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  • National Parents Council - Primary - NPC Noticeboard - 01.03.00 Quality of Education (Published in the Irish Times by Fionnuala Kilfeather)
    of their teacher is the most important factor The wellbeing and educational rights of children cannot be safeguarded in the absence of the assessment of the work of that teacher There have been commitments given by the Department of Education and Science in the documentation on Whole School Evaluation to evaluate the quality of teaching In discussions with the Department of Education and Science National Parents Council Primary was assured that the Whole School Evaluation process would include the evaluation of the work of individual teachers This commitment is given the status of a legal duty for the Inspectorate in the Education Act We are dissatisfied with this aspect of the process in the pilot project As far as can be seen while there may be some appraisal of the work of individual teachers this is neither recorded nor reported upon In these circumstances how can an individual teacher who needs to be supported in particular ways get that support arising out of the appraisal There are deep concerns that what we are seeing happening here will only serve to further deepen and embed a negative culture which views the appraisal of teachers as a no go area for the Department This negative attitude will underpin the resistance to the supportive assessment of a teachers work and delay the possibility of moving on to more open systems including peer review The role of the school principal under the Education Act will be seriously undermined as a result of not getting from the Whole School Evaluation team of inspectors the appraisal of the work of individual teachers There are also serious concerns at the commitment given to teacher unions that the results of Whole School Evaluation will not be used for comparative purposes by the Inspectorate It is difficult to understand how this commitment could have been given by the body which has the responsibility to look closely at the evidence for what is working in schools and what could work better This kind of supportive comparison has the capacity to be a means of bringing improvements to schools through the sharing of understandings about good practice It could have significant impact in tackling literacy problems In reality the pilot phase of Whole School Evaluation cannot accurately be described as whole school evaluation As carried out it did not engage the whole school community The absence of input from the key stakeholders the students and another essential stakeholder group the parents represents a fundamental flaw in the process Any evaluation process that focusses only on the providers of the service and does not give the users of the service an opportunity to be heard cannot be termed evaluation It is a partial review There is dangerous flaw in the methodology which bears on the professional responsibility of the Inspectorate for a quality process The reports of the Whole School Evaluation must be available to parents prospective parents and in appropriate format to students The Education Act provides for this It is

    Original URL path: http://www.npc.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=411 (2016-01-10)
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  • National Parents Council - Primary - NPC Noticeboard - 01.03.07 Appeals Procedures Section 29 Education Act
    about the implications of this for equality issues covered in equality legislation We are deeply uneasy about what could this mean for children with special educational needs and especially for children whose special needs include behavioural disabilities What does this mean for Traveller children who are being excluded from schools such as those whose recent appeal was unsuccessful because their chosen school was shown to have followed its own admissions procedure even though it had and still does have vacancies A 5 4bn fund is now promised for children with special needs with a particular focus on assisting special needs children in mainstream schools Surely the focus should be on assisting children in staying in school and on giving schools the resources to keep them in school The changes in the Act will only giving schools more power to get rid of children who are experiencing difficulties The appeals procedure should be open and fair The purpose should be to ensure that fair procedures and due process are followed in the school and that a just decision is made There are two essential elements in a fair appeals procedure The procedure itself and the persons making the decision that affects the child should not be biased or appear to be biased The appeal system must also be based on the principles of fair procedure and due process The parent young person taking the appeal must be given an adequate opportunity to present their case They must be informed of the matter and they must be given a chance to comment on the material put forward by the other side The existing appeals procedure in the Education Act meets these criteria What the Minister proposes is closing the procedure down for the person taking the appeal and weighting it in favour

