Principals’ payment should reflect staff numbers and workload

School leaders seek resources and remuneration reflective of their increased workload.

At the INTO Congress today in Galway, principals and deputy principals called on the Department of Education and Skills to initiate a comprehensive review of their terms and conditions of employment. Primary teachers heard how principals and deputy principals have seen their conditions of employment change considerably and workload increase exponentially in recent years. Increased paperwork, initiatives and child protection issues have seen school leaders overwhelmed and under resourced.

Principals and deputy principals spoke of their struggle to ensure new initiatives, policies and paperwork were being implemented in full.

Daithí Ryder, deputy principal of a two-teacher school, outlined some of the wide-ranging duties he carries out as part of his role, from teaching and preparing for sacraments, to chasing mice and unblocking toilets, and called it “the two-teacher tango.”

A lack of time, the increasing demands of the role, as well as insufficient in-school middle management teams were all identified as barriers to effective leadership.

School leaders called upon the Department of Education and Skills to decrease the threshold for the appointment of administrative deputy principals, increase administrative supports for boards of management to enable them to carry out their duties and allow all post
holders release time to ensure the smooth running of their schools.

Teaching principals re-stated their call for a minimum of one day a week to allow them to complete their administrative duties as they try to balance their duties of full-time teacher and principal.

School leaders further demanded that the outstanding 2008 pay award made to principals and deputy principals which was never paid be addressed, as a priority, ahead of any further pay talks.