cultural activities c) such other bodies as the BOM considers appropriate

o

The development of programmes of activities designed to encourage the full participation of students

o

The co-ordination with other schools of programmes aimed at promoting good behaviour and encouraging regular attendance

o

The identification of aspects of the operation and management of the school and of the teaching of the school curriculum that may contribute to problems relating to school attendance and strategies for the removal of those aspects in so far as they are not necessary and will encourage more regular attendance.

In relation to the Pupils o

Allocates classes, on behalf of the BOM, based on pupil requirements and teacher talents and in line with school policy.

o

Divides classes to comply, in so far as possible, with maximum class size guidelines.

o

Organises school enrolment as follows:

o

Keeps an up to date file on all preschool children enrolled for future attendance in order to make an accurate projection of enrolment trends in the school - to facilitate planning, building etc.

o

Establishes and maintains a Register of all students attending the school.

o

On the day on which the child first attends school, enters the child’s name, the date of his/her first attending and other particulars may be prescribed by the Minister in the register.

o

Informs by notification in writing the principal whatever school the child may have been attending.

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o

For new pupils –  prepares announcements/publishes statements of date(s) for enrolment.  is available to parents to discuss matters arising.  arranges induction meetings for new parents  prepares and updates enrolment forms as and when necessary.

o

For pupils transferring to post-primary school – 

liases with local post primary school regarding enrolment policies etc.



organises visits from staff of local post primary schools to inform pupils and parents of available options



is available to parents to discuss matters arising from the transfer of pupils to post primary schools



liases with regard to assessment tests for post primary schools.



co-ordinates transition policy for sixth classes



arranges the transition of pupils to special schools when such is necessary discusses the issue with psychologists, learning support teachers, class teacher, parents

o

For pupils transferring to other schools – 

Removes from the register the name of any child that may have transferred to another school. and notifies principal of any problem relating to school attendance that the child had and such other matters relating to the child’s educational progress as he or she considers appropriate.

o

Oversees the promotion of pupils as follows: consults with teaching staff to assess pupil performance etc. is available to parents to discuss matters regarding promotion/retention of pupils.

o

Maintains school registers, which demands complete accuracy, so as to avoid potential difficulties concerning improper enrolments etc.

o

Maintains daily pupil attendance register and replaces same when required.

o

Maintains such records in such a form as may be specified by the National Educational Welfare Board.

o

Shall inform by notice in writing an educational welfare officer where a student is suspended. for a period of not less than 6 days, or a student’s name is removed from the register or is in the opinion of the principal not attending school regularly.

o

Shall consult with an educational welfare officer, on receipt by him/her of notice in writing regarding a students removal from the register due to non-attendance.

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o

Assists the BOM in submitting not later than 6 weeks after he end of each school year a report to a) the educational welfare officer b) the parents’ association on the levels of attendance at the school during the immediately preceding school year.

o

Sets up an effective system of recording pupils/parents names, addresses, phone numbers.

o

Makes out class lists.

o

Is responsible for ensuring the care of state and school records.

o

Ensures supply of textbooks for pupils.

o

Co-ordinates an effective filing system.

o

Co-ordinates, in consultation with staff, annual text book review.

o

Monitors pupil performance and achievement, including regular assessment of pupils’ progress and reporting to parents.

o

Organises the regular assessment of pupils with special needs.

o

Arranges for the supervision of pupils before and after school and at break times, ensuring policy in First Aid is implemented.

o

Encourages thrift among pupils - savings scheme.

o

Administers free book scheme for necessitous pupils.

o

Encourages the use of Irish in the school.

o Ensures that all monies in the name of the pupils are accounted for. In relation to the Staff o Records the attendance of staff and organises, in so far as possible, teaching cover for absent teachers. o Ensures that the contents of DES circulars are made known to members of staff. o

Facilitates, through the BOM, the purchase of necessary resources/equipment for classroom teachers.

o

Ensures the collation of materials and resources for the implementation of the curriculum.

o

Ensures that stocks of books and other requirements are adequate.

o

Makes arrangements for the regular review of the effectiveness of school tours.

o

Oversees the provision and use of suitable systems of assessment, evaluation and feedback.

o

Provides references on request.

In relation to the Parents o

Organises formal parent/teacher meetings annually.

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o

Makes arrangements for the provision of progress reports on pupils’ performance, both oral and written, to parents.

o

Arranges for the distribution and collection of forms requiring parental consent.

o

Co-ordinates regular newsletters for parents.

o

Draws up, on behalf of BOM, a school calendar, notifying parents of closures.

o

Seeks notification of the reasons for a child’s absence from school.

In relation to the Department of Education and Science o

Provides statistical data as required by DES.

o

Corresponds with DES regarding new appointments, permanent and temporary, career breaks, job sharing, secondment, study leave, sick leave, unpaid leave, substitution etc.

o Notifies DES local inspector of school closings. In relation to other Agencies o

Liases with school transport authorities including the ordering and distribution of bus passes for eligible pupils, informing the bus company of pupils leaving the school etc.

o Ensures the organisation of the school milk scheme including the collection of money.

