NAPD Conference Press Release

‘The next emergency in education will be a shortage of school principals’ – NAPD President

  • NAPD Annual Conference opens in The Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny today, Thursday, 17 October
  • 600 secondary school leaders to discuss how our education system can progress and adapt to new regulations and a persistent lack of adequate financial resourcing from Government
  • Key speakers to include Dutch psychologist Professor Mark van Vugt and Dr. Anne Bamford, an international expert in the education of the arts
  • Conference to demo new ‘digital classroom’
  • NAPD comment: “There is an issue with the recruitment and retention of our school leaders. There are too few applicants for the position of principal, and we cannot ignore this.” 

A shortage of school principals will be the next crisis facing the Irish education system, according to Kieran Golden, President of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD). 

According to Mr Golden: “There is a significant issue with the recruitment and retention of our school leaders.  There are too few applicants for the position of principal, and we cannot ignore this.  We need to take serious notice of the impact of an ever-expanding workload on the welfare of our school leaders.”

To alleviate this growing workload, the NAPD is asking for the allocation of additional deputy principal posts and clerical staff posts based on an incremental sliding scale rather than a clinical cut-off point of 700 pupils, which takes no account of the wider context of the school.

Mr Golden will deliver a keynote speech at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, opening in Kilkenny today (Thursday).

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘An Bradán Feasa – Essential Knowledge for Today’s School Leaders’ and it will explore how our second-level education system must adapt to the key issues of education funding, recruitment and retention challenges, The Student & Parent Charter, curriculum changes, GDPR, and technology.

Over 600 principals and deputy principals are expected to attend the two-day conference, which commences at Kilkenny’s Lyrath Hotel from 10am today.  Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD will make an address on Friday morning.

The conference programme includes a number of leading Irish and international educational experts and business leaders who will debate and present on the challenges facing our current education system and the innovative ways in which these issues can be overcome.

Digital classroom

Students from Le Chéile Secondary School, Tyrellstown will showcase a model of digital classroom, highlighting the latest innovations in digital education. This includes lessons in coding, digital skills, maths, business, music, geography and virtual field trips.  The classroom will be an example of how IT can be used to enhance digital learning in the classroom and can be achieved using either Apple, Microsoft or Google technology.

Key-note presentations include:

  • ‘Making the implicit explicit – bringing the learning home’
    • Tomás O’Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council
  • ‘Follow the Leader – but at what cost? – Models of Leadership in human and non-human societies’
    • Dutch academic and evolutionary psychologist, Professor Mark van Vugt
  • ‘The How Factor: Ensuring culture and art education for all students’
    • International expert in the arts, education, emerging literacies, and visual communication, Dr Anne Bamford

Other key areas to be examined over the course of the conference include:

  • The renewed importance of arts education at second level
  • The adoption and roll out of the new Student & Parent Charter

Commenting ahead of the conference, National Director of the NAPD, Clive Byrne, said:

“We look forward to welcoming NAPD members to Kilkenny today for our Annual Conference.  The conference comes at a time where the education system is coming under increasing strain due to a growing student population and the need for parallel Government investment.

“For example, while Budget 2020 was, on balance, received as a positive Budget for education, the provision of 150 new mainstream teaching posts will have little impact on Ireland’s growing student-teacher ratios.      

“We are also hoping to address many of the more complex issues that our principals face day-to-day in our schools, such as the interaction between school management, parents and teachers, GDPR, and the challenge and opportunities that come with keeping pace with new technologies.

“Despite these challenges, our second-level education system has adapted. Many schools have successfully rolled out Physical Education as a Leaving Certificate subject and many more have embedded Computer Education within our curriculum. With increased funding, we will be able to implement these changes nationally in due course.  However, we are currently a considerable distance away from making this happen.” 

ENDS

 

For media enquiries, contact:

Paddy O’Dea | paddy@pr360.ie | 01 637 1777 | 086 357 3365

Barry Murphy | barry@pr360.ie | 01 637 1777 | 087 266 9878

Principals congratulates Leaving Cert students on results, urges renewed focus on senior cycle reform agenda

Principals congratulates Leaving Cert students on results, urges renewed focus on senior cycle reform agenda

Comment from Clive Byrne, director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD): “Amidst the excitement and emotions of today’s exam results, it is important that we don’t lose sight of the pressing issue of Senior Cycle reform” 

The director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), Clive Byrne, has offered his congratulations to Leaving Certificate students receiving their exam results today, while also highlighting the need for Leaving Certificate reform.

