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

Schools becoming a safe haven for Ireland’s 4,000 homeless children

Schools are often a safe haven for Ireland’s homeless children – the one positive place where they can be kids. IPPN CEO, Pairic Clerkin acknowledged and commended the many school leaders and teachers who are quietly supporting these children and their families on a daily basis as he addressed the sold out Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) Annual Principals’ Conference. This event, the largest gathering of primary school leaders in Europe, is taking place on Thursday and Friday, 24th and 25th January in Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin.

IPPN CEO, Pairic Clerkin said: ‘4000 children in Ireland are currently homeless and the problem is spreading from cities to provincial towns as demand within the housing rental market exacerbates’. He continued to state the stark reality that due to ‘the sheer scale of the current housing crisis, we are a number of years away from making significant inroads on effectively addressing the homeless issue’ in Ireland.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:16

Nearly 70% of primary schools encountering problems as a result of smartphone / social media use outside of school

A recent survey of primary school leaders has highlighted the dramatic impact smartphones and social media usage can have on and in our primary schools. This survey was carried out ahead of the largest gathering of primary school principals in Europe, at the upcoming IPPN Annual Principals’ Conference taking place this Thursday and Friday, 24th and 25th January in Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin.

An ESRI report, published on 15th January 2019, has stated that 40 per cent of children own a mobile phone by the age of 9. This has resulted in primary schools having to define a strategy on the use of mobile phones in their schools. The recent survey carried out by the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) has determined that 84% of primary schools currently have a smartphone policy in place.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:16

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.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:13

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