New Communications Guidance available to members

The NAPD Welfare Committee has developed a Communications Guidance document which can now be accessed in the VUG section of the website.

The value of good communication cannot be underestimated or its potential to promote and sustain high quality interpersonal relationships within schools and the wider community. A clear communications policy developed by all stakeholders in the school community is vital for a schools operation and growth and has the capacity to reduce conflict and equip a school with a level of adaptability to change which is now a necessity in education for the future.


The time is now’ for senior cycle reform; NAPD Annual Conference

The time is now’ for senior cycle reform; NAPD Annual Conference

School leaders from Ireland’s 700 post primary schools gather virtually for Annual Conference today, ‘From Functioning to Flourishing’

  • NAPD makes clear its intentions to seek progression of reform of senior cycle ahead of its Annual Conference today;
  • Minister for Education Norma Foley set to join conference for ‘open discussion’ on the learnings from the pandemic and senior cycle reform;


Speaking ahead of today’s event, Paul Crone, Director, NAPD:

‘Our Annual Conference this week and its theme, ‘From Functioning to Flourishing’ will bring post primary school leaders together to consider the opportunities the pandemic has created for the enhancement of Irish education. Reform of the senior cycle is a key element of this, and we look forward to discussing this issue with Minister Foley later today.

‘The case for such reform has never been greater and the time for action is now. School leaders stand ready to implement senior cycle reform, progress that will improve the development and learning of our young people, and we urge the Minister to act with intent.’

The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), the representative body for Ireland’s post primary school leaders, will meet virtually today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday, 20 and 21 October) for its Annual Conference. School leaders from Ireland’s 700 post primary schools are expected to join the event which will feature a panel discussion with Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and seminars from a host of education and leadership experts.

The conference will focus on the theme ‘From Functioning to Flourishing’ and will involve reflection and debate on the lessons learned for school communities during the Covid-19 pandemic and the opportunities these now present.

New appointments

Last week, the Association elected outgoing Vice President and Principal, Ramsgrange Community School, Co. Wexford, Rachel O’Connor, as its incoming President. The Waterford native holds a wealth of experience in education advocacy and leadership. She is set to address members tomorrow on her vision for Irish post primary education in the year ahead.

Outgoing President and Principal, Laurel Hill Secondary School, Co. Limerick, Michael Cregan will open the two-day event today. Both Presidents are set to outline the work achieved to date on senior cycle reform and the urgency required to progress this in the months ahead – both in their respective speeches and during a panel discussion with Minister Foley later today.

Student focused collaboration between education partners

The greatest outcome of this process, the student-focussed collaboration between all education partners, must be carried forward and repeated to now deliver broader, permanent reform of the senior cycle.

Research undertaken in 2018 by the NAPD found that 83% of students claimed that the Leaving Certificate examination in its traditional form was ‘not the best way to assess’ their educational achievement. In the same survey, 55% of parents were in favour of their children being assessed by their teacher and 65% of teachers were in favour of comprehensive reform of the Leaving Certificate.  The reform agenda has gathered further momentum in light of the pandemic.

Speaking ahead of today’s event and on reform of the senior cycle, Rachel O’Connor, President, NAPD, said:

“Over the past 18 months, the post primary sector has demonstrated great adaptability to maintain and improve the quality of education for our students. Through such adaption, we have learned that it is possible for our excellent teachers to assess their students, that entry to third level must be decoupled from terminal exam results and most importantly, that students’ anxiety and stress were significantly reduced when they had options.

“At every stage during this process, students’ voices were heard and as we seek to progress reform of the senior cycle, the NAPD advocates strongly for students to continue to be given a stronger say in their learning and assessment. 

“To this end, the pace at which such reform is occurring is concerning. While school leaders acknowledge that the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic continue to impact how we deliver education in Ireland and will likely do so for some time to come, there must now be resources directed towards senior cycle reform with urgency. We cannot allow another academic year to slip past without progress and delivery. The time for action is now.

“NAPD members stand ready to implement reform and look forward to hearing Minister Foley re-iterate her commitment and that of her Departmental colleagues later day.”


For media queries and/ or to secure media access to the NAPD Annual Conference, contact 360:

Barry Murphy / / 087 266 9878

Macdara Ó’Móráin / / 086 087 3387

NAPD celebrates Gaisce’s 35th Anniversary with ‘Bulbs For Bees’

NAPD celebrates Gaisce’s 35th Anniversary with ‘Bulbs For Bees’


NAPD would like to thank every member who has helped Gaisce – The President’s Award spread the word about the Award’s 35th anniversary in Ireland by taking part in #BulbsForBees campaign – the largest pollination initiative ever seen in Ireland – and it’s still growing….pun intended!


