Schools reopen this week with disputes over national standards and secondary teachers' pay continuing.
The issues dominated the school sector last year and are expected to do the same in 2011.
The Government says primary schools will become more confident in using the national standards this year.
But the Principals Federation, which represents most primary principals, and the Educational Institute, which represents most primary teachers, remain opposed to the standards.
Meanwhile, secondary schools face more disruption over teacher pay talks that are stalled on the issue of maximum class sizes.
Union members are scheduled to vote at the end of the month on industrial action in support of their claim.