Commenting, Mr Byrne said: “On behalf of Irish principals, deputy principals and the NAPD, I would like to congratulate all those students receiving their Leaving Certificate results today.  Today’s results represent the culmination of two years of hard work and dedication from our students, and their achievements should be celebrated, and the support of their families recognised.

“For those students who have been fortunate enough to match or exceed their expectations, today will represent a happy and very affirming conclusion to their second level schooling and a positive launching pad in their pursuit of third level education or other career opportunities.  For other students who may be feeling disappointed, I would encourage them to remain positive.  Thankfully, there are more pathways than ever before into third level education and their chosen careers beyond that.  Additionally, today’s employers are becoming increasingly open to sourcing talent from non-traditional disciplines and do so with a greater appreciation, than ever before, for the diverse experience and skillsets this can bring.       

Senior Cycle Reform

“Finally, amidst the excitement and emotions of today’s exam results, it is important that we don’t lose sight of the pressing issue of Senior Cycle reform.  On 30 July, we saw the publication of National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s (NCCA) interim review of the senior cycle.  While these findings may have helped re-invigorate a national dialogue on Leaving Certificate reform, we all have a responsibility as educators and policymakers to ensure this discourse is not in vein.  This means working together to progress this dialogue into coherent and achievable action points capable of delivering upon the desired reforms.  To this end, we in the NAPD look forward to working with the Minister on the development of a sustainable and modern senior cycle programme in the period ahead.”

ENDS

Mind Monsters Launched – HSE

Statement by Clive Byrne, Director National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, in relation to the HSE’s latest launch of Mind Monsters

 

“We welcome the HSE’s launch of the latest phase of Mind Monsters, an information sharing mental health programme for young people.

 

However, we welcome this with slight caution. Mental health support for students, particularly for those studying for their Leaving Certificate, or Junior Certificate are currently lacking, as are the processes in place to identify issues from outset.

 

Access to mental health services in schools is a constant topic for several Government Departments, however, political intervention has been frustratingly slow.

 

As part of an extensive research programme the NAPD carried out last year, we found that 37% of the students surveyed alluded to mental health issues impeding their studies and, or their exams. Causes of such issues ranged from bereavement, physical illness and operations to relationship breakdowns, and personal family issues.

 

Coupled with the personal and peer pressure for success, this can lead to severe anxiety and depression. The HSE’s campaign advises students on measures they can take that can have a huge benefit on them such as sleep patterns, putting down the phone and regular study breaks, and it is this sort of advice that students, teachers and parents need more of.

 

But so too is access to appropriate, assessment and treatment driven services in schools. This new phase is a positive move from the Government and HSE, and it is encouraging to see that this is on their agenda. It is important that all relevant stakeholders are proactive in working with the Government to address this issue, and we look forward to playing our part in that. Best practice is important, solutions focused is essential, and leadership is required to take an immediate, physical and practical approach to addressing this issue.”

 

ENDS.

New Research Report – 76% of students want a continuous assessment for the Leaving Certificate

76% of students want a continuous assessment for the Leaving Certificate,

according to new research report

 

  • But 78% of principals, deputy principals and teachers do not support the practice of a teacher correcting their own students’ exams
  • Only 4% of students feel the Leaving Certificate is fair and is an accurate assessment of their knowledge and skills
  • Less than half of parents feel that Leaving Certificate adequately prepares their children for third level education
  • “It [the Leaving Certificate] can be a really important and useful stepping stone, in particular for people who have academic aptitudes, and when it comes at the right time in their life. But it doesn’t assess everything” – Professor Philip Nolan, Maynooth University

A new research report on the future of the Leaving Certificate was published today (Monday), January 7th, by the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD). The report entitled ‘Senior Cycle Reform – What do you want?’ surveys the attitudes and views of students, parents, teachers and principals on the Leaving Certificate and its’ future reform.