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Appendix 2 THE PRINCIPAL AND MANAGEMENT [It should be noted that although this section deals primarily with Management, aspects of Leadership and Administration might on occasion be included] The range of responsibilities, under Management, though not exhaustive, includes the following:

In relation to the Board of Management o Has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the school including the guidance and direction of the teachers and other staff of the school and is accountable to the BOM.

o Carries out his/her functions in accordance with such policies as may be determined from time to time by the BOM and regulations made in accordance with the Education Act 1998. o

Manages relationships with the BOM, staff, pupils, parents, DES and other agencies.

o

Is obliged to consult with the BOM with regard to a code of behaviour which shall specify 

The standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student.



The measures that may be taken when a student fails or refuses to observe those standards.



The procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled.



The grounds for removing a suspension



The procedures to be followed relating to notification of a child’s absence from school.

o

Serves on the BOM: attends meetings including sub-committee and policy committee

o

meetings.

o

Provides a report to the BOM at each meeting covering all aspects of schools life of interest to BOM.

o

Informs the BOM of new initiatives emerging within the educational sector.

o

Advises the BOM on policies that need to be set out by the Board for the school.

o

Advises the BOM, when vacancies arise, of the requirements of the new post and assisting the chairperson with regard to the advertising and arranging of interviews for the post etc.

o

Serves as a member of the interview board.

o

Is entitled to be a member of any and every committee appointed by the BOM.

o

Liases with chairperson, BOM, when child abuse is suspected.

o

Submits proposals and plans, including budgets and expenditure plans, to the BOM.

o

Notifies the BOM of issues directly relating to them such as Insurance matters, Health and Safety Regulations etc.

o

Represents the school at out-of-school functions.

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o

Maintains liaison with other schools and education establishments with which the school has a relationship.

In relation to the Pupils o

Ensures that pupils are safe during the school day.

o

Provides for children with special educational needs.

o

Is responsible for providing a whole school statement on roles and responsibilities in Learning Support Provision.

o

Is responsible for providing whole school strategies for co-ordinating Learning Support and Special Needs services.

o

Has overall responsibility for Partnership in Learning Support.

o

Implements and supports Learning Support through  Co-ordination of service  Working with partners  Monitoring implementation  Monitoring selection of pupils  Overseeing implementation of a whole-school assessment/screening  Keeping teachers informed  Helping teachers increase their knowledge  Maintaining lists of pupils  Helping to co-ordinate the caseloads / work schedules  Supporting the implementation of a tracking system  Advising parents  Liasing with external agencies  Arranging classroom accommodation and resources  Participating in development of individual profile and learning programme  Providing appropriate long-term support to pupils in the absence of learning support  Ensuring class teachers are centrally involved  Developing awareness  Facilitating communication  Supporting professional development

o

Accepts new pupils into the school and helps them, in groups and individually, to settle in.

o

Co-operates with the educational welfare officer giving all such assistance as may reasonably be required in the performance of his/her duties.

o

Oversees the preparation of senior pupils for transition to second-level.

o

Provides on request from a student or parent a copy of the code of behaviour.

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o

Consults with the educational welfare officer and attends meetings convened by him/her.

o

Attends meetings relating the welfare of pupils, including case conferences.

o

Visits classrooms regularly in order to relate with pupils.

o

Affirms and rewards pupils.

o

Implements the school code of behaviour.

o

Addresses pupil assemblies and prayer services.

o

Communicates with pupils with regard to medical appointments, absences, bullying etc.

o

Ensures that procedures regarding school uniform are adhered to.

o

Communicates with class groups at times of special events, such as reception of sacraments, funerals, extra-curricular achievements, tours, awards ceremonies etc.

In relation to the Staff o

Ensures overall strategic planning, especially strategies to manage change, including curriculum change, amalgamation, rationalisation etc.

o

Co-ordinates effective communication systems within the school.

o

Develops, in consultation with staff, an overall school plan involving  preparation of policies in all subject areas  preparation of policies in other aspects of school life e.g. behaviour, homework, bullying, communications, etc.  implementation of policies  review of policies.

o

Ensures that long and short-term plans of work are in line with school plan.

o

Ensures that the Cuntaisi Miosula reflect the implementation of school plan.

o

Co-ordinates, in co-operation with clergy and staff, overall arrangements for religious instruction as part of the school ethos, including  assemblies,  preparation of sacramental occasions,  meetings with parents,  church practices,  choir provision etc.

o

Facilitates meetings of staff to co-ordinate work.

o

Oversees the role of specialist teachers as necessary.

o

Facilitates liaison between class teachers and specialist/support teachers e.g. Learning support, Resource, Home-School links, Resource Teacher for Travellers, teachers involved in Early Start, Break the Cycle etc.

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o

Supports the work of the Learning Support teachers by  Arranging meetings  Establishing school policies  Encouraging the organisation of information sessions for parents  Overseeing the development of links between teachers and service providers  Facilitating the involvement of other members of the community [This role will vary even more in Disadvantaged Areas & in schools where there is a Shared Learning Support Service].

o

Conducts staff meetings.

o

Co-ordinates extracurricular activities.

o

Co-ordinates, on behalf of the BOM, the middle management team in the school, including regular meetings with each post holder.

o

Builds a culture of collaboration, mutual support and learning.

o

Arranges for in-service training as required by staff.

o

Creates an environment which promotes professional development of teaching staff.

o

Assists teaching staff who are experiencing professional difficulties.

o

Nurtures special talents of staff.

o

Encourages individual staff members with particular talents/specialist knowledge to share their expertise with staff and pupils alike.