    Original URL path: http://www.npc.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=465 (2016-01-10)
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  • National Parents Council - Primary - NPC Noticeboard - 01.04.00 League Tables (Published in the Irish Times by Fionnuala Kilfeather)
    abilities aptitudes and interests including information about the schools programmes and achievements in the Applied Leaving Certificate the Vocational Leaving Certificate and the traditional Leaving Certificate what provision is being made for children with special needs and what programmes and measures of achievement are being used Parents and students will want to know about the school ethos and climate about parent and student involvement in drawing up monitoring and supporting the code of behaviour about real democracy in a school through the role and responsibility of the parent association and the student council Information will also be needed on extracurricular and cultural activities and on links with the community Parents need to be able to compare schools so that they can make the best possible choice for their child If a school s results are consistently behind results in other schools even if there is only one school serving a community surely a community should have the right to know this so that they can press for change improvement and the necessary resources The main argument apart from that of targeting individual teachers that has been made against league tables is how they might reflect on schools in areas of disadvantage This objection is based on an acceptance that some schools will have to be excused for having continuing poor results simply because of the children who attend them This low level of expectation for children must be challenged and the focus must be brought on what schools can do to stop this Schools must be able to compare the results that they have achieved for children and share good practices Schools do make a difference Good schools make more of a difference Many see the system of state exams as being crude and unfair The Department and the teacher unions and the Universities and third level generally have accepted the Leaving Certificate results to judge individual students but are now outraged that they could be used to judge schools It is ironic that the second level teacher unions have refused to implement Department proposals for continuous assessment of students This kind of assessment would be less stressful and would give students credit for their ongoing work rather than having to rely on how well they performed in three hours at the end of five or six years of second level education Ongoing assessment would give a much fairer deal to students who are not academic or who are less confident in their own abilities We know a great deal about inputs into the schools for example classroom remedial and home school liaison teachers guidance counsellors grants for computers science and library books However by contrast we have virtually no evidence on what difference these inputs have made on outcomes for children There are challenges for the Minister Where are parents going to get good solid reliable information about the work of school and school outcomes How are we to know whether we are successful in tackling our appalling literacy

    Original URL path: http://www.npc.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=412 (2016-01-10)
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  • National Parents Council - Primary - NPC Noticeboard - 01.04.04 Priorities for parents: Some motions to be debated at NPCP Conference
    Your Behalf Events In The News Press Releases Past Events You are here Home News Events News 01 APR 2004 01 04 04 Priorities for parents Some motions to be debated at NPCP Conference Parents will call for mandatory vetting of all individuals employed or voluntary who have contact with children in primary schools Parents have expressed concern over many years about safety and supervision in school playgrounds and will call on the Minister for Education to set a standard for the ratio of supervisors to children The weight of schoolbags is a cause of continuing concern to many parents both because of the potential to damage to growing backs and because the weight can make it impossible for a child to walk to school Every year at NPC conference parents express concern about the situation of children with special educational needs This year is no different and parents will call for a high standard of training for all resource teachers and special needs assistants Delegates will seek home tuition for all children who cannot attend school because of a disability Two motions on the agenda are about modern language on the curriculum One motion will seek a modern language throughout primary school years and another will call for a third language for senior classes outside school hours NPC first sought a modern language during the Review of the Curriculum in 1990 At that time NPC was the only partner in education seeking a modern language Delegates will call for procedures to be put in place to allow for the assessment and evaluation of a teachers performance There will be a call for the establishment of special needs secondary schools and places in mainstream schools for children with special educational needs More local discretion for boards of management in the

    Original URL path: http://www.npc.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=396 (2016-01-10)
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  • National Parents Council - Primary - NPC Noticeboard - 01.08.07 National Parents Council Primary appoints new Chief Executive
    Policy in your school Code of Behaviour Transition from Primary to Post Primary Whole School Evaluation WSE Training Services Helpline FAQs Ceisteanna a Chuirtear go Minic Information Leaflets Your Child In Primary School Supporting your child s reading Publications Annual Reports Books Information Leaflets NPC Policy Document NPC Strategic Plan County Branches Become a member 12 Marlborough Court Dublin 1 T 01 887 4034 F 01 887 4489 E info npc ie Information Irish English French Russian Chinese Urdu Arabic NPC HELPLINE 01 887 4477 News Events NPC Noticeboard On Your Behalf Events In The News Press Releases Past Events You are here Home News Events News 01 AUG 2007 01 08 07 National Parents Council Primary appoints new Chief Executive Aine Lynch formerly of the ISPCC commenced work with NPC on the 1st of August 2007 NPC Strategic Plan Become A Member Sign up to our mailing list and text alerts Signup Home About Governance Code General Information NPC Complaints Procedure Structure Parent Associations Special Interest Groups Young Persons Are you looking for information about your child s education News Events NPC Noticeboard Events In The News Press Releases Past Events Training Anti Bullying Training for Parents in your

