Weak leadership in St Finian's 'affects teaching and learning'
St Finian's NS, Newcastle Lyons, Dublin
Weak leadership in a primary school was having a significant affect on teaching and learning, according to Department of Education and Skills inspectors.
The board was not functioning effectively or cohesively and there was a breakdown of communications between the principal and other senior staff members, they reported.
Most of the teachers in St Finian's National School, Newcastle Lyons, Co Dublin, did not think the school was well run or that there was a good atmosphere in it, according to a recent Whole School Evaluation (WSE) report.
St Finian's is a 485-pupil co-educational primary school, on the Dublin-Kildare border, which opened a new building in 2015. When inspectors visited the school last March, both the principal and deputy principal were on leave. The inspectors recommended that "as a matter of urgency" the board, under the leadership of a recently appointed chairman, should get training.
Negative teacher views on the running of, and atmosphere in, the school were elicited in the WSE survey and inspectors also commented on a "low morale among staff and a lack of a shared vision".
In its response to the report, the board of management said it would "strive to implement the recommendations in the best interests of its pupils".