o

Affirms the work of the staff.

o

Arranges visits to other schools.

o

Arranges for lectures and demonstrations for staff as the need arises.

o

Encourages attendance at workshops, seminars and conferences.

o

Communicates with support staff such as classroom assistants, secretaries, caretakers, cleaners and so on.

o Ensures that support/ancillary staff have the necessary resources. In relation to the Parents o

Establishes procedures for communicating with parents, ensuring that parents are made fully aware of school policies.

o

Provides the parents, before registering a child, with a copy of the code of behaviour and may require the parents to confirm in writing that the code is acceptable to them.

o

Is available to and meets informally with parents both in groups and individually.

o

Co-ordinates general meetings of parents, including meetings relating to reception of the sacraments, implementation of programmes such as Stay Safe, RSE and so on.

o

Consults with Parents’ Association including attendance at meetings on occasion.

o

Supports fund-raising events organised by parents.

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o

Attends social functions organised by parents.

In relation to the Department of Education and Science o

Manages relationship with DES inspectors, including informing them of teachers not probated.

o

Manages relationship with psychologists.

In relation to other Agencies o

Arranges for visits of dental, medical and other services to the school as required.

o

Liases/communicates with outside agencies with regard to pupil assessment.

o

Liases/communicates with speech therapists.

o

Liases/communicates with social workers where child abuse is suspected.

o

Liases/communicates with local Education Centre.

o

Liases/communicates with school attendance officer, when necessary.

o

Liases/communicates with local Gardai for talks/visits to the school.

o

Liases/communicates with Juvenile Liaison Officer when necessary.

o

Liases/communicates with diocesan religious advisor and parish clergy.

o

Liases/communicates with financial institutions including frequent carriage of monies to banks.

o

Liases/communicates with personnel from FAS, as necessary.

o

Liases/communicates with community groups.

o Liases/communicates with service contractors, as necessary.

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Appendix 3 THE PRINCIPAL AND LEADERSHIP [It should be noted that although this section deals primarily with Leadership, aspects of Management might on occasion be included] The range of skills, under Leadership, though not exhaustive, includes the following:

In relation to the Board of Management o

Maintains the ethos of the school.

o Encourages a shared vision for the school o Maintains effective relationships within the school community. o Fosters and encourages effective relationships between the members of the school community and members of the wider community. o Sets objectives for the school and monitors the achievement of those objectives. In relation to the Pupils o Assumes overall responsibility for ensuring that children develop a set of beliefs, values and basic principles of truth, justice, tolerance, politeness and unselfishness, and concepts such as self-respect and self-esteem, in keeping with the ethos of the school and in the context of the holistic development of each child. o Has responsibility for the instruction provided to students in the school and shall contribute generally to the education and personal development of those students. o Has responsibility for  Encouraging and fostering learning in students.  Regularly evaluating students and periodically reporting the results of the evaluation to the students and their parents. o Fosters a climate of welcome, warmth, discipline, care and learning. o Creates an environment which is supportive of learning among pupils o Ensures the pastoral care of all of the pupils. o Introduces new initiatives to enhance the quality of pupils’ education o

Affirms, motivates and counsels the pupils.

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In relation to the Staff o

Provides leadership to the teachers, other staff and pupils of the school.

o

Maintains effective professional relationships between the members of the teaching staff.

o

Sets agreed targets and goals for achieving, in collaboration with the staff.

o

Consults regularly with teachers and other staff.

o

Delegates tasks to other staff members as appropriate.

o

Deals with the resolution of conflict within the school.

o

Gives instructional leadership, including shared and transformational leadership.

o

Fosters an understanding of professional and educational leadership which involves the Principal and teachers working together as a community of learners.

o

Promotes good practice among the staff.

o

Assists teachers who need particular support.

o

Encourages creativity and innovation among the staff.

o

Affirms, motivates and counsels the staff.

o Is considerate towards the staff and takes an interest in the staff as people. In relation to the Parents o

Fosters partnership with parents, including encouraging parental involvement in the children’s education, in policy making and in the achievement of the school’s objectives.

o

Fosters a culture of welcoming parents to the school.

o

Co-operates with the formation of a Parents’ Association which will promote the interests of the students in the school.

o

Has regard to any advice from such an association.

o

Consults with regard to the adoption of a programme of activities in the school which will promote the involvement of parents.

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Appendix 4 Education Act 1998 PART V THE PRINCIPAL AND TEACHERS 22 Functions of Principal and teachers. 22. (1) The Principal of a recognised school and the teachers in a recognised school, under the direction of the Principal, shall have responsibility, in accordance with this Act, for the instruction provided to students in the school and shall contribute, generally, to the education and personal development of students in that school. (2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), the Principal and teachers shall— (a) encourage and foster learning in students, (b) regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results of the evaluation to the students and their parents, (c) collectively promote co-operation between the school and the community which it serves, and (d) subject to the terms of any applicable collective agreement and their contract of employment, carry out those duties that— (i) in the case of teachers, are assigned to them by or at the direction of the Principal, and (ii) in the case of the Principal, are assigned to him or her by the board. 23 The Principal. 23.—(1) A board shall, in accordance with procedures agreed from time to time between the Minister, the patron, recognised school management organisations and any recognised trade union or staff association representing teachers, appoint to the school in a whole-time capacity a person to be Principal of that school subject to such terms and conditions as may be determined from time to time by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance. (2) In addition to the functions of a Principal provided for in section 22, the Principal shall— (a) be responsible for the day-to-day management of the school, including guidance and direction of the teachers and other staff of the school, and be accountable to the board for that management, (b) provide leadership to the teachers and other staff and the students of the school, (c) be responsible for the creation, together with the board, parents of students and the teachers, of a school environment which is supportive of learning among the students and which promotes the professional development of the teachers, (d) under the direction of the board and, in consultation with the teachers, the parents and, to the extent appropriate to their age and experience, the students, set objectives for the school and monitor the achievement of those objectives, and (e) encourage the involvement of parents of students in the school in the education of those students and in the achievement of the objectives of the school. © IPPN

