IPPN call for clear guidance for the delivery of Summer Provision programmes and the reopening schools

June 12th 2020

IPPN acknowledge the announcement today (June 12th) of a summer provision programme for children with special needs and students in DEIS schoolsand recognise the importance of these programmes for these children. We are now calling for clear guidelines to be published in order for schools to deliver these programmes in a safe and orderly manner. School leaders above all else recognise the level of need for students with special needs or students suffering disadvantage and wish to support them. However, the significant challenges of school leaders and boards of management in managing the roll out of these programmes in the absence of any formal guidelines must be recognised.

We further acknowledge the publication  of the “Planning for reopening schools in line with the Roadmap for reopening society and business” report to government issued by the Department of Education and Skills today. We are disappointed at the lack of definitive guidelines and clarity in the document which will hinder schools leaders in their efforts to plan for the reopening of their schools.

IPPN President Damian White said:

“This a time of unprecedented challenge for everyone in the school community.The viability of a summer programme without clear and concise guidelines is inconceivable presently. It is imperativethat before the roll out of any such programme that guidelines are released to boards of management and schools leaders for review in a timely fashion to allow for sufficient planning and preparation.”

It is important that all organisations work closely together to ensure that the return to school for children and staff is safe and in keeping with best practices as laid out by NPHET and the HSE. Alongside our formal engagement with the DES, we will be working closely with key stakeholders in the primary education space to ensure a joined up approach in supporting our members.


Last Updated: Friday, 12 June 2020 18:26

School Meals during COVID-19 closures - IPPN / INTO Joint Statement

The Department of Education and Skills (DES) has confirmed that the School Meals Scheme will resume from this week, with some notable changes.


Following the latest restrictions announced by the Government on Friday, The DES have confirmed that either An Post or local community/voluntary groups, via a Community Champion in each county, may assist schools with the delivery of food to vulnerable pupils under the scheme. Each county has a Community Champion whose role is to direct queries and requests for assistance to local community and voluntary groups.

INTO and the IPPN are advising school principals and Home School Community Liaison Teachers, whose Boards of Management have decided how the scheme will operate in their school, to liaise with school completion services to ensure that pupils from all families who wish to avail of the school meals scheme during the coming weeks, receive the food once a week.


INTO and the IPPN wish to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of school principals, and all those working within their school, who continue to implement exceptional measures for the benefit of primary school pupils in these unprecedented times.


It is important that all of our members adhere to the advice of government regarding physical distancing, while supporting the school meals initiative.


Important Note: Effective 6pm, on Monday 30 March, school buildings will no longer be accessible to school staff until Easter Sunday April 12 (except in the case of school staff who are involved in planning for the distribution of school meals to vulnerable pupils).


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Last Updated: Monday, 30 March 2020 12:53

IPPN and NPC Joint Statement on School Closures due to COVID-19 measures

During these unprecedented times, IPPN and NPC are in agreement that a mutually supportive partnership in local school communities between school and home will be critical to supporting children’s education in the coming weeks, during mandated school closures.

IPPN and NPC will work together with other national stakeholders in the coming weeks to support school communities to best support children’s learning.

Páiric Clerkin, CEO of IPPN, stated that ‘Naturally, pupils, parents, staff and Boards all have questions and need assurance that the very best is being to support children’s learning. In responding to this crisis, IPPN has focused our attention on providing school leaders with the most up-to-date information and guidance, as well as practical supports. Our website www.ippn.ie continues to be the one-stop-shop for key information.’

Áine Lynch, CEO of NPC, encourages parents to support their children’s learning through this period in partnership with their school, to ensure the least impact on their children’s learning.


IPPN Supports

IPPN will continue to provide support and guidance to concerned school leaders through the Leadership Support service (1890 21 22 23 / info@ippn.ie). TextaParent SMS units will be provided to all schools that request them, without requiring up-front payment, to ensure that no school would run out of ‘credit’ in communicating urgent information to parents -  email info@textaparent.ie.

IPPN urges all members to keep up to date with the latest information from the HSE and the DES and to follow their guidance. As always, we are here to support school leaders who have queries, or if you need help with a critical issue in your school. Please bear with us if you cannot get through to the Support Office immediately, as the number of calls has increased significantly in recent weeks. We will endeavour to respond to all calls and emails within 24 hours, in order of receipt, during office opening hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 17:00.

Last Updated: Thursday, 12 March 2020 21:11

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

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