Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 30/10/2020. Tags: Parenting Teachers
Appeal from National Principals' Forum to Parents
I appeal to every parent to read the National Principals' Forum (a grassroots registered lobby group of Primary principal teachers) recent submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education.
Please be AWARE and INFORMED of the huge issues maligning our Primary education system and SUPPORT the school Principals on the ground trying to proactively lead and manage our schools.
We wish to navigate our school communities SAFELY through this pandemic. Anything that is within our control to fix or improve we are doing it. We have been making a silk purse of a sow's ear for years - under funded and under resourced. We are genuine, hard working and decent people who wish to do everything we can for our schools and pupils. So much is outside of our control, and yet remains our responsibility manage and it is so so wrong. It is incumbent on us as school leaders to speak out. We appeal to you as parents to please listen.
We need greater support and we need the DES, HSE and the NCSE to step up and rectify these issues. There are immediate issues regarding testing, contact tracing and HSE communication that must be addressed. The lack of social distancing in schools must be addressed. The lack of supports and personnel for SEN pupils must be addressed.
Other issues exaberated by Covid must also be addressed. There is no magic wand - we understand that- but there are several measures which can be taken to make our schools safer and more effective. Most of these issues pre-date Covid - are are outlined succinctly in our submission - along with practical recommendations to address these matters. The voice of the school leader is not listened to by the Minister or DES. We are best placed to know what our schools need. We must be heard.
Media and government spin has for years pitted parents against schools. This keeps us from directing our ire at those actually responsible for these systemic failures and the only ones in a position to change this.
Please read the comments of Principals across the country who are so unbelievably stressed - trying to keep our staff and pupils safe. Trying to ensure our pupils get an equitable education. We are not looking for pity- we are looking for change - for the benefit of all concerned with primary education- not least our pupils.
Until we work together to fight for change - this system will not change. It starts with understanding the issues and identifying the source of these problems - the school gets blamed so often for issues outside of our control - persistent cuts to education, particularly to special needs, and historic underfunding and lack of meaningful supports for Education.
This is not a time for kite flying from the powers that be. It is time for meaningful engagement with Principals on the ground and it is time for action to make our schools safer for all so that we can stay open and meet our pupils needs.
We relentlessly sought timelier and more comprehensive guidance and directives from the DES since March 2020. We were on the back foot constantly due to very por DES communication and planning. We heard most of the latest in the media first - just as you did.
It is not time for anti-teacher hate and bashing. It is unfair and demoralising. It does not best serve anyone. It is time to support those who want better for our children and to safeguard our education system.
Please inform yourself and push past the spin. Together we can do much much more. But only together.
Please click into the link
and read the full submission.Angela Dunne, National Principals' Forum Representative
"The National Principals’ Forum (NPF
) is an entirely voluntary, registered grassroots lobby group of over 1,200 practicing Primary School Principal Teachers, established in May 2018. We are seeking to work with the Minister for Education, Management Bodies and Representative Bodies to affect urgent changes needed to sustain us in our roles as school leaders. We aim to provide support to school leaders through dynamic collaboration. "