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(3) For the purpose of carrying out his or her functions under this Act, a Principal shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient in that regard, and shall carry out his or her functions in accordance with such policies as may be determined from time to time by the board and regulations made in accordance with section 33. (4) The Principal shall be entitled to be a member of any and every committee appointed by a board. (5) Where, at the commencement of this section, the employer of the Principal in a post-primary school is a person or body of persons other than the board of the school then subsection (1) shall apply as if the person who or the body which, at such commencement and from time to time thereafter, is such employer, is substituted for the board as therein referred to. (6) Wherever practicable, the Principal shall, in exercising his or her functions under this section, consult with teachers and other staff of the school. 24 Provisions relating to staff. 24.—(1) Subject to this section, a board may appoint such and so many persons as teachers and other staff of a school as the board from time to time thinks necessary for the performance of its powers and functions under this Act. (2) The numbers and qualifications of teachers and other staff of a school, who are to be paid from monies provided by the Oireachtas, shall be subject to the approval of the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance. (3) A board shall appoint teachers and other staff, who are to be paid from monies provided by the Oireachtas, and may suspend or dismiss such teachers and staff, in accordance with procedures agreed from time to time between the Minister, the patron, recognised school management organisations and any recognised trade union and staff association representing teachers or other staff as appropriate. (4) Pending the agreement of procedures provided for in subsection (3), the procedures applied in the appointment, suspension and dismissal of teachers or other staff immediately before the commencement of this section shall, after such commencement, continue to be applied. (5) The terms and conditions of employment of teachers and other staff of a school appointed by a board and who are to be paid from monies provided by the Oireachtas shall be determined by the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance. (6) Where all or part of the remuneration and superannuation of teachers and other staff of a school is paid or is to be paid from monies provided by the Oireachtas, such remuneration or superannuation shall be determined from time to time by the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance. (7) Where, at the commencement of this section the employer of the teachers or other staff in a post-primary school is a person or body of persons other than the board of the school, then subsections (1), (3) and (5) shall apply as if the person who or the body which, at such commencement and from time to time thereafter, is such employer, is substituted for the board as therein referred to. (8) Except in the case of an agreement as provided for in subsection (3), nothing in this Act shall have the effect of altering, after the commencement of this Act, the terms and conditions of teachers and other staff of a school under which they were employed before such commencement.

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Appendix 5 Circular 16 / ’73 - Responsibilities and Duties of Principal Teachers of National Schools Section A 1.

2.

3.

The Manager of a national school is charged with the direct government of the school, the appointment of the teachers and, subject to the Minister’s approval, their removal, and the conducting of the necessary correspondence (Rule 15(1)). Subject to the authority of the Manager, the Principal Teacher is responsible (in addition to teaching duties which may vary according to the size of the school and which may be determined by the Minister either generally or in relation to any particular school but from which the teacher can, in no case, be completely relieved) for the discipline of the school generally, the control of other members of teaching-staff, including the coordination and effective supervision of their work, the organisation of the school, the keeping of the records of attendance, the promotion of pupils, the time-table arrangements and their observance, the books used b the pupils, the arrangements in connection with the Free Books Scheme for necessitous children, and all other matters connected with the school arrangements in each division. (Rule 123 (4)). The authority of the Principal Teacher for the organisation and conduct of the school derives from the authority of the Manager. Subject to the authority of the Manager, the overall responsibility for the day-to-day activities of the school devolves on the Principal teacher. The duties set out at Sections B and C hereunder arise out of such responsibility.

Section B The Principal Teacher and the Manager 1. 2. 3.

The Principal Teacher should consult with the Manager as the occasion demands and keep him informed on all matters concerning the school. He/She should see that all lawful instructions issued by the Manager are understood and carried out by the staff. When a vacancy occurs on the staff, the Principal Teacher should make known to the Manager the desirable qualifications of a new teacher, having regard to the needs of the pupils and the organisation of the school.

The General Discipline of the School 4.

The Principal Teacher should organise supervision of the order and general behaviour of the pupils during school hours. In particular, he/she should organise and participate in the effective supervision of pupils during breaks, lunch periods, assembly and dismissal. A table of names and times of supervision duties should be on display in the staff-room.

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6.

7. 8.

9.

He/she should avail himself/herself of opportunities to visit classrooms to become familiar with the quality of the teachers’ work. He/she should give encouragement, advice and teaching demonstrations or arrange for teaching demonstrations, particularly in the case of weak teachers and teachers on probation. He/she should hold regular conferences with staff on matters concerning the general work of the school. To enable his/her staff to keep abreast of modern educational theory and practice, he/she should, from time to time, arrange for suitable lectures, demonstrations and visits to selected schools, with the consent of the Manager and on the advice of the inspector. He/she should encourage the teachers of admission classes to take all reasonable steps to co-operate with the parents in easing the introduction of a child to school.

