INTO, CPSMA and IPPN agree joint strategy following Budget 2020

Following the announcement of Budget 2020, INTO has immediately set to work with key management stakeholder bodies to assess the provisions contained and plan how the organisations will work together in the future, including mobilising a joint campaign to secure increased investment in primary education.

School leaders and pupils have been short-changed in this week’s budget. The government has failed to respond to the struggles facing school leaders. Our teaching principals deserve the support they need to be leaders within their schools. Principals and teaching principals in Irish primary schools are overworked, underpaid and grappling with never-ending administrative work emerging from the Department of Education and Skills and other state agencies.

To support school leadership, it is beyond time to restore the key middle management posts cut ten years ago. Budget 2018 and 2019 failed to deliver any restoration. Budget 2020 was an opportunity when assistant principal posts could have been given back to schools. Teaching principals have demanded a minimum of one leadership and management day per week and this budget has failed to deliver on this reasonable demand.

The three bodies will work together to secure necessary supports for our school leaders, particularly teaching principals. INTO is acutely aware of the impact an increased workload is having on school leaders in recent years.

While some restorations in class sizes for small schools are welcome, Irish primary school classes continue to be the largest in the Eurozone. Our children in supersized classes of 30 and more need a commitment to smaller classes in line with European norms, to guarantee that they receive the level of attention they need.

INTO intends to work with all education stakeholders in the coming weeks. We will hold government to account for failing to increase investment to address the many challenges facing our members.