To date, over 600,000 bulbs have been distributed nationwide.


If you would like to take part and secure bulbs, you can purchase some in the coming days and over this weekend at your local garden centre. Make sure to check before purchase that the bulbs are pollinator-friendly, as they are the ones we need to plant to support the wild bee population across Ireland into Spring 2022.


We are encouraging everyone now to ensure that the bulbs you have to hand are planted before next Thursday, 21st of October, and also to make sure you sign up for your special commemorative Gaisce Award certificate.


So make sure to:

  1. Plant your pollinator friendly bulb: this is a no-waste campaign!
  2. Post on your social media, tagging @GaisceAward and using #BulbsForBees, and you could win a wonderful prize pack!
  3. Submit a photo of planting your bulbs to the photo competition – by next Thursday, October 21st [all ages and individuals from all locations in Ireland can submit]
  4. Sign up for your very special commemorative Gaisce certificate now.


President Michael D. Higgins has issued a special note of thanks to all who participated so far:


“The provision of a diverse assortment of flowering plants, which will encourage native species in our landscape, is yet another important action in our work to conserve our environment in all its diversity. By planting a pollinator friendly bulb this Autumn, you will be making your own significant contribution to this important work, and to enabling the urgent change that we must achieve for our generations and generations to come. I thank all those who will partaking in this special Gaisce challenge and who, by doing so, make a profound statement of their real desire to protect the life we share on this planet.


This campaign has been possible with support from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, as well as An Post and the Irish Local Development Network.


Gaisce is by it’s mission a self-development organisation supporting young people between 14-25 across Ireland to dream big, and realise their potential. On this occasion, Gaisce wanted to celebrate the mark these young people have positively had on society by stepping up on climate change and sustainability as an organisation – because they demand it and we know we can all play our part.




Commenting on the measures announced for the education sector as part of Budget 2022, Paul Crone, Director, National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals

Media Statement


Commenting on the measures announced for the education sector as part of Budget 2022, Paul Crone, Director, National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals said:

“Today’s education Budget was a missed opportunity by the Government to set about improving learning outcomes for students in the post-primary sector, most of whom have endured a disrupted two years of learning due to Covid.

“We welcome the Government’s announcement of the provision of a further 1,165 SNA positions and 980 special education teachers. This provision represents a positive start to support schools in addressing the complex needs of those students in need of such supports. It is vital now that such additional roles are filled for this impact to be realised. Similar headline commitments were made by the Government in Budget 2021, but to date, these vacancies have yet to be filled.  Therefore, it is critical that the necessary Departmental resourcing and energy is directed to meeting these recruitment goals.

“The NAPD welcomes the €50m allocation in Budget 2022 for technology enhanced learning. The experience of the pandemic has demonstrated a clear need for investment in both ICT infrastructure and supporting school communities in the uptake and use of same.

“We welcome the positive announcement of the expansion of the DEIS scheme, which will help support the most vulnerable students in our society and we commend the Minister on her continued commitment to the scheme.

“We have called on the Minister to address the growing crisis that is the lack of substitute teachers available to schools and call the Government to increase investment in this area to ensure schools are adequately resourced to provide cover for teachers who may take leave for any number of reasons including sick leave, an issue which has become more prevalent during the pandemic.

“Finally, this Budget does little to address the growing crisis in the recruitment and retention of principals in the post-primary sector. School leaders have been overburdened and overwhelmed by administrative duties, which have grown year-on-year, preventing them from focusing their energies on leading learning and education within the school community.”


Strategic review Questionnaire

Dear School Leader,

As the new Director in NAPD I want to try to connect with and harness the views of the membership. I have spoken in more detail at the Regional meetings about the process of the strategic review to inform the strategic direction of NAPD over the coming 5 years and your views are vital to this process. I would like to encourage as many school leaders as possible to complete this questionnaire which will take about 15-20 minutes. It may appear that you have given your views before in these areas, but I ask that you please take the time to complete the questionnaire as this information will give us up to date opinions to reinforce the NAPD mandate on behalf of the members

All data collected in the questionnaire is anonymous and will be used for the purpose of informing the NAPD strategic plan and in the formulation of NAPD policy, positions and views to ensure the NAPD voice is strategically aligned to the views of the membership. The questionnaire is divided into 3 sections,


Section 1: General information

Section 2: Opinions/ views on NAPD

Section 3: Evaluation of the effectiveness of Distributed Leadership Supports


The link to the questionnaire is below:


I ask that you fill this survey in by return but it will remain open until Friday 22nd October 2021.