The Principal Teacher and Organisation 10.

At the beginning of each school-year, the Principal Teacher, in consultation with the staff, should plan a comprehensive scheme of work for the school, based on the requirements of an integrated curriculum.

11.

After consultation with the staff, he/she should promote the pupils in accordance with the relevant sections of Rule 64 (amended) and the terms of Circular 10/67. In consultation with the staff, he/she should decide on the organisation of the pupils for teaching-purposes. He/she should arrange a fair distribution of teaching-duties among the staff, taking into account the needs of the pupils and the abilities, experience, personality and preferences of each teacher. He/she should utilise the services of staff teachers with special qualifications or aptitudes in an organising and advisory capacity. The areas of Arts and Crafts, Music and Physical Culture may be of particular relevance in this connection. He/she should arrange teaching duties for himself/herself which may vary according to the size of the school. Such teaching duties may be determined by the Minister either generally, or in relation to any particular school. In consultation with the staff, he/she should draw up a suitable time-table and ensure its general observance, bearing in mind the degree of flexibility and freedom required by the curriculum and modern teaching methods. The Principal Teacher should ensure that each teacher prepares a long-term scheme of work and makes appropriate short-term preparation in accordance with the comprehensive scheme for the school taking into account the ability and attainments of the pupils assigned to him/her. At the end of the month he/she should arrange that each teacher indicates in a Record of Progress that portion of his/her annual scheme of work dealt with during the month. So as to avoid unnecessary repetition of work, it should remain available in the school for at least one school-year after the year to which it relates. In consultation with the staff, the Principal Teacher should arrange for regular assessment of the pupils’ progress. As far as is practicable, he/she should organise the normal staff so that additional help can be provided for pupils who may require it.

12. 13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18. 19.

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20.

21.

22.

Where pupils are appropriately placed in a special class or remedial class, the Principal Teacher should ensure that the pupils’ progress in these classes is reviewed regularly, that there is liaison between the ordinary class-teachers and the teacher of the special or remedial class and that pupils are re-integrated as soon as it is feasible to do so. The Principal Teacher should ensure that additional opportunities and facilities are available to allow the more gifted pupils to make the fullest use of their natural abilities. He/she should arrange adequate supervision and work for pupils whose teacher is absent.

The Principal Teacher and School Records 23.

The Principal Teacher should carefully carry out all official instructions in connection with Roll Books, Daily Report Books, Registers, Teachers’ Reports, School Record Cards, Annual School Reports on Pupils, the Free Books Scheme and other official records.

The Principal Teacher and Officials 24.

The Principal Teacher should co-operate with the Government and Local Government officials in all matters relating to the schools, bearing in mind the rights of the pupils and their parents. In particular, he/she should carefully comply with the requirements of Rule 123 (6) (see Schedule II) and Rule 125(1) and (2).

The Principal Teacher and Parents 25.

The Principal Teacher should seek to win the confidence, co-operation and goodwill of the parents of his/her pupils and should be prepared to discuss with them, individually or otherwise, any matter relevant to the education of their children. At the beginning of each school-year the Principal Teacher should discuss with the Manager and the members of the school staff the question of group meetings of the parents of the pupils.

The Principal Teacher and Senior Pupils 26.

The Principal Teacher should arrange for advice and guidance to pupils in their final year and to their parents on the opportunities, educational and otherwise, available to the pupils in the post-primary field.

Miscellaneous 27.

28. 29.

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The Principal Teacher, in consultation with the staff and having obtained the Manager’s prior approval, should arrange for tours and visits to places of educational interest. He/she should bring to the notice of his pupils the advantages, both national and personal, of the habit of saving. He/she should see than an adequate stock of books and other requisites is made available for the use of the school and for sale to the pupils.

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Section C Duties which may be delegated 1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

The effective supervision of the pupils during breaks, lunch periods, assembly and dismissal. The care and safe custody of school requisites, equipment and teachingaids. The co-operation with the Manager in matters relating to school maintenance, heating and cleaning, care and general appearance of school and school grounds. The organisation and supervision of special and/or remedial classes. Supervision and work for pupils whose teachers are absent. School records and official forms. Arrangements for talks and demonstrations and for visits to selected schools. Arrangements, in agreement with the Manager, for the effective liaison with parents. Arrangements for educational tours and outings. The promotion of saving. The supervision of school and class libraries Responsibility for organising particular areas of the curriculum throughout the school. Responsibility for a particular school activity e.g. games, choir, orchestra, drama, etc. Arrangements for the supervision of pupils during religious exercises. Section D

Vice-Principal Teacher 1. The Vice Principal is required to assist the Principal Teacher in the day-to-day organisation and supervision of the school. In addition to he/her teaching duties, the Vice Principal should be assigned specific duties by the Manager. Before assigning such duties to the Vice Principal, the Manager should discuss the matter with the Principal Teacher. Assistant Teachers with posts of special responsibility 2. The Manager should arrange, in consultation with the Principal Teacher, to assign specific duties to each teacher holding a post of special responsibility. Section E 1. The lists of duties in Section B and C are not exhaustive and may be amended by the Department of Education from time to time as circumstances warrant. 2. Responsibilities and duties of the Principal Teacher and other staff vary according to the type and size of the school. Where warranted, the Manager, in consultation with the principal Teacher, may make whatever amendments to the lists of duties at Sections B and C may be necessary to suit the particular needs of the school.

