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What changes are there to Positions of Responsibility since 2017?

The moratorium on positions of responsibility was partially lifted today. There are a number of changes outlined in the department circular: 0063/2017 Ultimately, not much has changed really except that: The Deputy Principal position will now be open to outside competition There’s new names for A Posts and B Posts (Assistant Principal I and Assistant Principal II) However, there are radical changes to the number of posts given, which has dropped significantly. Here is a link to a full document and below it Read More...

What advice would you give to a school wanting wifi?

WiFi is now becoming a basic need in any primary school with the emergence of WiFi-enabled devices. Devices such as iPads and Chromebooks require a decent WiFi set up to get their full use. However, any device benefits from WiFi as the lack of wires mean extra portability. What should a school look for in terms of a WiFi set up? There are two answers to this question, in reality, and it rather depends on your school size. Tiny schools can Read More...

Should a school design its own website?

Having a school website is no longer an option; it’s expected of every school to have a web presence. A website is more or less a window into your school. It showcases exactly what your school is about. However, it is also an advertisement for your school and a user’s first impressions may be the difference between a potential enrollment and someone not bothering. This means the website should look as good as it can. If a school can afford Read More...

How do you use Shortcodes on Aladdin?

Aladdin is Ireland’s leading Student Management System and offers schools the ability to do almost every administrative task one can think of. I have been using it almost since it was launched at an IPPN Expo a number of years ago and can safely say that it has become part of everything we do in our school. One of the many great things about Aladdin is how it keeps on improving as time goes on. Lately I’ve been messing around with their Read More...

Goodbye Leabhar Rolla!

The Department of Education has issued a circular, 33/2015, which has effectively given schools the go ahead to get rid of the traditional roll book. The circular allows schools from 2015/16 to utilise electronic records of attendance instead of filling in the paper-based rollbook. The end of the roll book Source: http://www.ballintemplens.ie Anseo.net not only welcomes this news but celebrates it. We’re not going to make any claims that we had anything to do with it but we’ve been harping about this Read More...

POD: Return to 1984

This week principals received an email from the people in POD to let us know that due to feedback, they were making a number of changes. I’m not one to waste an opportunity and I think before I get into the changes, that I should remind people that a number of schools took part in a pilot for POD, in which feedback was sought. Interestingly, none of that feedback seemed to have any change to the original concept. But anyway… The  Department Read More...

Ways to host online enrollments for your school

I think my school was the first to offer online enrollment forms in Ireland back in 2008. Around half of all our enrollments into our school come through our online form and the feedback we have received from parents is excellent. We use Gravity Forms for our enrollment form but there are some other options out there that are just as good and potentially even better. Gravity Forms is a plugin for WordPress, which my school’s web site is run on. It Read More...

Paying us to POD

According to the INTO website and Voice for Teachers Facebook page, the DES announced today that in response to the INTO’s demand for additional resources to be provided to support the implementation of POD a once off per capita payment of €1.50 per pupil will be paid to all schools before Christmas. There will be a  minimum payment of €90 per school. The funding is intended to assist with the provision of clerical support related to the data collection Read More...

Is Homework a Necessary Evil?

Sometimes, my Facebook feed suggests pages I might like and today, it was the Tedx Community that popped up with the emotive question, “is homework a necessary evil?” Unsurprisingly, opinion was divided and I thought I would briefly share my own thoughts on where I, personally, stand on the issue of homework. In Ireland, up until recently, there seemed to be an accepted norm that homework was good and necessary. However, when the question was raised a couple of years Read More...

The resurrection of POD

I agreed to pilot the POD service that the Department of Education are launching into schools this year and during the summer I spent some time trying to upload my school’s data to the service. There were a few ways to do this. The first way, and possibly the most straightforward way, was to type in every child’s details manually into the POD system through the Esinet service. It seems to take 3-4 minutes per child to do this and with Read More...

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