Posts of Responsibility

A new Circular “Leadership and Management in Post-Primary Schools” Circular 0003/18 was issued in January 2018. This Circular supersedes all previous Circulars in relation to posts or responsibility at Assistant Principal and Special Duties level and Programme Co-ordinator posts.

While the Circular represents some restoration of posts of responsibility in second-level schools, the ASTI will continue its campaign for full restoration of posts of responsibility.

Click here for Circular 0003/18. 

Click here for ASTI Guidelines for the Implementation of the Post of Responsibility Structure in Second-Level Schools.

Click here for ASTI FAQs on Circular 0003/18.

*Please note the information below will be updated shortly.

Moratorium on posts of responsibility

At present there is a moratorium on the filling of posts of responsibility appointments in schools. This means that no special duties posts in schools may be filled. Limited alleviation is available to allow for the filling of Assistant Principal posts in schools that meet certain criteria. For full details see Circular 0053/2011.


The Department of Education and Skills has issued Circular 0004/2014 on the introduction of a limited alleviation of the moratorium on Posts of Responsibility. This alleviation was negotiated as part of the Haddington Road Agreement. Appointments should be made as per current Post of Responsibility procedures.

The ASTI continues to demand that the moratorium on posts is lifted as the loss of posts of responsibility is seriously undermining the operation of schools.

Schedule of post of responsibility duties

The duties attached to the posts of assistant principal and special duties teacher respectively should have a level of responsibility and workload commensurate with the category and allowance to be paid. Each school's schedule of duties lists the post duties covered in that school. The teaching staff must be consulted when a schedule is being drawn up or if it is being revised.

Reviews of post duties
A review of post duties may take place whenever a vacancy arises. Given the current moratorium, ASTI members should note that where a post of responsibility review takes place, the duties of a retired teacher may be reassigned; however, where this happens it means that other duties will be dropped by the school. ASTI members should not undertake post of responsibility duties for which they are not paid.

The review should be based on the following principles:

  • consultation with all the teaching staff;
  • there should be real participation by teachers in this process;
  • consensus among teachers is the best way to conduct the reviews;
  • consultation must be open and transparent;
  • the definition of posts must be inclusive so as to allow any competent, eligible member of staff to apply;
  • the duties should reflect the grade of the post;
  • every effort should be made to ensure equity between post holders in the division of duties, i.e. no one post should be over burdensome when compared with others in the same category.

Procedures for appointment to posts of responsibility

Revised promotional procedures for appointments to posts of responsibility in all sectors have been agreed. These procedures have been phased in for all second-level schools and all new appointments should be made under the new procedures. 

Until 2015 a proportion of posts are filled under the new procedures, while the remaining proportion of posts are filled according to previous procedures.

From 2015 onwards all available permanent posts will be filled under the new arrangements.


Click here to view an article on how appointments to posts are made at the moment.



Revised Procedures

Revised Promotional Procedures for Appointment to Assistant Principal and Special Duties Teacher in Schools


Previous Procedures

Posts of Responsibility in Voluntary Secondary Schools
Posts of Responsibility in Community and Comprehensive Schools


Appeal Procedures

Appeal procedures for appointments to Posts of Responsibility