Leadership and Management days prioritised for Teaching Principals

The Annual Conference of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN), titled ‘Sustainable Leadership’ taking place on Thursday and Friday, 24 and 25 January in Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin, highlights the needs of Teaching Principals and the fundamental need for further investment in school leadership at primary level.

In the Irish primary school system, close to 2,000 primary school principals (56%) are ‘Teaching Principals’ defined solely on their enrolment figures being fewer than 177 pupils. IPPN’s top priority at present is to secure a minimum of one leadership and management day per week for teaching principals.

IPPN President, David Ruddy urges the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, to ‘grasp the nettle’ and to sanction one day a week for teaching principals to focus on leadership and management in their schools. He highlighted the immense impact that this would have on rural Ireland in particular.

The number of teachers counted in the calculation of leadership and management days is currently based on mainstream class teachers only. It does not take into account additional support and ancillary staff such as learning support teachers, resource teachers, special class teachers, special needs assistants, ancillary staff or bus escorts, nor other staff such as nurses and occupational therapists that are often allocated to special schools.

IPPN CEO, Páiric Clerkin has previously stated that ‘all staff members add huge value to each school but also result in significant additional duties for the teaching principal, as all staff must be managed, led and supported’.

IPPN President, David Ruddy also stated: ‘our medium and larger schools have been badly affected by the moratorium on filling posts. Assistant Principal 1 & 2 positions as espoused in the Leadership and Management Circular provide an unprecedented opportunity to develop a real and genuine distributive leadership in our schools’.

IPPN is continuing to call for the moratorium to be fully lifted from all schools, to ensure that the rebuilding of leadership and management capacity can be facilitated right across the sector. This is a necessary measure if our current Minister is resuming the objective for Ireland to have the best Education system in Europe by 2026.


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