Principal Specification 2018



Candidate Information

Saint Nicholas Montessori Society of Ireland (SNMSI) clg is not-for profit company which was established in 1978, to promote the values of the Montessori philosophy and methods of teaching and learning. There are two principal entities to achieve this –Saint Nicholas Montessori School (SNMS) and Saint Nicholas Montessori College of Ireland (SNMCI).

The school is located in Dún Laoghaire and is involved in the delivery of primary education based on the Montessori pedagogy to children from the ages of three to twelve. Its activity is financed through the receipt of grant income under the Free-Preschool Year (for pupils aged 2 ¾ to 4 ½ years) and school fees for all other children
up to the age of 12. The number of pupils attending the school is 125 approximately, with 45 falling within the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme. Its staffing complement is 1 Principal (teaching), 6 Teachers, 6 Assistant Teachers and 1 Secretary. There are three part-time teachers, in addition to other resources to support

After School activity.

The College is involved in the delivery of higher education programmes to school leavers and mature students. All of the programmes are accredited by the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and are placed at Level 7 and 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Graduates from these programmes will become Montessori
educators in a variety of education settings, including private and community as well as Learning Support Teachers in Primary Schools.

SNMSI clg is also a registered charity. Its strategic activities are overseen by a Board of Trustees, which meets on a quarterly basis. SNMSI Clg wishes to appoint a Teaching Principal to the school, in anticipation of forthcoming retirement of present incumbent.


The Principal of SNMS is the most senior position in the school. Working closely with the Director of SNMSI Clg, he /she is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the efficient and effective delivery of all education to pupils within the school.

The school has a Board of Management, composed of parents and teachers, which is responsible for policy oversight and operational matters associated with the school.

The successful candidate will have:

(a) A proven track record of significant achievement at a senior level within a primary school (recognised or private) that demonstrates leadership, management and interpersonal skills required for this position;
(b) The ability to motivate and work effectively with teaching staff within an everchanging education context;
(c) The capacity to build and maintain relationships with parents and children, as well as regulatory agencies involved with SNMS;



The responsibilities associated with the Principal’s position are typically with school leadership at primary level, but specifically include responsibility for the:
(a) Oversight of the efficient running of Saint Nicholas Montessori School in accordance with the Montessori philosophy and at all times to be sensitive to the pastoral care and wellbeing of its pupils;
(b) Teaching of class as agreed with the Board of Management;
(c) Creation of an inclusive learning environment which empowers all pupils to reach their potential;
(d) Quality delivery of curricula (Aistear and Primary) throughout the school in accordance with appropriate regulatory frameworks;
(e) Provision of leadership to the teachers and other staff, including the promotion of their continuous professional development;
(f) Development and implementation of annual learning strategies in accordance with agreed objectives set by the Board of Management/ Board of Trustees and monitor the achievement of those objectives,
(g) Promotion of the school and its pedagogy within community and its environs;
(h) Liaison with Parents’ Association on matters associated with school development;
(i) Collaboration with other primary schools in the communityto share and learn good practice;
(j) Representation of the school at key events, including professional networks, within the school calendar;
(k) Engagement with regulatory agencies such as Pobal and TUSLA on delivery of the ECEC programme;
(l) Working closely with the Director of SNMSI Clg to ensure that resources are deployed in the most efficient manner, compatible with the delivery of high quality education;
The list is not intended to be exhaustive and the person appointed requires the flexibility to fulfil other roles and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Chair of the Board of Trustees and Board of Management.


Character: Each candidate must be of good character;
Health: Each candidate shall be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render regular and efficient service.
Garda Vetting: The offer to the successful candidate is subject to Garda Vetting.

Education and Experience

The candidate shall have:
(a) Minimum of a Level 8 qualification in Montessori education (or equivalent);
(b) Prior experience working at a school leadership level with policy and regulatory experience;
(c) Relevant experience of working with regulatory bodies such as TUSLA and Pobal;
(d) Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
(e) Ability to work on own initiative, as part of team and as a leader of a teaching community;
(f) Knowledge of Irish education landscape;

Desirable Attributes

The ideal candidate will also demonstrate:
(a) The ability to develop and maintain networks and to influence stakeholders positively in order to achieve
results that are in the best interests of SNMS;
(b) The ability to build and maintain positive working relationships in a constructive and consultative
(c) An understanding of SNMSI clg mission and values;



Interested candidates are invited to submit the following documentation in support of their application:
(a) Detailed Curriculum Vitae, highlighting roles which the candidates considers relevant to the position, and,
(b) Personal statement (no more than 1,000 words) indicating why candidate considers him/ herself suitable for the position.

Shortlisting may occur and candidates will be invited to attend for interview which is likely to take place in March 2018. As part of the interview process, candidates will be required to make a 10 minute presentation on a topic to be notified in the invitation to interview.

Candidate will be evaluated by reference to the following criteria:
(a) Knowledge of the Montessori pedagogy and its application in school for children up to the age of 12;
(b) Teaching within the 3 to 12 age cohort;
(c) Leadership, including team development;
(d) Management and delivery of results;
(e) Building relationships within school and community environment;
(f) Drive and commitment;
(g) Any other experience relevant to the position of Principal in SNMS;
The completed application should be emailed to for the attention of: Ms Aideen Cullen, Chair, Board of Management, Saint Nicholas Montessori School,
Or alternatively by post to:

Ms Aideen Cullen,
Chair, Board of Management,
Saint Nicholas Montessori School,
16 Adelaide Street,
Dún Laoghaire,
Co Dublin.
A96 H5P3

Applications should reach the above not later than 1700hrs on Friday, 9 th March 2018. All applications will be acknowledged. If you have not received a receipt, please contact the Director at the above email address. Any candidate wishing to discuss any aspect of the above position should contact the Principal at 01 – 280 6064.