250 AP2 posts retained

The Department of Education and Skills (DES) has issued Circular Circular 44/2019 (PDF), which revises the recruitment and promotion procedures for teachers, promoted post holders and principal/deputy principal posts. The circular, which has been implemented from 1 September, consolidates and supersedes previous procedures, including those set out in Appendix D and E of the Governance Manual for Primary schools and Circular 0070/2018, Leadership and Management in Primary Schools.

The INTO welcomes an adjustment to the schedule for appointment of Assistant Principal II posts, which will retain 250 promoted posts which would otherwise be lost through retirements. However, schools still need to have leadership posts restored to pre-recession levels.

The circular also revises the criteria for appointment to principal and deputy principal posts, to bring them in line with the criteria used for promoted posts. These criteria better reflect the complexities of leadership roles in primary schools.

The Minister for Education had previously indicated his wish that interviews for teaching posts could be conducted using digital technology. The circular permits boards of management to facilitate such interviews, particularly for those applicants resident outside the state, subject to the availability of suitable technology and resources. It is now incumbent on the minister to ensure that proper broadband, suitable ICT resources/software and training are available to schools who wish to offer this facility. Without these, the minister’s aspirations will not be implementable.