    Original URL path: http://www.npc.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=466 (2016-01-10)
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  • National Parents Council - Primary - NPC Noticeboard - 01.12.09 NPC calls on the State to Take Responsibility for Child Protection in Ireland
    a member 12 Marlborough Court Dublin 1 T 01 887 4034 F 01 887 4489 E info npc ie Information Irish English French Russian Chinese Urdu Arabic NPC HELPLINE 01 887 4477 News Events NPC Noticeboard On Your Behalf Events In The News Press Releases Past Events You are here Home News Events News 01 DEC 2009 01 12 09 NPC calls on the State to Take Responsibility for Child Protection in Ireland NPC calls on the State to Take Responsibility for Child Protection in Ireland and to Prioritise Children s Safety NPC calls on the State to show leadership regarding the protection of children in Ireland and to prioritise children s safety The decision regarding individuals remaining in certain positions or offices must have child protection as the primary concern and must be made on a statutory basis Responsibility must remain with the government regarding the appropriate standards of governance in the Irish education system Taoiseach Brian Cowen said it was for institutions and their members to determine the appropriateness of any individual to hold ecclesiastical office However in the Irish school system there is a direct relationship between an individual holding such ecclesiastical offices and other areas of responsibility such as that of school patron Today NPC calls on the HSE S child protection services to immediately review the register of school patrons in light of the findings of the Murphy report Parents and children need to be assured that any individual about whom there is a serious concern in relation to their understanding judgment and actions regarding child protection will not continue to have influence and decision making responsibilities in our schools today For Further information contact Michelle Davern 01 8874488 Áine Lynch CEO 087 9294949 NPC Strategic Plan Become A Member Sign up to our mailing

    Original URL path: http://www.npc.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=469 (2016-01-10)
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  • National Parents Council - Primary - NPC Noticeboard - 02.12.09 National Alliance for Primary Education
    Primary Education is reminding the Government that the Primary education system is a fundamental corner stone of economic progress It is one of the critical keys to unlocking a fairer society said the Alliance The system simply cannot sustain any more damage If Primary education is neglected in the Budget it will further set back the process of economic recovery and growth and will do long term fundamental damage to the principles of fairness and equity for all our children added the Alliance Children in Primary Schools cannot fight for themselves said the Alliance This is why so many organisations in the primary sector have come together to make the case on behalf of this and the next generation National Alliance five key issues School Funding Teacher Ratio The revised Programme for Government contains promises in relation to school funding and the pupil teacher ratio These must be honoured in full Even if they are the crisis in funding of primary schools will continue to grow It is now the case that most schools have to seek between a quarter and a half of their annual funding for day to day operations from private sources principally the family voluntary contribution Given the growth in unemployment and the pressure on family incomes throughout the country many schools will be in deep crisis if there is not a substantial increase in the capitation grant Grants The Primary Alliance is also calling on the Government to rationalise the present system of specific purpose grants enabling Principals and Boards of Management to exercise more discretion on priorities within their own schools The total amount of this new grant must not be less than the existing smaller diverse grants Special Education Needs The situation facing students with special needs and the schools they attend is becoming more acute all the time The cutbacks in supports for such students including English language teaching must be reversed It is unjust that parts of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act are not yet commenced and they cannot be without a commitment of additional resources Support Services Vital support services for schools are being gradually squeezed out of existence Access to key services such as psychological assessment psychiatric assessment speech therapy home school liaison special needs and learning support teachers are being reduced ICT The failure to invest in educational technology between 2002 and 2009 has created a serious inequality issue In the absence of Government investment during the boom years parents in some schools were able to fundraise for the provision of the required hardware and educational software In the many schools where this was not possible children are now further disadvantaged by the great digital divide Despite the fact that Primary Schools exist in a state of constant under funding where their day to day operational costs rely on local fundraising the primary education sector is a true example of the public service delivering modern high quality education everyday to half a million children

    Original URL path: http://www.npc.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=475 (2016-01-10)
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  • National Parents Council - Primary - NPC Noticeboard - 03.05.01 Guideline Launch
    s reading Publications Annual Reports Books Information Leaflets NPC Policy Document NPC Strategic Plan County Branches Become a member 12 Marlborough Court Dublin 1 T 01 887 4034 F 01 887 4489 E info npc ie Information Irish English French Russian Chinese Urdu Arabic NPC HELPLINE 01 887 4477 News Events NPC Noticeboard On Your Behalf Events In The News Press Releases Past Events You are here Home News Events News 03 MAY 2001 03 05 01 Guideline Launch Details for the launch of the Guidelines booklet Thursday February 8 2001 Buswells Dublin 1 30 p m Speakers Desmond Kelly chairperson NPC Primary Michael Woods T D minister of education and science Fionnuala Kilfeather Chief Executive Agenda 1 30 p m Desmond Kelly welcomes everyone to the event gives general introductory remarks about the booklet thanks those involved and introduces the minister Michael Woods T D gives prepared speech Fionnuala Kilfeather speaks about the development of the booklet and about key items and thanks everyone and closes the launch Questions from the media NPC Strategic Plan Become A Member Sign up to our mailing list and text alerts Signup Home About Governance Code General Information NPC Complaints Procedure Structure Parent

    Original URL path: http://www.npc.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=419 (2016-01-10)
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