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Teaching Principals have spoken and need be listened to - Senator Rose Conway-Walsh

3 July, 2018 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh today hosted a briefing in Leinster House to highlight the huge administrative workload placed on teaching principals and the effect this is having on retention.

The briefing was addressed by Angela Dunne of the Teaching Principals’ Forum along with other teaching principals from around the country.

Speaking after the briefing, Senator Conway-Walsh said;

“I was delighted to facilitate teaching principals to bring their message to politicians in Leinster House. For too long these teachers have had to fulfil administrative roles and duties while also teaching classes as would any other teacher.

"Added to this is the unpredictable nature of running a primary school. These teachers have made a reasonable request for one admin day per week. They are already fulfilling multiple roles and are picking up the slack for the Department of Education.

"What we heard today was a message that things cannot continue as normal. The Government has to recognise that this is a problem that will not go away by ignoring it.

"I was particularly concerned to hear that many teaching principals have left and others have already signalled their intention to leave their posts in the near future.

"Equally concerning was the testimony of many teaching principals regarding their own health and mental well-being. Many have reported increased stress levels which have impacted upon their health forcing many to leave their positions.

"The key message from this briefing is that teaching principals are dedicated educationalists and key members of our communities but they are being forced to do more with less and less.

"Their demand for one admin a day is the minimum they require to be able to continue in their duties.

"I am calling on the Minister to seize this opportunity to engage with these teaching principals and grant their request in the interest of health and safety in our schools."

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