For Boards of Management
In the Irish National School System, each school has a patron. The patron typically sets up the school, defines the ethos and has an ongoing relationship with the school. In Ireland, bishops from the main churches accounted for the majority of school patons, until the establishment of the Educate Together movement.
When Educate Together was formally recognised as a patron, these patronage functions were discharged by a company limited by guarantee whose activities are regulated by its Memo and Articles and the Companies Acts. Decisions are made at General Meetings of its members. This has created a modern, transparent and accountable model of patronage that is defined in clear legal terms.
Educate Together's Patronage Functions
- Establishing a new school, in consultation with the Department of Education and Skills
- Directly appointing two members to a schools Board of Management, approving the selection of other members, and appointing the chairperson
- Appointing the principal of a school
- Approving the appointment of all teachers and SNAs
- Laying down the fundamental ethos base of the schools Board of Management
Boards of Management
Under the Education Act 1998, each school must have a Board of Management. This board must undertake to run the school according to the ethos determined by the patron, in keeping with the act and any regulations set by the Department of Education and Skills. Section IV of the act determines precicesly what the functions of the board are. These functions include:
- Uphold the characteristic spirit of the school
- Develop school policies
- Appointment of school staff
- Managing school finances
The fundamental legal concept of Educate Together’s patronage is that the Board of an Educate Together school is bound to operate a school that delivers equality of access and esteem to all children, irrespective of their social, cultural and religious backgrounds.