CEIST Annual Education Conference 2014

The Ninth Annual CEIST Education Conference will be held in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath on Thursday, 25th September & Friday, 26th September, 2014. The theme for our conference is Living the message of Pope Francis in CEIST Schools.

The CEIST Annual Education Conference provides an ideal opportunity for our School Principals, Deputy Principals and Chairpersons to network, share ideas and best practice with their peers.


Day 1: Thursday, 25th September 2014

11.30am -1.00pm Registration
1.00pm Lunch
2.00pm Gathering Prayer & Lighting of CEIST Candle
Bernard Keeley, Chairperson CEIST Board of Directors
Welcome Address by CEIST CEO, Dr. Marie Griffin
Educena Report, Liam Bergin, CEO
2.30 - 3.30pm Keynote Address: Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
Living the message of Pope Francis in CEIST Schools
3.30pm - 3.45pm Coffee Break
3.45pm - 4.30pm The message of Pope Francis (Discussion Group Session)
4.30 - 5.00pm How to Use Twitter and Google Forms, John Woods, CEIST
5.00pm - 5.15pm Performance by Presentation Secondary School, Ballyphehane Choir
(Winners of the All Island School Choir Competiton in 2010 and 2013)
7.00pm Reception and Social Gathering 
7.30pm Conference Dinner 

Conference Workshops

1) “Flourish in the fast lane! Nurture Mind, Body and Spirit”, Fr. Jim Purcell.

Fr Jim is a priest in the Cashel and Emly diocese. He is based in the parish of Cashel and Rosegreen. He has a Masters degree in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy from UCC and has also studied Spiritual Direction in Manresa. Fr Jim has been Chaplain in second level schools for many years, he also works part time in Counselling where his approach is to nurture the whole person mind, body and spirit.

The workshop will be aimed at the busy individual and will explore self care from an experiential perspective. The participants will be furnished with tips on self care.

2) Introducing Tablet Devices To The School Environment”, CEIST Schools discuss their experiences, Chaired by John Woods, CEIST. 

The workshop will be an interactive open discussion fora amongst attendees chaired by John Woods, ICS Manager, CEIST. John will invite contributions from CEIST School Principals that have introduced tablet devices to their school environments. The objective of the discussion fora will be to share experiences such as;

  • School vision and planning for transforming teaching and learning
  • Cost and technical issues
  • Teaching and learning issues
  • Benefits to schools from introduction of iPads
  • Impact on teachers, students and the extended school community
  • Finance and funding mechanisms

The workshop (time permitting) will also look to discuss other matters such as wireless networks, mobile device management,  ensuring the safety of devices, maintenance and provision of on-demand technical support. 

3) “Emerging LGBT Issues For Our Schools”, Millett & Matthews Solicitors.

Presented by Brian M. Matthews and Marianne Matthews of Millett & Matthews Solicitors, this workshop will address student related LGBT issues.

Topics for discussion

1. Equality issues
   1.1. Avoiding claims of discrimination.
   1.2. How do you handle it?

  • Uniform issues
  • Changing rooms and bathroom facilities.
  • Deed Polls reflecting change of name.
  • Requests to amend official school records.

   1.3. More serious issues: homophobic and transphobic bullying.
   1.4. Admissions policies and transgender students in single-sex schools.
   1.5. New legal developments: Gender Recognition Bill 2014.

2. Supporting LGBT students
   2.1. Duty to provide support and counselling?
   2.2. Duty to inform parents?
   2.3. Sharing information with relevant staff members?
   2.4. Staff training for those in mentoring/counselling rolls.
   2.5. Curriculum content for CSPE: creating a culture of dignity and respect.

3. Homophobic and transphobic bullying
   3.1. School policy.
   3.2. DES Anti-Bullying Procedures.
   3.3. Awareness and education programs

4. Ethos issues for faith schools

4) "Navigating Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures in Schools”, Margaret Gorman, Senior Associate,         Eversheds Education Group.

Margaret Gorman who heads up Eversheds Education Group will address what schools need to know regarding grievance and disciplinary procedures.

This session will give you the confidence to use the disciplinary and grievance procedures. At the outset Margaret Gorman will give a general overview of the requirements of natural justice and fair procedures and how to apply these principles in practice.

She will then describe the various procedures which are in place. The session will then focus on ensuring that the appropriate procedure is used in any given situation. The remainder of the session will be devoted to three casestudies focused on staff relations issues. These will draw largely on issues which schools typically encounter and it is intended that this part of the session will be interactive.

DAY 2: Friday, 26th September, 2014

9.00am - 10.00am Mass celebrated by Fr. Jim Purcell with Presentation College, Currylea, Tuam, School Choir. 
10.00 - 10.45am Conference Workshops (Session 1)
10.45am - 11.15am Coffee Break
11.15am - 12.00 pm Conference Workshops (Session 2, repeat of above)
12.00pm - 12.45pm Closing Address, Stories for Leaders, Dr Clare Maloney
12.45pm - 1.00pm Scattering Prayer 
1.00pm Lunch

Keynote Speaker and Presenter Profiles


Archbishop Eamon Martin

Eamon Columba Martin was born in Derry in 1961; his parents, Catherine Crossan and the late John James Martin were both from Inishowen in Donegal and his grandparents came from Counties Donegal and Fermanagh. He has six sisters and five brothers.

