Board Of Management
The current (December 2015) Board members
• Fr. Pádraig Keenan – Chairperson
• Oreena Lawless – Principal
• Elaine O’Rourke – Deputy Principal
• Joe Corcoran – Bishop’s Nominee
• Sinéad Dullaghan – Parent Representative
• Robert Cosgrove – Parent Representative
• VACANT – Community Representative
• John Horan – Community Representative
Annual Reports from our Board of Management
The structure of boards in all national schools is:
• 2 patron’s nominees – two nominees of our patron, the Bishop of Armagh
• The school principal
• 2 parents’ nominees – two parents elected from parents of pupils in the school, one mother, one father.
• 1 teacher nominee – elected by the teaching staff.
• 2 community representatives – two people from the wider community.
Functions of the Board
The board’s main function is to manage the school on behalf of the patron and for the benefit of the students and to provide an appropriate education for each student at the school.
In carrying out its functions, the board must
Act in accordance with Ministerial policy
1. Uphold the ethos of the school and be accountable to the patron for this. The word ethos is not used in the Education Act 1998. It is described in the Act as the “characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school”.
2. Act in accordance with the law and with any deed, charter, or similar instrument relating to the school.
3. Consult with and inform the patron of decisions and proposals
4. Publish the school’s policy on admission to and participation in the school, including its policy on expulsion and suspension of students, admission and participation by students with disabilities or with other special educational needs
5. Ensure that the school’s admissions policy respects the choices of parents and the principles of equality and that it complies with Ministerial directions, having regard to the school ethos and the constitutional rights of all concerned
6. Have regard for the principles and requirements of a democratic society and promote respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in our society
7. Have regard to the efficient use of resources (particularly the grants provided by the state), the public interest in the affairs of the school and accountability to students, parents and the community
8. Use the resources provided by the state to make reasonable provision and accommodation for students with disabilities or special needs, including, if necessary, the adaptation of buildings or provision of special equipment
How boards of management operate
The role and method of operation of boards of management of primary schools was agreed by the Department of Education and Science, the school managers, parents and teachers in 2003. The Constitution of Boards and Rules of Procedures (2007) set out the principles on which it is based:
1. Governance structures for schools should respond to the diversity of school types, ownership and management structures that is the central feature of the structure of Irish education at primary level.
2. Governance structures should reflect the plurality of Irish society, including the rights and needs of minority groups.
3. The composition of boards should reflect and promote participation and partnership in the running of schools among patrons/trustees/owners/governors, parents, teachers and the wider community.
4. The composition and operation of boards of management should reflect and promote public accountability to the immediate community served by the school and to the state as the predominant source of funding for schools.
5. The recognition of the responsibility of patrons/trustees/owners/governors to maintain and promote a distinctive ethos in their schools and to ensure the practical means to discharge this responsibility.
6. Board practice should facilitate and promote commitment by parents to the affairs of the school and the functioning of an effective parents’ association.
7. The Rules also frequently refer to the need to communicate with parents and staff and the school community, for example, they state that the board “shall pursue a policy of openness and have a positive approach to sharing information with the school community”.
For more information of the function of the Board of Management, see the booklet “The Board of Management in your Primary School: A Guide for Parents“.