The INTO is seeking the full restoration of the outstanding 2,400 posts of responsibility in primary and special schools. These positions are essential for ensuring the smooth running of schools and for providing additional support for pupils.
Assistant principals work with principals and deputy principals, sharing responsibility for a range of duties including: learning and teaching; leading school development; pupil support; special education; planning for DEIS and inclusion; the introduction of the new curriculum and coordinating Department of Education strategies (including the Digital Strategy; Education for Sustainable Development; STEM strategy; the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy and the Cineáltas Action Plan on Bullying).
This proposal would cost €4 million in Budget 2024 and €12m in a full year.
In March 2009, there were 1,605 Assistant Principal 1 (AP1) and 8,593 Assistant Principal 2 (AP2) positions, compared to the current levels of 1,228 Assistant Principal 1 and 6,655 Assistant Principal 2 positions (April 2023).
Source: Dáil Parliamentary Question no. 95 and 96, 26 April 2023.
The cost of restoring the number of assistant principal posts to pre-recession levels would be €4 million from September to December 2024 and €12m in a full year.