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Appendix 6 Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 PART 111 EDUCATIONAL WELFARE AND COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE 15.--- (15) The Board shall, as soon as may be after registering ……..a child who is registered at a recognised school, so inform by notice in writing the principal of that school, and the principal concerned shall, on receipt of such notification, remove the child’s name from the register maintained under section 20 in respect of the school concerned. 17.---(2) A child shall not be required to attend a recognised school where --(b) the child is temporarily attending a school outside the State and the parent of the child has notified the school at which the child is registered of the reason for his or her non-attendance at the second-mentioned school. 18. --- (1) Where a child is absent from the school at which he or she is registered during part of a school day or for a school day or more than a school day the parent of such child shall, as soon as is practicable …… notify the principal of the school of --(a) the reasons for the child’s absence, and (b) where the child is absent due to illness, the nature of the illness. 20. ---(1) The principal of a recognized school shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this section, cause to be established and maintained a register of all students attending that school. (2) The principal of a recognized school shall, as soon as may be after a parent has accepted an offer from the board of management of the school concerned to admit his or her child as a student therein, enter the name of the child and such particulars as may be prescribed by the Minister in the register maintained in respect of that school under this section, and the child concerned shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed, as on and from the date of entry of this or her name in the said register, to be registered in that school. (3) The principal of a recognized school shall, as soon as may be after entering in the register maintained under this section in respect of that school the name of a child who is registered in another recognized school, so inform by notification in writing the principal of the second-mentioned school.

(4) The principal of the second-mentioned school referred to in subsection (3) shall, on receipt of a notification under that subsection, remove the name of the child concerned from the register maintained under this section in respect of the said second-mentioned school.

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(5) The principal of a recognized school shall, on receiving a notification under subsection (3) in relation to a child, notify the principal of the first-mentioned school referred to in that subsection of any problems relating to school attendance which the child concerned has while attending the second-mentioned school referred to in the said subsection. (6) The principal of a recognized school shall not remove a child from the register other than – (a) in accordance with subsection (4), or (b) where he or she has received a notification in writing from the Board that the child concerned is registered in the register maintained under section 15. 21. ---(1) The principal of a recognized school shall cause to be maintained in respect of each school year a record of the attendance or non-attendance of each school day of each student registered at that school. (2) A record maintained under subsection (1) shall specify the following, that is to say: (a) where a student attends at the school concerned on a school day, the fact of his or her attendance, or (b) where a student fails to so attend, the fact of his or her failure and the reasons for such failure. (3) A record to which this section applies shall be maintained at the recognized school concerned and shall be in such form as may be specified by the Board. (4) Where --(a) a student is suspended from a recognized school for a period of not less than 6 days, (b) a student is expelled from a recognized school, (c) the aggregate number of school days on which a student is absent from a recognized school during a school year is not less than 11, (d) a student’s name is, for whatever reason, removed form the register referred to in section 20 by the principal of the school concerned, or (e) a student is, in the opinion of the principal of the recognized school at which he or she is registered, not attending school regularly, the principal of the school concerned shall forthwith so inform an educational welfare officer. (5) The board of management of a recognized school shall not later than 6 weeks after the end of each school year submit a report to the educational welfare officer

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who has been assigned functions under this Act in relation to that school on the levels of attendance at that school during the immediately preceding school year. (7) An educational welfare officer may during any school day enter a recognized school and inspect the register maintained at that school under section 20 or a record to which this section applies. 22. ---(1) The board of management of a recognized school shall, after consultation with the principal of, teachers teaching at, parents of students registered at, and the educational welfare officer assigned functions in relation to, that school, prepare and submit to the Board a statement of the strategies and measures it proposes to adopt for the purpose of fostering an appreciation of learning among students attending that school and encouraging regular attendance at school on the part of such students (hereafter in this section referred to as a “statement of strategy�). (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a statement of strategy shall provide for --(a) the rewarding of students who have good school attendance records; (b) the identification at an early stage of students who are at risk of developing school attendance problems; (c) the establishment of closer contacts between the school concerned and the families of students to which paragraph (b) applies; (d) the fostering, promoting and establishing of contacts by the school with other schools that provide primary or post-primary education, and with bodies engaged in the provision of youth work programmes or services related thereto, or engaged in the organizing of sporting activities; (e) in so far as is practicable, the coordination with other schools of programmes aimed at improving discipline among students and encouraging regular attendance at school by students, and the exchanging of information relating to matters of discipline and school attendance with such schools; (f) the identification of aspects of the operation and management of the school and of the curriculum at the school that may contribute to truancy on the part of certain students and the removal of those aspects in so far as they are not necessary or expedient for the proper and effective running of the school. (3) The board of management of a recognized school shall, in preparing a statement of strategy, have regard to such guidelines issued by the Board regarding the preparation and carrying into effect of statements of strategy. (4) A statement of strategy prepared and submitted by the board of management of a recognized school, in accordance with subsection (1), shall be carried out by that board of management in accordance with its terms.