Key findings include:

  • 97% of parents want reform, compared to 65% of principals, deputy principals & teachers.
  • 79% of students do not feel that the current senior cycle programme encourages active learning methodologies
  • 28% of principals, deputy principals & teachers, 4% of students and 15% of parents feel the Leaving Certificate is fair and accurately assesses students.
  • Students are the only group who would support a teacher correcting their own students’ assessment (51%) compared to 30% and 22% of parents and principals, deputy principals & teachers respectively.

Speaking about the research, NAPD Director Clive Byrne said, “This publication is the result of four months of comprehensive research and information gathering. Initially, it was quite unsettling to see that only 4% of students and 28% of principals, deputy principals and teachers feel that the Leaving Certificate in its current format is fair and accurately assesses students.

However, and more importantly, what it also points to is a huge appetite for a change amongst all stakeholders. For example, 76% of students support a move towards continuous assessment. While almost one in four of all principals, deputy principals and teachers support the concept.

The report’s research is also bolstered by personal contributions from opinion leaders in the third level and business community including Professor Philip Nolan, President of Maynooth University, Barry Napier CEO Cubic Telecoms, Rose Mary Hogan Head of Graduate Programme in Glanbia and Lewis Purser Director of the Irish University Association.

Speaking about the importance of education, Professor Nolan states in the report, “Education should stimulate this sense of a joy in learning, a curiosity to find out new things, an openness to thinking differently, and an openness to admitting you might have been incorrect in the past and have learned something new now. That love of learning, curiosity, a confidence in your capability, an openness to learning and thinking differently, are the most valuable things to take from time spent in education, and an important thing for both students and teachers to focus on.”

There are many variances in responses between each group. For example, only 22% of principals, deputy principals and teachers support the practice of correcting their own students’ work, with many having concerns that a teacher would be biased against a student. That number increases to 30% of parents who would support such a change, and 51% of students. However, when it comes to reform, the numbers are striking, with 65% of principals, deputy principals and teachers wanting reform in its entirety, 78% of students wishing to move away from one final exam, or allow other factors to be included, and a massive 97% of parents supporting reform.

Oisín Hassan, Vice President of Academic Affairs in the Union of Students in Ireland, whose members also participated in the research, commented on the findings:

“Almost 700 USI members engaged in this research project. They are currently completing the Leaving Certificate or have done so within the last five years and have very strong opinions on how the examination needs to be reformed. For a large majority they do not believe that the current system is fit for purpose or meets their needs and the challenges they face outside of education.

There has been much talk about reform of the Leaving Certificate for many years. Yet each year another class completes the exam without any meaningful change occurring. Relying on just one single exam to determine the work of each student across all their years in second level education is unfair on students. It needs to change.  We need to move beyond just talking about reform to actively embracing it. I am hopeful this research will help to accelerate this process”, added Mr. Hassan.

In response to the report’s findings the NAPD has set out three key recommendations to support senior cycle reform. These are:

 

  1. The establishment of a new Citizens Assembly Education Forum bringing together all stakeholders to fast-track the senior cycle reform process;
  2. The inclusion of an additional practical component as part of the Leaving Certificate examination assessment process; and
  3. To ensure equality for all – ringfence funding for traineeships and apprenticeships to ensure the Leaving Certificate is not largely focused on further and / or higher education.


Discussing their recommendations, Mr. Byrne said, “The three recommendations as laid out in our report, are realistic, achievable and most importantly, will modernise our education system which has fallen behind the technological advancements in all other sectors. We have no doubt that many resources, funding, training, and hours of planning and dedication are needed to accomplish any reform, but it must be prioritised by both Minister McHugh and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.”

 

“What is important about senior cycle reform is that the conversation is starting, people recognise change is needed, and people are starting to think about practical solutions. We have seen small changes over recent years with the introduction of the new subjects such as Politics and Society or the recent two-day extension to the Leaving Certificate timetable to ease pressure on students.

However, we need more than small steps. We in the NAPD want to lead the voice for change, and to ensure this critical conversation continues”, Mr. Byrne concluded.

 

ENDS

Download PDF Version of the Senior Cycle Reform – What do you want? Report here

Notes to editor:

The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is the professional association for secondary level school leaders in Ireland. 

