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Board of Governors

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors (BoG's) are ultimately responsible for the management of the school.

The BoG have been reconstituted recently, and include:

 

Currently:

Mr Martin Busch

Mrs Geraldine Clenaghan

Dr Mary Daly (Chair)

Mrs N McNamee

Mr P Fitzsimons

Mr M McDonald

Miss G Murphy - Teacher Rep

Mrs L O'Brien - Parent Rep

Mr R Dowling - DE Rep

Mrs C Milne - Principal

 

 

 

OVERVIEW OF ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A SCHOOL BOARD OF GOVERNORS

 

ROLE OF THE GOVERNOR

The role of the Board of Governors is to manage the school with a view to providing

the best possible education and educational opportunities for all of the pupils.

This involves

  • setting the strategic direction for the school; and

  • taking corporate decisions in relation to the statutory functions of the Board of Governors

 

 

STRATEGIC GOVERNANCE

The Board of Governors has an important strategic role to play in the management of the school.

This is to help the school principal and staff provide the best possible education for all of the pupils.

Governors bring their experience, life skills and common sense to this task. In everything they do,

they should aim to raise expectations of what can be achieved by all pupils and strengthen the

involvement of parents and the community. This involves

• setting the school's vision and aims;

• establishing and maintaining the school’s ethos;

• setting the school’s plans and policies;

• monitoring and evaluating school performance; and

• promoting self-evaluation to sustain school improvement.

 

Setting the school's vision and aims

The school Board of Governors and the principal should know the school and its community and

have a vision of how they want the school to develop in the future. This vision should reflect the

educational goals and targets set for the pupils. It should motivate pupils and staff, build on core

educational values and beliefs and moral purpose, be inclusive of stakeholders’ values and beliefs

and be informed by the most innovative practice on teaching and learning. The vision will be

worked out through the School Development Plan.

 

Establishing and maintaining the school's ethos

The governors and the principal should maintain an ethos for the school that promotes the moral,

spiritual, intellectual, social and personal development of all its pupils. The school’s ethos should

contribute to the wider goals of the school and be clearly defined and understood by parents,

pupils, staff, governors and the local community. It should also be consistent with a commitment to

promote equality, good relations and diversity within the school and its community.

 

Setting the school's plans and policies

The School Development Plan includes the school’s financial plan, education plans and

assessments, where appropriate the school’s action plan to address issues identified in a school

inspection report, and the school’s policies and priorities. This provides the strategic framework

within which the school Board, the principal and staff can monitor, evaluate and improve the nature of the school’s curricular and other provision and the standards achieved by pupils making efficient

use of all the school’s available resources. The drafting of the school’s plans and policies are

initially the responsibility of the principal. Consideration and approval of these plans rests with the

school Board and is an important responsibility.

 

Monitoring and evaluating school performance

There are many useful ways of measuring performance which take account of the school’s

circumstances and seek to measure the value added dimension. The governors, working with the

principal, must decide which key indicators they wish to monitor and make arrangements for the

principal to provide the appropriate data at suitable times. The findings of ETI reports also need to

be taken into account.

Having measured the school’s performance, the governors should liaise with the principal and staff

in drawing up appropriate action plans to move the school forward towards improvement. These

should in turn feed into the School Development Plan.

 

Promoting self-evaluation to sustain school improvement

School improvement is most likely to be sustained over time, when a school establishes a positive

culture and commitment to professional growth. Self-evaluation is a process through which

• an individual teacher, groups of staff, the staff as a whole and senior management reflect on

their current practice;

• identify and celebrate the strengths of the school; and

• identify and address areas for improvement in their work.

 

 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

The Board of Governors has many varied statutory functions in relation to the local management of

schools. In fulfilling these functions, the Board of Governors should support the aims and objectives

of the school and act in its best interests. In practical terms this will normally involve:

 

School performance measures

• approving the school development plan and its priorities and targets for promoting

improvement in standards of performance;

• setting performance objectives for the principal under Performance Review and Staff

Development (PRSD); and

• managing the school’s finances;

 

Curriculum planning

• agreeing a Curriculum Policy;

• facilitating the implementation of the Revised Curriculum;

• ensuring proper provision for pupils with special educational needs;

 

Employment issues

• determining the school’s staff complement;

• selecting and appointing staff with regard to costs and curriculum needs;

• managing employment issues including a staff salary policy and staff conduct, discipline and

grievance procedures (in compliance with the laws that prohibit discrimination and

harassment and promote equality of opportunity in employment);

 

Pupil pastoral care and protection issues

• safeguarding and promoting the welfare and protection of pupils;

• setting general principles on good behaviour and pupil conduct;

• participating in pupil disciplinary procedures;

 

Publication of information regarding the school and its pupils

• providing information for parents about the school and their children;

• agreeing and applying criteria for pupil admissions;

 

Managing the school premises and relations with the community

• controlling the use of premises, inspecting the premises and equipment annually and

ensuring the school estate is properly maintained (this will involve liaison with the Project

Manager when the services are provided by a contractor);

• promoting good relations between the school and the community.

 

To do this governors are expected to

• prepare for, attend and participate in Board and Committee meetings;

• undertake training;

• attend school functions where possible;

• support the principal to enable him/her to control the day to day internal management of the school; and

• encourage good communications within the school.

 

Promoting good governance

In conducting all of its business, the Board of Governors should

• give proper weight to the advice and guidance from the principal;

• support majority decisions of the Board of Governors;

• ensure that the position of governor is not used for personal gain;

• declare all potential conflicts of interest;

• protect the confidential nature of school business; and

• work within the school’s scheme of management.

 

The responsibility for governing the school must be shared by the whole Board of Governors. Only

the Board of Governors, acting together after discussion within a strong framework of rules and

good practice by consensus or majority vote, has the power to question, to challenge or to change

things.

 

A governor will not incur personal liability in respect of any action taken in good faith in the exercise

of the school Board’s delegated duties and responsibilities. Good faith, broadly speaking, may be

regarded as an act which is undertaken honestly, with no ulterior motive and in the light of the

information available at the time.

 

Every Board of Governors has a role in promoting good governance, and in supporting pupils, staff

and parents and the role of the school in the community. The Board of Governors should be

involved as an equal partner with the principal and the staff Senior Management Team (SMT) in

making a significant difference to the life and work of the school. The governors and the principal

should have a good understanding of and respect for their separate but complementary roles. Also,

the governors should have as a priority both staff and governor development.

 

The principal and the staff should have trust and confidence in the governors' integrity to act in the

best interests of the whole school with the pupils at its heart. Trust and confidence are developed

when the governors share responsibility for the work of the school both good and bad and take

decisions that will lead to improvement in the quality of the school’s education provision and pupil

performance.

 

Supporting pupils, parents and staff

School Boards of Governors who are seen to support the pupils, send out a clear message that the

pupils are valued and are an encouragement to the pupils as well as to the school staff, parents

and the local community.

 

The involvement of parents in children’s education contributes significantly to pupils’ educational

achievements and in recognition of this, many schools have established effective partnerships

between home and school. It is important that Boards of Governors

• engage parents in their children's education and the work of the school;

• support parents in fulfilling these responsibilities; and

• respond appropriately to parents’ concerns or formal complaints relating to their children as

pupils of the school.

 

Parents have considerable rights and responsibilities when it comes to their child’s schooling.

Boards of Governors need to have a clear understanding of parental rights and responsibilities and

take proper account of them in their dealings with parents.

 

The teaching and non-teaching staff are often required to implement decisions made by the Board

of Governors or are affected by its decisions. It is important, therefore, that all governors are seen

to support the staff and to offer them as much encouragement as possible.

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