1st December 2023
Effective from today (1 December), new boards of management will be constituted in schools across the country. The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) wishes to acknowledge the great voluntary work done by board members to ensure the smooth running of primary and special schools around the country. During this term, boards will mark their 50th anniversary in 2025.
INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:
For half a century the spirit of volunteerism in school communities has been evident in the work of boards of management. Boards of management play a vital role in the governance of primary schools and we are grateful for their dedication and commitment. Government must not take this selfless work for granted.
At this critical juncture we call on the Department of Education to initiate a root and branch review to determine how voluntary members of boards of management should best be supported and trained. Those who have stepped up to support their local schools must receive appropriate and regular training as a priority. School governance cannot be expected to function effectively without adequate administrative, financial and legal supports. It is imperative that the lessons learned from the ‘Small Schools Clustering Project’ pilot scheme influence approaches to improving school governance in the period ahead.
The INTO remains determined to deliver the re-instatement of the allowance for principals who act as secretaries of Boards of Management, the awarding of which has been disqualified for those who have taken up this critically important role since February 2012. Our members firmly believe that the removal of this additional payment for onerous extra work undertaken outside contractual hours is an impediment to the recruitment and retention of school leaders and that any future public sector agreement must address the issue.
The role of the board and the various rules regarding the composition and operation of boards are set out in The Governance Manual for Primary Schools 2023-2027.