26th January 2017 - Bring ‘good old fashioned common sense back into our overwhelmed education system’ pleads education leader

President of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) Maria Doyle, will this week make an impassioned plea to the Department of Education and Skills to eliminate the raft of ‘unnecessary rules and regulations’ that are making it impossible for school principals to achieve their vision for schools.

Maria Doyle will address over 1,100 primary principals in Citywest Convention Centre on Thursday, January 28th at the IPPN Annual Conference - a conference now widely acknowledged as being one of the largest gatherings of school leaders in the British Isles. Ms Doyle will encourage school leaders to “reclaim their right to do what is essential and effective in their own schools” and give common sense pride of place in the area of managing teaching and learning in our schools.

The IPPN President stated “Initiative overload is contributing to an unsustainable workload which is damaging the health, wellbeing and enthusiasm of primary school principals. She places the onus of managing legislative change and financial deficits (which now affects 48% of schools) squarely on the shoulders of the Department of Education and the school management bodies.”

“Principals need to get back to their core work and insist that governance matters are addressed and discharged by the school boards. It is no longer acceptable to use the excuse that school Boards are a group of volunteers, many of whom are unskilled in the area of governance. The system is either fit for purpose or it is not” warns Ms Doyle.

The President goes on to castigate the relentless roll out of initiative after initiative that is resulting in superficial attention to detail in schools. She warns that sustainable improvement in our schools as reflected by recent positive international comparisons is in danger of becoming a casualty rather than a reality. “Let common sense prevail and nonsensical initiatives be shelved” she concluded.

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