23. ---(1) The board of management of a recognized school shall, after consultation with the principal of, the teachers teaching at, the parents of students registered at, and

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the educational welfare officer assigned functions in relation to, that school, prepare, in accordance with subsection (2), a code of behaviour in respect of the students registered at the school, (hereafter in this section referred to as a “code of discipline”). (2) A code of discipline shall specify --(a) the types of behaviour on the part of a student that may require disciplinary measures to be taken in relation to him or her; (b) the nature of the measures referred to in paragraph (a); (c) the procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled from the school concerned; (d) the grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a student; (e) the steps that will be taken to endure that a student who is expelled will receive a prescribed minimum education. (3) The board of management of a recognized school shall, in preparing a code of discipline, have regard to such guidelines as may be issued by the Board regarding the preparation and carrying into effect of codes of discipline. (4) The principal of a recognized school shall, on registering a child as a student at that school in accordance with section 20, provide the parents of such child with a copy of the code of discipline in respect of the school concerned. (5) The principal of a recognized school shall, on a request being made by a student registered at the school or a parent of such a student, provide the student or parent, as the case may be, with a copy of the code of discipline in respect of the school concerned.

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Appendix 7 Learning-Support Guidelines DES 2000, Chapter 3 Partnership in Learning Support 3.1 Overview To facilitate the effective implementation of a school policy on special needs and learning-support services, the roles of the different partners – the Board of Management, the principal teacher, class teachers, learning-support teacher(s), parents and pupils – should be outlined in the School Plan.

3.3 The Principal Teacher – Overall Responsibility The principal teacher has overall responsibility for the school’s learning-support programme and for the operation of services for children with special educational needs. Part of this work involves ensuring that the teachers and parents of pupils who are selected for diagnostic assessment and supplementary teaching are enabled to fulfill their roles as outlined in the school plan.

3.3 1. Role of the Principal Teacher in Developing and Implementing Learning-Support and Special Needs Services An important part of the principal teacher’s role is the co-ordination of learningsupport and special needs services, particularly in light of the broader range of services that are now available to schools to meet the needs of pupils with diagnosed general or specific learning disabilities. The principal teacher should:        

assume overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the school’s policies on learning support and special needs; work with teachers and parents in the development of the school plan on learning support and special needs; monitor the implementation of the school plan on learning support and special needs on an ongoing basis; monitor the selection of pupils for supplementary teaching, ensuring that this service is focused on the pupils with very low achievement; assume direct responsibility for co-ordinating learning-support and special needs services or identify a teacher to perform this role; oversee the implementation of a whole-school assessment and screening programme to identify pupils with very low achievement an/or learning difficulties so that these pupils can be provided with the support they need; keep teachers informed about the external assessment services that are available an the procedures to be followed in initiating referrals; help teachers to increase their knowledge and skills in the area of learningsupport teaching by, for example, providing guidance and advice with regard to teaching methods and materials and by encouraging teachers to avail of relevant in-career development.

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The role of o-ordinating learning-support and special needs services may be fulfilled by the principal teacher him/herself. Alternatively the principal teacher may assign these duties to another teacher such as s special education teacher, leaning-support teacher or post holder. Typically, the duties assigned to this role would include the following:      

maintaining a list of pupils who are receiving supplementary teaching and/or special educational services; helping to co-ordinate the caseloads/work schedules of the learning-support and resource teachers; supporting the implementation of a tracking system at whole-school level to monitor the progress of children with learning difficulties; advising parents on procedures for available of special needs services; liaising with external agencies such as psychological services to arrange assessments and special provision for pupils with special needs; arranging for classroom accommodation and resources, as appropriate.

3.3.2 Role of the Principal Teacher in Supporting the Work of Class Teachers The Principal Teacher should: 





 

a consult with class teachers on how they can contribute to the implementation of the school plan on learning support in such areas as: - the prevention of learning difficulties; - the screening and identification of pupils who may need supplementary teaching; - participation in the development of an Individual Profile and Learning Programme for each pupil who has been selected for supplementary teaching; - provision of appropriate long-term support to pupils for whom supplementary teaching is no longer being provided by the learningsupport teacher; - identification of pupils who may have general or specific learning disabilities; ensure that class teachers are centrally involved in planning and directing the appropriate learning activities ad implementing the other recommendations in the Individual Profile and Learning Programme of each pupil in their classes who is in receipt of supplementary teaching; develop an awareness among lass teachers of the characteristics and effects of general and specific learning disabilities, the support services that are available for pupils with diagnosed disabilities, and the arrangements that need to be made within classrooms to meet the learning needs of these pupils; facilitate communication between class teachers an parents of pupils in receipt of supplementary teaching; support the professional development of class teacher by encouraging them to attend courses on matters relating to learning difficulties in English and Mathematics and by creating an environment and a structure in which the learning-support teacher can share knowledge and skills with other staff members.

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3.3.3 Role of the Principal Teacher in Supporting the Work of the LearningSupport Teacher In order to support the implementation of school policy on learning-support as outlined in the school plan, the principal teacher should arrange a meeting with the learning-support teacher and the teacher with responsibility for co-ordinating special needs and earning-support services at least once each school term to discuss the implementation of the school plan on learning support ………….

