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

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