Generally, the patron owns or leases the building, while the board of management has responsibility for the school-related activities which happen on the premises. For this reason, any proposals regarding the school building and grounds – such as alteration or extension – require the prior written approval of the patron.
The Minister for Education and Skills recently negotiated a lease with School Patrons for schools based in state owned buildings. The lease will be put in place on a phased basis, starting with schools that have recently moved into buildings owned by the Minister. It is intended to have leases put in place for all such schools as soon as possible. The agreed lease does not apply to schools who are based in premises owned by private landlords or other groups.
Under the terms of the agreed lease, the Minister, as owner of the building, lets out the building to the patron. The patron allows a board to occupy the building as the Permitted User. Boards are bound by the Constitution of Boards and Rules of Procedure 2011 (Section 19, C (iii)) to adhere to all conditions of the lease. In the event of any claims arising from a Board’s non-performance of such terms and conditions, the Board must indemnify the School Patron from any resulting loss and must maintain an insurance policy to do so. Most insurance policies provide this cover already.
Under the terms of the Lease, schools are obliged to have adequate cover for Public Liability, Employers Liability and content insurances but are not required to take out buildings cover. Buildings, other than contents and those areas specifically covered in the Lease will be covered by state indemnity.
A copy of the Agreed lease (between the Minister and Educate Together) is available on the online learning site. It is saved in the resources section of Module 1: The Board as a Corporate Entity. If you haven’t already done so, you will need to register on the site and then enrol on the Module 1: The Board as a Corporate Entity course where you will be asked to enter an enrolment key. This key was sent to all board members in December 2011. A letter was also sent to each Educate Together school board of management and patron body. If you have lost this please contact the national office and we will be happy to tell you what it is.