NABMSE Annual Conference and AGM 2017

11th & 12th October | Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Exploring New Initiatives for Boards of Management

In hosting this conference, it is NABMSE’s intention to showcase good practice and update Boards on new initiatives in the education sector to assist them in the running of their schools.

Who should attend

The Conference is open to any member of a Board of Management from special and mainstream primary and post primary schools interested in getting the most up to date information for their school.

There is no fee to attend. To reserve your place, you must register in advance. Places are limited. The conference is hosted by NABMSE and supported by the Teacher Education section of the Department of Education and Skills.


Adam Harris


Adam Harris is a 20 year old social entrepreneur and Founder-CEO of, an organisation working to build an Ireland where every person with Autism can “live and succeed as they are”. provides a central online hub for the Autism community which aims to inform and empower those affected by the condition, their families and supporters. Through online engagement with users, AsIAm creates training programmes and campaigns to engage various aspects of Irish life to understand Autism better and to become more Autism friendly. Adam founded based on his experiences of living with Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition on the Autism Spectrum. Today Adam addresses Autism issues in the media and at conferences, national and international. A Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardee, Adam sits on the Board of Specialisterne Ireland and PRISM DLR and is Patron of Laois Offaly Families for Autism and the Wicklow Triple A Alliance. Adam is also passionate about the need for a greater understanding of Autism in Irish schools, and in that capacity sits on the NCSE Consultative Forum, representing a number of Autism organisations.

Louise McNamara

Director Financial Services Support Unit

Louise is a Chartered Accountant who previously worked in the private sector. She joined the Financial Support Services Unit as FSSU Accountant in September 2007. In September 2013, she became Director of the FSSU. In this role she will lead the FSSU Team in continuing to provide financial management support to all schools in the Voluntary sector. Louise’s presentation will give the opportunity for NABMSE members to become familiar with this new service for special schools and mainstream primary schools.

Dr. Grainne McHale

Director SoundOUT

Gráinne McHale is a music educator, community musician and researcher. Upon completing an MA in Community Music at the University of York, Gráinne established SoundOUT, a community music organisation, to provide inclusive music making and learning opportunities for young people with disabilities in Cork City. Working in collaboration with various schools, including a special school – School of the Divine Child, SoundOUT provides extra curricular instrumental tuition and inclusive band workshops, in partnership with Music Generation Cork City, to over 300 young people in Cork City. SoundOUT uses a range of assistive music technologies to ensure music education is accessible to all participants. As the first recipient of the University College Cork PhD scholarship at the School of Music and Theatre, Gráinne completed an in-depth study on inclusive music education and assistive music technology in Ireland in 2016. SoundOUT was a key case study in Gráinne’s PhD research and was recently nominated for the prestigious national ‘Pride of Place’ award. Gráinne continuously advocates for the development of a more inclusive music education system through research dissemination, lecturing on teacher education programmes throughout the country, in-service training, both nationally and internationally, and through her own practice as a music educator and primary school teacher. Gráinne’s presentation will allow NABMSE members to hear of the experiences of this inclusive music project with a view to replication in their own area.


A Teachmeet is an organised (but informal) meeting where participants are offered variety of nano (2 minute) or macro (7 minute) presentations on any aspect of education. Participants can be actively involved as presenters or can listen to all that is on offer.

Kathleen Byrne

Kathleen Byrne is the principal of St. Patrick’s NS, Glencullen, Dublin 18 where she has been both Teaching and Administrative Principal since 2008. She is Chairperson of the Wicklow IPPN County Committee and an advocate of all aspects of educational development. She is particularly interested in educational leadership; she is currently a mentor with the Centre for School Leadership and a PDST Digital Leadership summer tutor.

Ciara Brennan

Ciara Brennan is a teacher in St. Peter’s Primary, Bray, Co. Wicklow. She has been a PDST Technology in Education tutor for the past four years, and is a parttime lecturer in Creative Technologies in the Marino Institute of Education. She is currently completing an M.Ed. in Literacy Studies in DCU. In March 2014, Kathleen and Ciara founded Teachmeet Ireland, a non-profit organisation and the first Primary Education specific network of Teachmeets. Our objective is to provide short snappy CPD to educators via the collaborative Teachmeet style.

This session will give members the opportunity to share their experiences of innovative practice in their school in the Teachmeet style, with an emphasis on issues involving Boards.

Ian O'Herlihy

Partner Mason, Hayes and Curran

Ian is Chair of the Employment Law and Benefits Department and Head of the Education Unit. He has over 25 years’ experience in advising a wide range of educational institutions, particularly in the primary sector, on employment issues, education law, data protection, risk management and compliance with both statutory and common law duties. Ian is a member of numerous Employment Law and Education Lawyers Associations in Ireland and the UK. He advises schools on both contentious and non-contentious issues and has represented boards of management in most of the leading schools court decisions over the past twenty years. Ian has presented lectures and seminars widely on all aspects of education law and employment law in schools including special educational needs, pupil discipline, duty of care, admission issues, pupil and parent rights. He recently acted as lecturer and external examiner for the Law Society’s first Diploma in Education Law. Ian’s presentation will allow schools to hear the answers to the most frequently asked legal questions by schools in the past year and gain insight into good legal practice for Boards.

Thursday 11th October 2017: 6.30pm – 8.30pm NABMSE AGM

Running Order: Thursday 12th October 2017

8.30amRegistration, Tea/Coffee
9.00amIntroduction and Welcome by Chairperson
9.15amKeynote Address
Adam Harris, Founder/CEO,
9.40amThe Financial Services Support Unit – A New Service for Primary and Special Schools
Louise McNamara, Director, FSSU
10.00amMusic Inclusion for All
Dr. Grainne McHale, CEO, SoundOUT, Cork
11.15amCreative & Innovative Practice for Boards – Case Studies
Moderated by Teachmeet Ireland
1.30pmFrequently asked legal questions answered for Boards of Management
Ian O’Herlihy, Partner – Mason, Hayes and Curran
3.30pm Questions and Answers