 

For media queries contact;

Danny Hanley, PR360, 01 637 1777 / 086 175 9286 / danny@pr360.ie  

Amanda Glancy, PR360 01 6371777 / 087 2273108 / amanda@pr360.ie 

 

Spokespeople include

 

Clive Byrne, Director NAPD

Kieran Golden, President NAPD

Mary Keane, Former President NAPD

 

‘Online shaming’ the latest topic to be tackled by Tabú, the probing TG4 documentary series

‘Online shaming’ the latest topic to be tackled by Tabú,

the probing TG4 documentary series

 

  • Episode 6 in Tabú airs on Wednesday 12th December at 9.30pm on TG4 and features range of personal stories from those who have been ‘shamed’ online
  • A range of cyber-security experts and commentators also take part

What happens when someone becomes the target and victim of online shaming? Why does ‘shame’ have such a traumatic impact on our consciousness? The latest episode of the Tabú series on TG4 delves into the area of ‘online shaming’ and examines the effect it can have on ordinary people.

In TG4’s Tabú: Náire online influencer, blogger and presenter Ciara Ní É explores the sensitive and traumatic stories of those who have been victims of online abuse and extortion and how it has affected them.

Contributors to the series include:

  • Mary O’Donnell, a beautician from Tralee, appeared on The Today Show A video of the clip went viral and received over a million views online after she had a mishap on live television while applying eyeliner to a model.
  • In 2017 Peter Hynes, a dairy farmer from Aherla in Cork, won Farmer of the Year. He and his wife Paula joined Twitter and soon afterwards they started to receive a torrent of abuse from online vegan shamers.
  • Dubliner Jackie Fox shares her heart-breaking story of her daughter, Nicole, who was the victim of online bullying. In January of this year, Nicole took her own life. Now Jackie is campaigning to bring in “Coco’s Law” in memory of her daughter as she wants the law to be changed to make it harassment online an offense.
  • A range of male and female victims who have suffered from sextortion, online bullying and shaming.

Expert contributors include:

  • Stefanie Preissner, Writer and broadcaster
  • Michael Gubbins, Detective Superintendent, Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau
  • Nicola Fox Hamilton, Cyber-psychologist
  • Joanna Fortune, Clinical Psychotherapist specialising in child & adolescent Psychotherapy
  • Paul Dwyer, CEO of European Cyber Surveillance

 

Promos for the show are here:

01 STEFANIE PREISSNER CLIP – YOUTUBE
https://youtu.be/H-8DOU0BcP8

06 GENERAL CLIP – YOUTUBE
https://youtu.be/ls7DTuNCgSk

High resolution images are available here http://www.midasproductions.ie/naire/

About Tabú:

Tabú is a series of standalone hour-long documentaries which deals with topics from Random Acts of Violence to Online Shaming, from Rural Decline to Domestic Abuse.

Contributors discuss their experiences and explore how these events, beyond their own control, have changed their lives forever. As well as delving into the issues, the contributors attempt to understand what compels people to act in such ways.

These poignant, and often thought-provoking, films encourage the viewer to reflect on the subject matter and consider the effects on our society.

Midas Productions, a leading factual television production company based in Dublin, is dedicated to creating thought-provoking, entertaining, challenging and informative television programming. Past productions have included 13,000,000,000 miles from Birr (RTÉ), Asking For It (RTÉ2), Fir Marú agus Grá (TG4), and The Joy (TV3).

For further media information, please contact:

Unique Media

Breda Brown or Catherine Quinn

Tel: 01 522 5200 / 086 863 2182 (CQ)

Statement by Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals on Budget 2019

“There are many welcome elements for our education system outlined by Minister Donohoe in his Budget 2019 speech this afternoon, including a €196 million increase in capital spending, contained within the overall increase of 6.7% in spending on education”, Mr. Byrne said.  

 “New school buildings and the repair and refurbishment of our existing schools is long overdue and now badly needed, particularly at secondary level, so while positive, this level of investment needs to accelerate over coming years”, noted Byrne.

 “The increase of 5% to the capitation grant is positive. Increased capitation is essential to the day-to-day running of our schools and in delivering education to a high standard. School principals have been under increasing pressure to meet both of these challenges in recent years, so anything which reduces this burden is welcome.

