Budget 2020 Has Failed Primary Schools


The Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) has expressed deep frustration and bitter disappointment at Budget 2020. While there is still no clarity from the Department about the specifics for the education sector from this budget, we understand that certain provisions have been made for the primary sector as set out here.

It seems that one additional day per year for leadership and management has been provided for in the Budget from September 2020, which is far short of the one day per week IPPN has insisted is the minimum required to lead and manage our schools. There is no restoration of middle leadership posts to allow for distributed leadership in larger schools. It is deeply concerning that the Department and the Minister have taken so little action in these two crucial areas to show they had understood what school leaders were calling for.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 04 February 2020 09:21

IPPN's response to the publication of the Student and Parent Charter


IPPN acknowledges the publication of the draft Charter by the Department of Education and Skills.

It is clear to IPPN that the Department has taken a legislative approach to the development of this Charter, which will influence how schools will interact with parents and pupils. Relationships are central to the work of schools and a positive school culture is paramount. It is the view of IPPN that this Charter largely ignores this reality. The Charter was an opportunity to promote the sharing of responsibility between schools, parents and pupils.  The way the press release and draft charter are framed makes it clear this is not the Department's preferred approach.

Greater consultation before the publication of the Charter would have been welcomed.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 04 February 2020 09:21

IPPN Submission re. Budget 2020

There are many significant issues to be addressed in the primary education sector. IPPN presents two priorities for Budget 2020 - one leadership and management day per week for teaching principals; and a restoration of promoted posts in schools with more than four teachers. IPPN and other stakeholders have been calling for these improvements for many years. Parliamentary questions in April and July 2019 indicated that the costs of implementing one leadership and management day a week would be €7.5m to €8m. At this stage, we believe that the Department needs to push these changes forward in one step/budget. Simply put, the small incremental changes introduced in recent years are not having a sufficient impact to alleviate the situation in our schools.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 01 October 2019 10:38

Ireland’s 134 Special Schools need Sustainable Action

There are 134 Special Schools, including 10 hospital schools, located across all 26 counties, educating 8,241 pupils (2,666 females and 5,575 males). Special School principals will be gathering together at the upcoming Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) Annual Principals’ Conference, titled ‘Sustainable Leadership’, taking place this Thursday and Friday, 24th and 25th January in Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin.
IPPN recently surveyed all principals of Special Schools as part of an ongoing IPPN Membership Engagement project. The survey findings will be presented to the group at a dedicated meeting of special school principals on Thursday, 24th January. This meeting will also be attended by a representative of the Department of Education & Skills and the Ombudsman for Children, Niall Muldoon.

While all Special Schools are aligned with the primary level sector, this survey has told us that 79% of special schools cater for both primary and post-primary pupils. An additional 5% cater for early years right through to post-primary level.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:18

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