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CPSMA meeting with Minister McHugh

3rd December 2018 | News, What's New

CPSMA meeting with Minster McHugh – 28th November 2018.

On Wednesday 28th November 2018, CPSMA met with Minister McHugh, his advisor and Departmental officials.

The meeting was positive. Minister McHugh was well briefed and interested in primary education. He is clearly listening to the concerns of Boards of Management, principals, teachers, parents and pupils. The Minister is also keenly aware of Donegal’s strong contribution to the ranks of primary principals and teachers.

CPSMA was represented by Seamus Mulconry, General Secretary, and Susan Carpenter, Education Advisor.


Key Points from CPSMA;

  • Substitution Crisis
    • 83% of schools are experiencing difficulty sourcing a substitute teacher,
    • members involved in Principal Release Clusters report that they are working well and ensure access to leadership and management days,
    • lifting the cap of number of days which a teacher on career break may sub and proposal to lift the restriction on job-sharing teachers undertaking substitution work are welcome
    • re-introduction of reformed supply panels needed to address this major issue.
  • Funding –
    • the recent 5% increase in capitation is welcome but not nearly enough to address the funding shortfall,
    • cited a case where the Chair of BoM had personally funded a school so it could meet its financial obligations.
  • Initiative overload –
    • now the single greatest challenge to primary education system,
    • urgent need to slow, stall and reverse initiatives in order to ensure the viability of the system and to support principals and boards of management


Minister McHugh’s Response

  • Substitution Crisis –
    • aware of the difficulties this causes for schools, particularly special schools and Irish-medium schools,
    • teachers on career break continue to be allowed for the 2018/19 school year to take up employment without a restriction on days/ hours worked,
    • will consider lifting the restriction on job-sharing teachers and review the potential for substitute teacher supply panels for primary schools.
  • School Finance –
    • Minister stated that knows the importance of bread & butter issues and the vital role of capitation to schools,
    • capitation is on the Minster’s agenda and he has started conversations regarding the importance of capitation funding.
  • Initiative overload –
    • aware of the pressures facing principals and boards of management,
    • believes the Forum on Workload offers a mechanism to begin to address the issue and has tasked his officials to bring practical proposals from the Forum to begin to address the issue.

Minister McHugh stated that he “looks forward to building a close working relationship with the CPSMA and all the other education stakeholders to achieving many of our shared goals.”

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