The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is calling on the Government to appoint more assistant school principals.
More than 550 members of the NAPD will gather in Galway for the association's annual conference today.
Issues surrounding reform of the Junior and Leaving Cert, enhanced training for school principals and changes to college entry will all be discussed.
The NAPD said removing positions of middle management and posts of responsibility in Irish secondary schools as a result of cutbacks, was threatening the effective running of schools.
The group's president Padraig Flanagan said: "The structure has been traditional in Irish schools has been one of assistant principals and special-duties teachers.
"Special-duties teachers have been discontinued for quite some time (and) assistant principal roles are not being filled.
"In effect, the middle management/leadership in many Irish schools is bereft of people to the extent that in many schools nationwide there are only two or three year heads. Many years have no year head*."
*Year heads have general responsibilites regarding the observance of school regulations for their year, and is a link person between parents and the school. They are also often involved in the formation of school policy.