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September 2017

Circular 0063/2017: Leadership and Management in Primary Schools

Over 1,300 Promotion Opportunities Restored  

INTO: Restoration of Posts of Responsibility “only a start"


Circular 0063/2017, issued by the DES today, represents the first structured restoration of Posts of Responsibility (PORs) to schools since the moratorium on promotion in schools was introduced in March 2009.

The Circular reflects the allocation of monies in the 2017 Budget, following INTO lobbying, to fill over 1,300 POR positions in primary schools. This represents only a portion of the PORs lost since 2009 and INTO believes it is an inadequate response to school needs which must be augmented in Budget 2018. Members are asked to assist in lobbying their TDs to stand up for primary education in the Budget, including restoration of more PORs, by emailing through this link.

The start of restoration of Assistant Principal (AP) posts is being implemented by the introduction of “minimum thresholds” of posts for various categories of school size. These allow a school which has fallen below a threshold to fill PORs up to that threshold. INTO will demand the adjustment of these thresholds next school year in order to restore schools to a POR level commensurate with that which applied prior to the moratorium. The thresholds approach is designed to ensure schools which had the greatest loss of PORs are prioritised for initial restoration. 

Features of the Circular include items agreed in negotiations which culminated in September 2016 and included restoration of a qualification payment to all teachers including newer entrants who graduated since 2012. Among these terms of the Circular are:

  • the renaming of posts as AP1 and AP2 (to replace the previous AP and Special Duties Post titles)
  • a phased commencement of filling Deputy Principal posts via open competition, starting with very large schools in 2017-18
  • the re-instatement of the provision for “acting post holders” in the absence of postholders
  • revised selection criteria and marking scheme
  • a refocusing on a team approach to school leadership and a greater flexibility to review POR-related responsibilities, following consultation at school level.

There is no change to the remuneration level of promoted posts; AP1s at €8,520 and AP2s at €3,769. Future general adjustments to pay levels will also apply to these allowances. 

INTO views the filling of these posts as only a start to restoration and will continue to demand a greater and more appropriate level of promotion posts in primary schools. The posts restored through this Circular are to be filled with immediate effect.

Circular 0063/2017 may be viewed here.


Date: Thursday, 14 September 17