 Other key initiatives which will help to future-proof our education system for families, our schools and wider community, include the provision for an additional 1300 posts across the education system, an increase to Back to School allowance of €25, and the ongoing support for developing school leadership roles within our schools.

 Investment in education is vital to Ireland’s broader success, so the NAPD now urges the Government to continue this investment momentum”, concluded Mr. Byrne.

ENDS

National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals extends best wishes to all students, teachers and families as state exams begin

 Almost 121,000 students due to take their Leaving and Junior Cert exams

 Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), has extended his best wishes to all students starting their Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate State Examinations this morning.

“I want to wish every single student the very best of luck as they begin their Junior and Leaving Cert exams this morning. This is the time for you to showcase your creativity, your knowledge, and everything that they have learned from your teachers over the last three, five, or six years. I do also want to thank teachers and especially the parents and families who support these students every day. I do want to stress that although these are important exams, remember that no matter what path you want to take, there are many options and routes to get there”, concluded Mr. Byrne.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editor:

 

The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is the professional association for secondary level school leaders in Ireland.

 

 

For media enquiries, contact:

Danny Hanley danny@pr360.ie 01 637 1777 086 175 9286

Amanda Glancy  amanda@pr360.ie  01 637 1777  087 227 3108

Sleep, put the phone down, and enjoy the small things: five ways to avoid Leaving Cert anxiety

  • Clive Byrne of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals shares his wisdom to help Leaving Cert students keep calm and stress-free

June is here and that can only mean one thing: the Leaving Cert. While the rest of us enjoy the sunshine, spare a thought for the tens of thousands of young Irish students cooped up inside working hard in preparation for their final exams.

With a few tricks and a bit of strategy, however, surviving the last few weeks of the Leaving Cert doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful.

Below, Clive Byrne, director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), shares his five tips for a successful—and anxiety-free—Leaving Cert:

  • Sleep at least eight hours a night

“Getting a good night’s sleep before an exam is undoubtedly the single most important thing you can do. Don’t waste time cramming until the wee hours. Not only will you wake up absolutely exhausted, you’ll have immense difficulty actually recalling any information in the exam hall.

“You need a good eight or nine hours before an exam. Close the books, shut off your phone, and get to bed early.”

  • Eat well and avoid caffeine

“Eating a poor diet can wreak havoc not only on your physical health, but your state of mind. As much as possible, avoid eating nutrient-sparse junk like crisps, pizzas and other greasy or fatty foods.

“In particular, lay off the caffeine. While a cup of coffee or an energy drink will give you a brief buzz, you’ll crash later. Drink too much over a period of time and your body will become dependent on it. Remember, you won’t be able to satisfy your caffeine cravings in an exam.”

  • Create a study plan

“While you should have done most of your study by now, you probably have some exams separated by a few days. Use this time to study sensibly. While there’s no one-size-fits-all way of doing it, consider organising your subjects by topics. Hone in on your weakest areas rather than just refreshing what you already know well.

“Some people work best revising over longer chunks of time, while others prefer to study for forty minutes then take ten- or fifteen-minute breaks. Experiment and see what works for you. Use flash cards to jog your memory, speak your notes aloud, and as much as possible write, rather than type, your notes.”

  • Find a quiet place

“A study plan is only as good as your study environment. Get away from noisy family members, televisions, computers, games consoles and anything else that might tempt you or cause your mind to wander. Most important of all: Put down your phone. Turn it off. Lock it away if you must.

“If you’re getting cabin fever, try studying outside. If you’re really struggling, consider setting up shop at your local library.”

  • De-stress

“The Leaving Cert is an immensely stressful time. While you should be working hard, you shouldn’t be pushing yourself to the edge of a nervous breakdown. You need to be calm and collected on the day.

“You won’t be productive if you study for twelve hours straight, locked away like a monk in a cell. Take regular breaks and reward your work by doing something that you enjoy. Listen to music, go for a walk, and talk to your friends and family.”

