Annual Report, 2012/2013
The attendance figures for 2012-2013 show that the improvement in last year’s figures has been maintained. The attendance monitoring system which among other things involved home visits and sending text messages to targeted parents whose sons has been very poor attenders in 2011/12 has continued to be very effective. 15 pupils achieved full attendance during the year and will be presented with gold certificates from the Education Welfare Board.
Total enrolment continues to be a source of serious concern. The enrolment figure on 30 September 2012 was 408, and this represents a decline of 14 pupils from the previous year. This trend was flagged in last year’s report, and the consequences will manifest themselves in the new school year when there will be a composite class in the school for the first time in many years. There has been speculation in the media with regard to the provision of another primary school in Swords, but it would appear to make more sense for the DES to ensure that the existing schools in the area are operating at capacity before engaging in building more schools.
There have been a number of significant changes with regard to the staffing in our school. Mr Sean Byrne, Deputy Principal, and Mr Liam Molloy, Caretaker, retired after many years of service in St Colmcille’s BNS. We thank them for their commitment to the school and wish them many years of health and happiness in retirement. We take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Pat Mc Guinness and Mr Christy Russell in their appointments as Deputy Principal and Caretaker respectively, and to wish them well as they commence in their new roles.
Cut-backs continue to impact on staff numbers. There will be 1 less mainstream class teacher during the new school year, but the number of SNAs has been increased to 5.83, and the clustering arrangement with St Colmcille’s GNS with regard to the provision of some language support will continue.
Board of Management
The new Board of Management took up office in November 2011. It met monthly on a formal basis, and all BOM members visited the school regularly. A number of policy documents were re-drafted during the course of the year, and details of them are contained in the minutes of the BOM. It published a Newsletter for parents at the end of the school year, 2012/13. Ms Catherine Vassier was co-opted to the BOM in September 2012 as replacement for Mrs Jean Mc Loughlin whose son had completed his primary education in June 2012.
What did the Board have oversight of during the school year, 2012-2013?
- Production of a Development Plan as an underpinning for initiatives and activities during the school year
- Management of the school budget within the context of a significant reduction in the Capitation Grant. One of the consequences of this reduction was the necessity to organise a sponsored walk which realised the sum of €1,145.44
- In conjunction with the Parents’ Association, the Board sourced a stock of school clothing which it sold at reduced prices
- Liaised with the Department of Education and Skills during the application process for a stand-alone building to replace some of the Portacabins. There were difficulties at the tendering stage which resulted in a delay to the building programme, but it is hoped that the new rooms will be ready for occupation in October 2013
- Liaised with the Special Education Needs Organiser with specific reference to the provision of special needs resources. There will be 7 resource teachers and 5.83 Special Needs Assistants in the school for the new school year
- Members attended or assisted with the various events such as Teddy Bears Picnic, Carol Service, X-Factor, Multi-cultural evening and the Exhibition of historical artefacts and projects.
- Assisted in the production of a local history book, Images of Swords
The Parents’ Association organised a raffle and a cake sale. The money raised by these events was €3,715, and this sum was utilised by the Parents’ Association to fund the various programmes and activities which it supports. It was involved in the organisation of the multi-cultural evening which was held in March 2013 and it assisted at with the sale of uniforms and track suits. The Parents’ Association funded treats for jog day, the visit of Santa and Sports Days, and it organised a Teddy Bears’ Picnic for the new Junior Infant pupils on the Sunday prior to the commencement of the new school year. Representatives from the Parents’ Association attended the transfer of the Governors’ Archives to the Dublin Archdiocese and the launch of the local history book.
- Reports for pupils in 6th Classes were transferred to post-primary schools
- School Self-Improvement programme has commenced, and Oral Language is the area which has been targeted by the teachers and pupils
- The team teaching in Mathematics for pupils from 3rd to 6th Classes was very successful and there were very significant improvements in the overall results