3.3.4 Role of the Principal Teacher in Working with Parents, Out-of-School Agencies, and the School Community While the learning-support teacher will consult with parents and outside agencies on an ongoing basis, the principal teacher can facilitate the involvement of parents in the learning-support process by:    

establishing school policies and procedures which enable parents to become involved effectively in the provision of learning support; encouraging the organization of information sessions for all parents on issues relating to the school’s learning-support service; overseeing the development of links between teachers and the providers of assessments and other services; facilitating the involvement of other members of the community (for example, grandparents, older siblings, retired adults) in contributing to the learningsupport programme by inviting them to train for and participate in activities such as paired reading, story telling and library time.

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Appendix 8 Members of IPPN Subcommittee on Benchmarking Pat Meagher, Youghalarra NS, Portroe, Newtown, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Susan Doody, Presentation PS, Terenure, Dublin D 6W. Moira Lynch, St. Manchan’s NS. Tubber, Co.Westmeath. Peter Long, Scoil Íde, Corbally, Co.Limerick. Frank O’Meara, Clocha Rince NS, Moyvalley, Co.Kildare. Consultant to IPPN: Mr. Michael Farrell, Administrative Secretary, U.C.C.

Members of IPPN Interim National Executive Colm Cregan, St. John’s G & B NS. Cathedral Place, Limerick Joe Diver, Scoil Mhuire, Doire Beaga, Co. Donegal. Susan Doody, Joint Treasurer, Presentation PS, Terenure, Dublin D 6W Seán Hanley, St.Ann’s NS, Bailieborough, Co.Cavan. Jim Hayes, President, Scoil Oilibhéir, Ballyvolane, Cork. Pat Kavanagh, Our Lady of Fatima NS. Barntown, Co.Wexford. Moira Lynch, Recording Secretary, St. Manchan’s NS. Tubber, Co.Westmeath. Una McNamara, Membership Secretary,St. Vincent de Paul GPS, Griffith Ave., D 9 Íde Ní Dhubháin, Joint Treasurer, Gaelscoil Mhachan, An Charraig Dhubh, Cork. Tomás Ó Slatara, P.R.O., SN na Grainsí, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Virginia O’Mahony, Deputy President, Scoil Chaitríona Snr. Renmore, Co.Galway. David Ruddy, Legal Advisor, Talbot SNS, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22. Damien White, Killeigh NS, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Seán Cottrell, Director, IPPN, Glounthaune, Co. Cork.

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Members of IPPN Interim National Committee Colm Cregan, St. John’s G & B NS. Cathedral Place, Limerick Joe Diver, Scoil Mhuire, Doire Beaga, Co. Donegal. Susan Doody, Presentation PS, Terenure, Dublin D 6W Seán Hanley, St.Ann’s NS, Bailieborough, Co.Cavan. Jim Hayes, Scoil Oilibhéir, Ballyvolane, Cork. Pat Kavanagh, Our Lady of Fatima NS. Barntown, Co.Wexford. Moira Lynch, St. Manchan’s NS. Tubber, Co.Westmeath. Una McNamara, St. Vincent de Paul GPS, Griffith Ave., Dublin 9 Íde Ní Dhubháin, Gaelscoil Mhachan, An Charraig Dhubh, Cork. Tomás Ó Slatara, SN na Grainsí, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Virginia O’Mahony, Scoil Chaitríona Snr. Renmore, Co.Galway. David Ruddy, Talbot SNS, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22. Damien White, Killeigh NS, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Ciarán Boland, Scoil Barra Naofa, Monkstown, Co.Cork. Noeleen Brennan, St.Kevin’s NS, Sallynoggin, Co.Dublin. Noreen Carroll, 2 Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, Dublin 18. Margaret Condon, St. Michael’s PS, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10. Bride De Róiste, Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc, Bothar Phollerton, Carlow. Larry Fleming, Ballinamre NS, Tullamore, Co.Offaly. Paddy Flood, Edenmore NS, Emyvale, Co.Monaghan. Eileen Flynn, “Cnocluain”, Milestone, Dunboyne, Co. Meath. Marjorie Flynn, Scoil Maria Assumpta, Milltown, Co.Kerry. Gus Hanley, St. Mel’s NS. Ardagh, Co. Longford. Seán Holian, Kilternan NS, Kilcolgan, Co.Galway. Áine Lawlor, 4,Pebbel Hall, Bunboyne Road, Maynooth, Co.Kildare. Peter Long, Scoil Íde, Corbally, Co.Limerick. Jean McGowan, St. Edwards, Ballytivnal, Co.Sligo. Padraic McKeon, Holy Family NS, Newport, Co. Mayo. Pat Meagher, Youghalarra NS, Portroe, Newtown, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Pat Moore, Coolame, Turloughmore, Athenry, Co.Galway. Paul Murphy, St. Oliver Plunkett’s NS, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. John Murrell, Scoil Phadraigh Naofa, Davitt Road, Mountmellick, Co.Laois. Frank O’Meara, Clocha Rince NS, Moyvalley, Co.Kildare. John O’Byrne, St. Conaire’s NS, Shannon, Co. Clare. Breda Rice, Loreto PS, Gorey, Co.Wexford. Ciarán Sugrue, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. Dermot Toomey, 40 Bettyglen, Ratheny, Dublin 5. Damien White, Corville NS, Roscrea, Co.Tipperary. Seán Cottrell, Director, IPPN, Glounthaune, Co. Cork.

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The Value of Leadership+  
The Value of Leadership+