 

 

ENDS

 

For media enquiries, contact:

Amanda Glancy | amanda@pr360.ie | 01 637 1777 | 087 227 3108

Statement by NAPD on Minister Bruton’s announcement of extra places on Leadership Course’s for Teachers

Statement by National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals

“The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals welcome the announcement by the Minister for Education Richard Bruton TD that the number of places available on the Professional Diploma in School Leadership, will increase by 20% from September from 250 to 300 places. The importance of school leaders and posts of responsibility, and the State’s investment in same, is something which is essential for every school.

School leaders have the capacity to define the benchmarks of quality and excellence in each of their schools. Equally, and just as important, resourced and engaged school leadership structures better guarantee the delivery of these objectives. Today’s announcement is a further step to ensuring that these structures become a fundamental part of every school in Ireland.”

ENDS.

 

20 April, 2018

 Minister Bruton announces extra places on Leadership Course for Teachers

 Almost 50 extra places on Professional Diploma in School Leadership

 Speaking at the IPPN Deputy Principals conference in Citywest today, Minister Bruton announced that he would be increasing the number of places on the Professional Diploma in School Leadership, the programme for aspiring school leaders.

This government has set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. Minister Bruton has stated numerous times that school leadership is vital to delivering on this ambition. Today’s announcement marks another significant investment by the government in supporting and encouraging leadership in our schools.

In response to a huge demand, the Minister has added almost 50 extra places on to the programme, bringing this year’s intake to 300. The Diploma is designed to prepare aspiring leaders with the knowledge, skills, and confidence for senior leadership positions in schools.

Speaking at the IPPN Deputy Principals conference in Citywest today, Minister Bruton said, “The biggest influence on a child in a school is the quality of their teachers and the leadership within the school. We are lucky in Ireland to have excellent leaders in our schools. If we want to be the best in Europe, we need to support these leaders and encourage and empower others to show leadership. I am committed to doing this during my time as Minister.

“Today’s announcement, in addition to our previous actions such as increasing the number of promotional opportunities for teachers, will make a real difference in schools all around the country. One in three (34.5%) of teachers are in promoted positions in our schools and I want to make sure we are supporting our school leaders as best we can.”

 Notes to Editor

The Professional Diploma in School Leadership (PDSL) is an innovative jointly accredited postgraduate diploma in school leadership and is delivered in partnership by the Schools of Education in the University of Limerick (UL), University College Dublin (UCD) and the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).

 

This unique partnership means that students on the programme have unique access to leading academics in school leadership across several universities nationally as well as from tutors with extensive experience in the area of educational leadership.

 

The programme, which is NQF level 9 is delivered on a part time basis in a blended learning format (online and face to face) over 18 months.

 

It is offered across a broad geographical spread, currently in eight centres nationally. The increased student intake will add an additional centre and serve to meet the high demand by teachers for leadership professional development.  This year there were over 450 applicants and based on the programme success thus far, the intake was increased to 300 this year.  During their studies, participants engage with leadership theory and practice  specific to Leading Learning and Teaching in the Irish context; Professional Growth and Development; Leading School Transformation; Mentoring and Coaching; Leading School Development: Continuity, Change and Capacity Building; Building Culture, Capacity and Teams. In addition, they engage with senior leaders in business and industry as well as within the education sector in order to gain comprehensive engagement with the breadth and diversity of leadership in practice. Therefore this programme is important for aspiring school principals as it serves to enhance school leadership capacity and quality nationally.

For further information please see https://www.ul.ie/cpe/pdsl/

Low fitness level in exam students at second level

Commenting on the results of the findings, gathered as part of the Irish Life Health’s 2017 school fitness challenge survey, Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, said:

“It is absolutely vital that we recognise the importance of students’ physical health, particularly during exam years when stress levels will rise and there’s a tendency to have an unhealthy focus on exam results alone. Teachers, school management, and parents need to work together to ensure that students don’t become lost in the pressures of exams, to the detriment of their general health.

Alongside that, the provision of physical education in our schools has been neglected for many years, with underinvestment in facilities a significant problem for many schools. We need to see greater investment in facilities, as well as recognition that students’ physical and mental wellbeing are an important part of their education. We need to see leadership, both in schools and at Government-level, for prioritising student’s overall health and wellbeing, particularly during the difficult junior and leaving certificate exam cycles.”

 

ENDS