07 October, 2018 - Minister Bruton Expands School Excellence Fund to School Leadership

New scheme to fund up to 250 schools to work together on innovative projects to improve school leadership

Further coaching available for school principals

Minister Bruton says school leaders critical to delivering on all priorities in education

The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D. today, (Sunday the 7th of October 2018) announced that he will be investing further in school leadership over the coming school year, with the expansion of the School Excellence Fund and an expansion of the coaching service available to school leaders.

Leadership within the school can make a massive difference – developing best practice, building morale and encouraging innovation. Today’s announcement marks a further investment by the government in supporting school leaders and encouraging innovation in our schools.

Schools will shortly be invited to apply to form part of a cluster to work together on innovative projects to enhance their schools in a range of important areas over the next 2 years. There will be scope for up to 42 clusters nationwide in the initial phase with each cluster containing between a minimum of three and a maximum of six schools. Priority will be given to applicant clusters containing at least one DEIS school.

The Minister also announced today that further funding is being made available to extend the coaching service currently available to school principals, to the Deputy and Assistant Principals on their leadership teams. This follows his appointment of teachers to 3,000 new posts at these levels. The service to date has been one to one coaching for principals only. DEIS schools will be prioritised for the extension of the coaching service to incorporate team coaching for the Principal and their leadership team, with up to four sessions being offered to 100 DEIS schools in the first instance.

Speaking about the new investment, Minister Bruton said, “We have set the goal to be the best in Europe by 2026. Realising this goal involves delivering on ambitious targets in areas such as literacy and numeracy, embedding digital technologies in teaching and learning, breaking down cycles of educational disadvantage and supporting children with special educational needs.

“School leaders will be pivotal to delivering in these areas and this government is committed to investing to support and empower them to do so. These measures are in addition to the other supports recently introduced through the Centre for School Leadership including mentoring, a new postgraduate diploma in school leadership and the additional 3,000 middle management posts in schools.”

Notes for editor

Approximately 3,000 leadership posts have been invested in our primary and post primary schools in the past year. 1 in 3 (34.5%) teachers are now in promoted positions in our schools.

Centre for School Leadership (CSL)

A total of 284  teachers have enrolled from September 2018 in the new postgraduate diploma in school leadership (Level 9). The course is part-funded by the Department.

The coaching service for school leaders was launched at the end of January, 2017 with capacity annually for up to 400 principals.

Every newly appointed principal in a primary or post-primary school has access to a trained CSL mentor since September 2017. A total of 500 experienced principals have now trained as mentors.