Managing the pace of change and reform within the primary education sector

The Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) welcome a long-awaited announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, T.D. to slow down the pace of change and impact of reform on the primary education sector.

Over the last number of years IPPN has been engaging with the Department of Education and Skills and education partners to operate a ‘Calendar of Reform’, whereby new initiatives are staged and coordinated, ensuring an agreed, prioritised plan and an adequate communication process. This should eliminate any duplication or unnecessary workload.

Past President, Maria Doyle stated at IPPN Annual Principals Conference on Thursday, 28th January 2016, ‘IPPN would welcome a collaborative approach to a Calendar of Reform where stakeholders and agencies sit together and discuss proposed new initiatives and agree a reasonable and manageable timeframe for the introduction of change. Agencies must work together and consider the needs of schools in working through their individual strategies.’

September 2018 saw the introduction of such a group referred to as the ‘Primary Education Forum’. The work of this group has progressed over recent months and has provided a focal platform for IPPN to state the concerns of our members and to address workload issues. There is now a discernible appetite amongst all partners to overhaul the fragmented and uncoordinated roll out of initiatives that is causing undue stress to school leaders.

Minister for Education Skills, Joe McHugh, T.D. has this week announced the first action as a result of this consultation by implementing a delay in the introduction of the new Primary Maths Curriculum and the commencement of the remaining sections of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018.

IPPN will continue to advocate on behalf of primary school leaders by engaging with the Department of Education and Skills and key education partners through the work of the Primary Education Forum. We anticipate that this is the first positive measurein decelerating the pace of change and introduction of initiatives.


Further information available here – DES press release

Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2018 16:36

IPPN welcomes recent review of Special Needs Assistant Scheme

Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) is pleased that the proposed new model, issued by the NCSE today, is not a cost-cutting exercise. In fact, the DES have increased the number of SNAs (to be referred to as Inclusion Support Assistants) working in our schools by almost 1,000 this year (totaling 15,000 by the end of this calendar year). IPPN also welcome the recommendation to have ring-fenced funding available for an in-school therapy service.

Pat Goff, IPPN Deputy CEO stated that ‘There is no doubt that pupils with special education needs attending schools today have a totally different experience than those of years ago. However, it was unfair that parents who could afford to pay for private reports could access resources more easily than pupils from a disadvantaged background’. He also acknowledged the fundamental role that SNAs play in supporting children who have additional care needs to attend school.

IPPN has always supported the principle that all students, wherever possible and irrespective of their special educational need, would be welcomed and enabled to enroll in their local school. The proposed new model of support is designed to ensure that those pupils with additional care needs will have access to the right supports at the right time. IPPN also welcomes the fact that the additional support assistants will be front-loaded into schools without the requirement to have a diagnosis for those pupils.

IPPN welcomes the ‘Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme – A New School Inclusion Model to Deliver the Right Supports at the Right Time to Students with Additional Care Needs’ published today by the NCSE. However, we encourage every staff member in schools to thoroughly examine this report with one objective – to determine whether will this new model lead to better outcomes for students with Special Educational Needs?


Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2018 18:31

Media coverage of IPPN Principals' Conference 2018

Click here to view the list of media interviews and articles

Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2018 09:41

Budget 2018- More teachers, less sugar, provides sweetener for Education’.

‘More teachers, less sugar, provides sweetener for Education’. 

Budget 2018 includes several measures in relation to Primary Education which are welcomed by IPPN. 
Pairic Clerkin, IPPN CEO, today welcomes provision for the reduction of the pupil teacher ratio in primary schools to 26:1. He states “This is a step in the right direction and will have significant impact on Teaching and Learning outcomes for all our children”. 
However, implementing this new ratio at a time where teacher supply is at a critically low point will bring challenges. IPPN, as the professional body for school leaders is working with the Department of Education and Skills to provide alternative solutions as a matter of urgency.


Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:57

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