New scheme to fund up to 250 schools to work together on innovative projects to improve school leadership
The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D. has 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.
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.”