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It should have been a great year. We’ve celebrated our Centenary with much dignity and restraint and we’ve reached a satisfactory – if underwhelming - level of reflective revisionism.

We’ve seen our President do us proud as a man of gravitas and philosophical wisdom, constantly reminding us of the ideals towards which we should aspire….…. and we’ve even seen David Mullins ‘rule the world’ at Aintree.

Yet almost two months after the General Election the ship of state drifts inexorably on towards the rocks, with squabbling on the bridge, tussling over who takes the wheel,  no-one in command in the engine room and our education system, amplifying its angst through the Easter conferences, with its own share of tragedy and triviality, wafting slowly onwards.

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April Leader

The Leader - April Edition Now available in hard copy and online for members in the publications section. 

 

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PAUL BYRNE IS CONCERNED ABOUT SCHOOL LEAGUE TABLES 

I recently received communication from one of our colleagues outlining his justifiable anger and frustration at the publication of league tables in the national press. These tables attempt to compare schools on the basis of the numbers of students from each school entering third level education. All of us who are involved in second level education are fully aware of the fact that such statistics are in no way reflective of the excellent work being done in our schools. Such a superficial glance at schools viewed through this narrow lens misses the very essence of what makes our schools the caring, nurturing organisations which they are. The purpose of our education system is to grow and develop the individual talents of the students who pass through our schools and to equip each and every one of them with the necessary skills and competences to take their place in our society.

We, who are working at the coal face in our country’s schools, are fully aware that not all students aspire to enter third level education following their Leaving Certificate. In fact there is a growing trend for students who although they fully intend entering third level courses, choose to participate in Higher Education courses directly after their Leaving Certificate examinations in preparation for their chosen career path in third level or elsewhere. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) in April 2015 indicated the potential for 20,000 new jobs in the construction industry. The CIF have actively promoted the uptake of apprenticeships to fill the shortfall which has arisen in the construction sector over the last few years. The success of their policy has seen the numbers entering apprenticeships double between 2012 and 2015. The students who opt for such career choices will not appear on the radar of the League Table. Similarly students who opt for PLC courses will be obscured from the narrow field of vision used to compile the statistics on the league table which has upset our colleagues.

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Leader - January 2016

Leader - January 2016 - Now available in Electronic Format for Members. 

 

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NAPD represents Principals and Deputy Principals at post-primary level in the Republic of Ireland.

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