The Principal has overall responsibility under the authority of the Board of Management for the day to day management of the school as provided for in legislation/ circulars/Deeds of Trust and other relevant communications.

Statutory Requirements:

The statutory functions of the Principal are set out in Sections 22 and 23 of the Education Act 1998.

The obligations of the Principal in general terms are as follows, without prejudice to the generality of the functions of the Principal:

*   The Principal controls the internal organisation, management and discipline of the school, including the assignment of duties to members of the teaching and non-teaching staff.

*    The Principal ensures that the Board of Management policies, procedures, guidelines and requirements are adhered to.

*   The Principal submits to the Board all such statements and reports affecting the conduct of the school as the Board/ETB requires.

*    The Principal is responsible for day to day financial administration and reporting and ensuring finances are maintained according to good governance, regulations and guidelines.

*   The Principal is required to be fully familiar with the Child Protection Guidelines and it is normal for the Principal to be the Designated Liaison Person (DLP).

*   The Principal has a range of statutory functions and obligations as outlined in legislation. Such statutory functions are implied into the Contract of Employment.

In the Community and Comprehensive sector, the Principal shall carry out functions as outlined in the Deed of Trust.

In conjunction with the key roles and responsibilities outlined in the Education Acts and in the Deed of Trust in the Community and Comprehensive sector, the following is the job description for the role of Principal.

Leading Learning & Teaching

*   Establish and promote high standards and expectations for all students and staff for academic performance, engagement, learning, behaviour and social skills.

*   Effectively implement appropriate modern teaching and learning strategies to the benefit of student achievement and school performance.

*   Actively promotes their own continuous professional development and that of staff and ensures that it is in line with the overall goals, plans and targets of the school.

*   Be responsible for the creation, together with the students, board, parents of students and the teachers, of a school environment which is supportive of learning and high achievement among the students.

*   Continuously develop and prioritise, in conjunction with staff, a timetable, a curriculum, instructional methodologies and school plans that best meet the needs of the entire  student population and in accordance with Department of Education and the relevant sector regulations and guidelines.

*   Ensure that the education provided in the school is constantly supervised and evaluated. Ensure that strategies, measures, methodologies, improvement plans and targets are put in place to ensure best practise and standards of teaching and learning are being achieved.

*   Develop and provide appropriate learning and curricular programmes to meet the needs of all students in the school and ensure the diversity of the student population is being catered for.


Leading School Development

*   Put in place a comprehensive school development/Education plans, following consultation with staff/BOM and parents/guardians and other relevant stakeholders.

*   Develop, implement, evaluate and update procedures and systems for the operation and functioning of the school; ensuring compliance with legislation (Education, Employment Law, Child Protection), Department and relevant sectoral regulations, philosophy and values.

*   Strategically develop the expertise and capability of the staff in line with the School Development Plans, School Vision and Culture.

*   Establish structures in the school that facilitate (a) excellence in teaching and learning (b) which supports and cultivates a community of learning (c) development of a management tier devoted to the key objectives of the school.

*   Implement the policies and decisions of the Board of Management, the Minister and Department of Education in such a way as to enhance the school offering.

*   Set a system for constant re-evaluation of the purpose, objectives and activities of the school in line with School Self Evaluation Guidelines from the Department of Education Guidelines.

Developing Leadership Capacity

*   Lead, motivate and manage the teaching and ancillary staff in the school to achieve excellence in their work; through the use of good industrial relations, systems, planning and evaluation, team work/support, organisation and communications.

*   Set high standards of work and behaviour and to be actively involved in probation, performance management and appraisal of staff through the agreed systems.

*   Actively manage difficult employment issues, following agreed procedures, using appropriate action, support and advice.

*   Ensure adherence to child protection, health, safety and welfare for students, staff and visitors.

*   Foster and maintain excellent professional working relationships with all staff in the school, ensuring effective delegation and support.

*   Establish strong organisation structures within the school with clearly defined roles and responsibility among the various categories of staff, in line with staff skills and talents.


*   Set up excellent communication structures/policies and procedures with staff, students, parents/guardians, Board of Management and all partners and stakeholders.

*   Set a standard and code for communications in the school in terms of tone, response, methods and appropriateness.

*   Set up good communication structures to the wider community from the school and to ensure that the school has effective and positive public relations.

*   Embrace modern methods of communication e.g. on line, bulletin boards, Information technology systems etc.

Managing the Organisation

*   Set an organisational timetable/calendar for the school regarding administrative matters such as Department.

*   Set an organisational timetable/calendar for the school regarding Health and Safety drills, actions, checks and safety statement reviews.

*   Control, manage and best use school/public funds and ensure all financial records are up to date and maintained according to good governance, regulations and guidelines.

*   Consult with the Deputy Principal/s and the senior management team on matters related to the administration and management of the school as appropriate.

*   Act as Secretary to the School Board of Management, to assist and advise them on policy, professional, financial and administrative matters. Understand the role and function of the Board of Management and to work in cooperation and support of the Board of Management.

*   Establish effective data management systems such as student records, teacher records, attendance, purchasing procedures, and timetables.

*   Ensure the facilities and assets of the school are maintained and managed to the highest standards. Put in place a calendar of maintenance to be conducted during the year and to ensure it is complied with.

*   Lead the school in ensuring that all administrative matters are dealt with effectively and on time.

Self-Awareness and Self-Management

*   Set a good standard of professional interactions and to ensure excellent relationship boundaries are in place.

*   Be aware of own skill set and traits and to ensure to seek help and advice when required and to operate with an openness with the Board of Management.

*   Upholds professional integrity at all times for example discretion, confidentiality, loyalty and trust.

*   Seek to actively improve on skill sets through active networking, CPD and good interactive working relationships.

In a Community School, the Principal acts as Secretary to the Board of Management (please refer to Tagairt, the Handbook for Boards of Management on the ACCS website,

The successful candidate will:

*   be a leader, committed to the highest standards of education provision, administration and governance

*   have a passion for education

*   have strong people management and organisation skills

*   be a visionary and have experience in delivering projects through team work

*   be community-minded and conscious of the role the school plays in the local community

Terms and conditions of employment: As per the Department of Education directives.



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