For more than 10 years NAPD has been hosting a National Symposium on education each spring. Key policy makers across the spectrum of Irish life- social, political, economic, religious have joined with educationalists and school leaders to explore the major issues of the day.

The late Garrett Fitzgerald speaking in 2007 set the moral and intellectual tone for the whole series. The title of his first address was “Vision and Values in 21st century Ireland”

The theme of “Vision and Values” has continued to invest our deliberations in the intervening years.

  • 2008: Embracing Pluralism and Diversity.
  • 2009: The Importance of Education in Ireland’s Recovery
  • 2010: Turning Challenges to Opportunities – Developing a Wider View of Educational Achievement.
  • 2011: Good Policies Produce Better Schools. The need for joined- up thinking in Irish Education.
  • 2012: Leading for Learning – Empowering School Leaders to Build Learning communities.
  • 2013: Leading for Learning –Engaging in Curricular Reform: What Success Could Look Like.
  • 2014: Expanding Participation in Further and Higher Education – Implications for Second Level.
  • 2015: A Curriculum to Inspire…with the resources to support it and the leadership to implemented.
  • 2016: From Murder Machine to Mindfulness – Nurturing Emotional Wellbeing in our Schools
  • 2017: Taking Stock and Planning Ahead – Review, Revision and Vision.
  • 2018: Senior Cycle: “What changes should we consider at senior cycle and what do we want our well-educated 18 year old to look like”

The 2017 Symposium also saw the launch of “Towards a Better Future”, a significant reflection on Irish Education during the recent great recession. The book was edited by Dr John Coolahan, Emeritus Professor of Education at NUIM who also contributed and was sponsored by NAPD and IPPN. Other contributors included Dr Sheelagh Drudy, Emeritus Professor of Education and former Head of the School of Education at UCD, Dr Aine Hyland, Emeritus Professor of Education and former Vice-President of UCC, Dr Padraig Hogan, Senior Lecturer in Education at NUIM and Dr Seamus McGuinness, former Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, TCD,