Rethinking board of management training

Alison O’Neil, Volunteer Officer 

Our primary sector members are no doubt very aware by now of the upcoming board changeover in December 2023.  All primary school boards will be re-constituted, and this will result in new patron nominees and chairpersons taking up roles on boards around the country. 

As part of the changeover and the next term of office, we envisage a rejuvenated approach to board of management training.  Educate Together staff have been working closely with the other management bodies to redevelop the training that is offered to board of management members.  While we certainly do not wish to compromise on the content offered-believing that board members need support with the significant number of circulars and procedures that must be followed-we hope to see more emphasis on cultivating and improving the skills needed for effective board of management functioning. 

Until the training modules are redeveloped, we have continued to offer training under the current system, with the final offering “Board Finances and the Role of the Treasurer” taking place on Monday evening 12th June 2023, and kindly being delivered by Joe Conlon, Primary Manager at the FSSU and his colleague Lorraine Farrell, Accountant. 

In-person versus online? 

In the wake of Covid-19, we have noticed changes in the way our volunteer board members want to engage in training.  A half-day in-person board of management training event that had been scheduled for a Saturday in November 2022 had a low uptake, and a decision was made to offer the same session online instead.  The uptake at the online session was significantly better, and online training has continued since then.   

As a network we very much value every opportunity we can get to bring our members together, but we are also mindful of the time commitment that our volunteers make to our boards of management.  We believe that providing online training is preferred by many.  However, we don’t want to make assumptions or turn our backs completely on in-person training, so please let us know what you think.  You can email your thoughts to

We hope to be in a position to offer more regionalised in-person training events in 2024 for the new primary school board members.  We hope that this will allow opportunities for new board members to both engage in training and engage in networking.  Online offerings will continue, and will hopefully be accessible to all.  

Board survey coming soon 

Please look out for a survey that will go out in the next few weeks where we will seek your feedback on the board of management training offered to date and how we can improve.  We welcome all input from all our members.