As discussed at the regional meetings, the NAPD strategic review will focus on the development of the association in 4 main areas that are represented in the graphic below.


I want to thank you for your participation in this process and I am confident you will see the development of NAPD over the next 5 years in line with the information that we are collecting now.

Kind regards

Paul Crone


NAPD Membership Registration/Renewal 2021 2022


Benefits of becoming an NAPD Member:

  • The only professional association to represent all post-primary principals and deputy principals
  • A major voice in Irish Education with The Department of Education and Skills, IPPN, Management Bodies, NCSE, NCCA, Teaching Council, Teacher Unions, College Awareness Week, BeLonGTo
  • Access to ARAG (formally DAS), the insurance company who provide Legal Advice and Legal Fees Indemnity
  • Key Contributing partner with the Centre for School Leadership (CSL)
  • Mentoring through the NAPD Local Support Service
  • Full Access to the NAPD Website, Very Useful Guide and the monthly Bulletin
  • Eligibility to attend the Annual Conference and Regional Branch Meetings
  • Dedicated specialist sub-committees and working groups, including Further Education & Training
  • Access to Leading 4 Learning Workshops
  • Access to arts-in-education funding through Creative Engagement
  • Free Quarterly Journal – NAPD Leader
  • Discounts for NAPD Publications
  • Pre-retirement advice and access to NAPD-Retired

We would also encourage more Electronic Transfers this term if this is possible with your school. Cheques will still be accepted.

You can complete the membership online.

If you would like to register/renew your membership please complete the online form

Best wishes to you all, Stay Safe Stay Well.

Kind regards,

NAPD Head Office

NAPD Associate – Mentoring Coordinator

NAPD are currently looking for expressions of interest from recently retired members of NAPD retired to coordinate,

  1. Mentoring for newly appointed Deputy Principals in their first year following appointment,
  2. Group Mentoring for Principals in year 2 following appointment who have completed 1 to 1 mentoring in the previous year with CSL.

Attached are,

  1. A detailed job description for the role,
  2. A copy of the terms of reference for an NAPD associate.

Expressions of interest are to be emailed to  or before 12 noon on Friday 24th of September 2021.


  • If there are many expressions of interest, it may be necessary to operate some selection procedures that are transparent and fair. This will be done in consultation with the executive committee and with their approval.

NAPD Associate

NAPD Associate – Mentoring coordinator

ARAG Legal Expenses Insurance Policy

FAO NAPD Members

The policy comes into effect on 1st November 2018 for fully paid up NAPD members.  You can check your status on your personal profile when you log into the members section of the NAPD website.

For members who renew their membership after that date the policy comes into effect two (2) weeks after payment appears on your personal profile.

A review document will be published on the NAPD website shortly and I would ask you to please complete the form should you have occasion to use the services provided.  This will enable NAPD to improve the effectiveness of this indemnity policy in meeting members’ needs.

In the normal course of events, when faced with a complex situation Principals and Deputy Principals seek advice from trusted colleagues, fellow NAPD members or NAPD Head Office, Management Bodies, Trustees, Chair (BOM) or their UNION and this policy is not intended to replace any of these avenues of support.

The purpose and scope of this insurance policy is to provide Indemnity for Legal Expenses incurred by NAPD members in the discharge of their professional responsibilities which are not covered by their Employers or Unions or where the Principal/Deputy Principal is not a member of a Union. 


These are the key contact numbers:

 LEGAL ADVICE SERVICE:  Call 01 670 7474

COUNSELLING:                     Call  01 881 8047

Three documents below relating to the ARAG Policy

ARAG Policy Wording

 ARAG Legal Expenses Summary

Possible Scenarios 

Advice for parents during Covid-19



CBA key dates document for third and second years 2021/2022

Dear colleagues,


I just wanted to let you know that the CBA key dates document for third and second years 2021/2022 is now published and can be accessed from our homepage on or via the ‘Junior Cycle’ tab:


If you’ve any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


With best wishes,





Aoife Rush

Stiúrthóir | Director


CNCM | An Chomhairle Náisiúnta Curaclaim agus Measúnachta

NCCA | The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment


35 Cearnóg Mhic Liam, Baile Átha Cliath, D02 KH36

35 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2, D02 KH36


M +353 (0)87 952 6140 T +353 (0)1 661 7177