Eamon went to St Patrick’s Primary School and St Columb’s College, Derry where he developed a great interest in singing and later playing the trombone! He proceeded to study for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth during which time he took degrees in Mathematical Science and Theology. During his seminary training he was a senior cantor and leading member of the seminary choir – in his final year he was Acting Director of Sacred Music in Maynooth. His postgraduate studies were at Queen’s University Belfast, the Institute of Education in London and the University of Cambridge.

After ordination on 28th June 1987, Fr Eamon was appointed to Templemore Parish in Derry City, serving as curate at St Eugene’s Cathedral. In 1990 he went to teach Mathematics and Religion at his old school, St Columb’s College. He became Head of Religious Education in 1997 and eventually President (Principal) of the College, a post he held for eight years.

After leaving St Columb’s in 2008, Fr Eamon was appointed Executive Secretary of the Irish Bishops’ Conference but he returned to his native diocese as Vicar General just over two years later. Also in 2010 he was appointed Chaplain to His Holiness. Upon the retirement of Bishop Séamus Hegarty, Monsignor Eamon was elected as Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Derry.

On 18 January 2013 it was announced that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI had appointed Monsignor Eamon as Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh. He was ordained Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh on 21 April 2013 in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

As Cardinal Brady's resignation was accepted by Pope Francis on the 8th September, Archbishop Eamon is now the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. 

Dr Clare Maloney

Dr Clare Maloney lectures in the Marino Institute of Education in the area of Religious Education.

An author of a number of RE programmes for schools, Dr. Maloney has a particular interest in children's literature.

Dr Clare Maloney will close the conference with a presentation on the value of stories for leaders. 

Fr Jim Purcell

Fr Jim is a priest in the Cashel and Emly diocese based in the parish of Rosegreen outside Cashel.

He has a Masters degree in Humanistic and integrative Psychotherapy from UCC and has also studied Spiritual Direction in Manresa.

Fr Jim has been Chaplain in second level schools for many years.

He also works part time in counselling where his approach is to nurture the whole person mind, body and spirit.

Millett and Matthews Solicitors

Brian M. Matthews BA, MA, BCL, Dip. Employment Law

Brian is a solicitor in the firm, working primarily in litigation and dispute resolution.

Brian acts for charities, schools and educational trusts, school management bodies and provides advice, training and support in relation to education law, employment law, school governance, child protection and risk management.


Brian represents clients in the High Court, the Equality Tribunal, the Employment Appeals Tribunal, the Labour Relations Commission and most recently advised an international human rights organisation in relation to a high profile preliminary reference from the Irish High Court to the European Court of Justice.

He has also advised extensively in relation to a number of Government Tribunals and Commissions of Investigation.

Marianne B. Matthews LLB, Dip Finance Law, TEP
Marianne is a solicitor who joined the firm from the asset management and investment funds department of Dublin firm, Matheson Ormsby Prentice Solicitors.

Marianne is a graduate of the Trinity College Dublin, has a Diploma in Finance Law, and is a Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP, awarded by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, the worldwide professional body for trust and estate practitioners).

Marianne advises schools, charitable bodies, religious congregations and their representative bodies.

She advises particularly in relation to data protection policies, investigations by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, charity law, property transactions and governance and trust structuring issues.

Margaret Gorman

Margaret Gorman, who heads up Eversheds Education Group, has unrivalled experience in education law. Margaret advises educational institutions at first, second and third level on all aspects of education law. She has a unique client perspective on legal & HR concerns facing those in the education sector as she was Deputy CEO and in-house solicitor for CPMSA the country’s leading school management organisation.

Margaret acts for boards of management, colleges, patrons, trustees, insurers, management bodies and a host of other education providers on contentious and non-contentious matters. She advises them in relation to employment, HR and IR issues as well as disciplinary, grievance and complaints procedures. She drafts contracts of employment, handbooks and an extensive number of education related policies. She has in-depth experience of dealing with statutory bodies including the Child & Family Agency and Ombudsman for Children and is an expert in Child Protection.

Margaret also specialises in employment law and has substantial experience of advisory and contentious HR matters. Margaret works closely with the firm’s clients in advising on employment rights, company policies, broader HR issues and drafts employment contracts and HR policies. On the contentious side Margaret is a litigator with many years’ experience of complex court proceedings including High Court matters, dismissal cases before Rights Commissioners and the Employment Appeals Tribunal, Circuit Court and Equality cases. She also specialised in Tribunals of Inquiry.

Margaret also works in the firm’s Data Protection Group and advises clients on data protection issues.

Margaret writes and speaks regularly on education and employment law issues.

Margaret is a member of the Law Society of Ireland and the Dublin Bar Association. She also holds a Masters in Commercial Law from UCD.

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