Dáil Éireann - Volume 446 - 02 November, 1994

Written Answers. - Boards of Management.

208. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Education the powers, if any, her Department has in relation to the board of management of schools; and if so, her [1584] Department's involvement in this regard. [2757/94]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Primary schools operate under the Rules for National Schools, which are made by the Minister for Education with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance. The manager of a school is the person, or in the case of a board the body of persons, nominated by the patron and recognised as manager by the Minister for Education. A manager or board of management duly recognised is charged with the direct governance of the school. In the discharge of this governance, the board must in some specific instances, e.g. appointment of teachers, obtain the approval of the patron and the Minister. In the general conduct of its affairs, the board is, of course, obliged to comply with the Rules for National Schools.

Among the sanctions available to me as Minister is the withdrawal of recognition from a board if it fails to observe the rules or if it should appear that the educational interests of the district require it. The rules provide that such recognition will not be withdrawn without consultation with the patron, board and other interested parties.

The rules also give the Minister the power to withdraw recognition from a school in certain circumstances. This provision, which in effect means the termination of grant aid, also affords the Minister control over any board whose governance is not in compliance with the rules.

Voluntary secondary schools are privately owned and managed institutions and the question of forming a board of management in any school is a matter for the management authority of that school; my Department has no function in the matter.

Vocational schools and community colleges are schools established and operated by vocational education committees, vocational education committees, under the provisions of the Vocational Education Act, 1930. Boards of management of these schools are [1585] sub-committees of the vocational education committees and are appointed by the vocational education committees in accordance with section 21 of the Act. The composition, procedure and functions of the boards are set out in the appendix to circular letter No. 73/74, a copy of which I will forward to the Deputy.

In accordance with the management arrangements provided for in the deeds and indentures of community and comprehensive schools, such schools are administered by boards of managements. The composition, procedure and functions relating to boards of management of community schools are set out in the model deed of trust, a copy of which I will also forward to the Deputy. The corresponding particulars of comprehensive schools are contained in the individual school indentures.