Board


Election of Board of Board of Management Members

The patron is responsible for initiating the steps necessary for the establishment of a board of management in a national school. To this end the patron requests a representative to arrange for the elections and nominations as set out on pages 2 to 4 of this section.

· Except in special circumstances with the approval in writing of the Minister, or in the case of teacher-members of the board so far as their remuneration as teachers is concerned, no member of the board shall take or hold any beneficial interest in any property held or used for the purposes of the school or receive any remuneration for his/her services as a member of the board.

· The patron’s representative will arrange for a meeting of those elected/ nominated as per the procedures on pages 2 to 3 of this section. The purpose of this meeting will be to agree the nomination of extra member(s), as set out in the procedures on page 4.

· The patron’s representative shall communicate to the patron the names of the persons duly elected/nominated in accordance with the Constitution of Boards of Management.

The patron shall then formally appoint the board of management.

· The patron shall appoint one of the members so appointed as chairperson of the board of management.

· The patron shall communicate the names of the chairperson and the other members of the board of management to the Minister, and confirm that the appointment of the members conforms to the procedures and requirements set out in this document.

· Except where the Minister communicates to the contrary, within 10 days of receipt of the information at the previous point above, the board will be deemed to have been recognised by the Minister and shall assume office forthwith.

· The first meeting of the board must be held within one calendar month of the date of recognition of the board by the Minister.

Procedure for the nomination/election of a person who will be nominated to the patron for appointment as teacher representative

1. A staff meeting should be held for the purpose of selecting the teacher who will be nominated to the patron for appointment as teacher representative on the board of management. At least ten days’ notice of such a meeting shall be given in writing to each person entitled to vote at such a meeting.

2. At the meeting, nominations shall be invited from among the authorised teaching staff. For this purpose teaching staff shall be taken to include:

· those serving in a permanent capacity in the school

· those serving in a temporary capacity where the term of appointment is six months or greater.

3. Substitute teachers or teachers on career break or service overseas are NOT eligible.

4. Each nomination must be seconded.

5. If there is only one nomination, the person nominated shall be deemed to be elected.

6. If there is more than one nomination, a secret ballot shall be held at the meeting, in which case two tellers shall be appointed.

7. The vote shall be counted in public at the meeting and the result of the ballot shall be notified to the staff and to the patron’s representative.8. In the event of a tied vote between nominees, the election of the teacher representative shall be determined by the drawing of lots.

9. In the case of a two teacher school, the classroom teacher automatically becomes the nominee to the patron for appointment as teacher representative, unless the school is a base school for a resource or learning support teacher, in which case the procedure set out at 1-8 above applies.

10. In relation to the two teacher-members on boards of management for convent and monastery schools the position shall be that if the principal teacher be a Religious, the elected teacher-member shall be a lay person and, if the principal teacher be a lay person, it is recommended that the elected teacher-member shall be a Religious.

11. The procedure set out at 1-9 above shall be used to fill any vacancy.

Procedures for the nomination/election of a parent(s) for appointment by the patron as parent representative(s) on the Board

Note:
The method of election of parent representatives shall be determined in consultation with the parent representatives on the outgoing board and any parents’ association in the school.

When a vacancy occurs among parent representatives, the board of management having consulted with the parents’ association may recommend to the patron either:

1. The co-option as a replacement the person with the next highest number of votes from among those not elected to the board initially or;

2. The board of management may recommend a by-election to replace the parent representative.

This procedure should be used for the initial selection of a parent representative(s) and in the case of any by-election held following consultation with the parent association.

There are a choice of two procedures which can apply and are as set out at options 1 and 2.

Option 1

The patron’s representative shall arrange for a meeting of parents of children enrolled in the school. At least ten days’ notice of such a meeting shall be given in writing to each person entitled to vote at such a meeting.

This notification shall:

· indicate that at the meeting nominations will be sought from parents for persons to stand for election as parent representatives on the board;

· clarify whether there will be a ballot at the meeting to elect the representatives or whether the ballot will be conducted subsequently as a postal ballot;

· where it is intended to have a postal ballot, indicate the latest date for return of ballot papers and the date, time and place of the public counting of votes.

2. At the meeting nominations should be invited for both a mothers’ panel and a fathers’ panel.3. If there is only one nominee for either panel, the nominee(s) shall be deemed to be elected.4. If more than one nomination is received for either of the panels, a secret ballot shall be held at the meeting or subsequently. Two tellers shall be appointed, one of whom may act as Returning Officer in the case of a postal ballot. 5. In the event of a postal ballot, the poll must close and the casting of votes take place within ten days of the meeting.6. Each person voting shall have one, non-transferable vote for each panel.7. The votes shall be counted in public.8. The election shall be determined on a plurality of votes (i.e the first past the post system). 9. The result of the ballot shall be notified to the parents and to the patron’s representative.10. The voting returns from the ballot may be retained for the purposes of co-option in order to fill vacancies occurring during the life of the board where it is decided, having consulted the parents’ association, not to have a by-election.

Option 2

The patron’s representative shall arrange to have a list of the names of all the parents of children in the school circulated to each household, seeking from parents and guardians nominations of candidates for election to the board of management. This list should associate parent names with the classes attended by their children.

Note:
Prior to circulating a list of parents’ names for the purposes of the election of a representative to the board of management and to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Acts 1988-2003, the board should not disclose information relating to parents, including their names, to other persons, without parents being made aware that the information will be used for that purpose and their consent being obtained.

Boards may wish to include a consent provision (in the form of a box to be ticked) when obtaining parents’ details when a child is first enrolled in the school. Parents of children already enrolled in the school should be informed of the proposed circulation of their names for the purpose of electing a parent representative from time to time. This allows parents an opportunity to object to the inclusion of their names on the list.

1. It should be noted that this amendment will not, in any way, affect the validity of an election which has already taken place or of an action of a board constituted under the old rules.

2. Each parent may make one nomination for the fathers’ panel and one for the mothers’ panel, which shall be forwarded to the patron’s representative in order that a list may be drawn up of the ten persons in receipt of the highest number of nominations for each panel.

3. The invitation to parents to submit nominations shall request parents to establish that the person(s) nominated are willing to stand for election.

4. If there is only one nominee for either panel, the nominee(s) shall be deemed to be elected.

5. If more than one nomination is received for either of the panels, a secret ballot shall be held from among those nominees who have confirmed their willingness to become members of the board.6. Those accepting nomination should be encouraged to furnish a short personal profile for inclusion on the ballot paper which may include an address and telephone number.

7. Separate ballot papers should be used for the election of one mother and one father. Each person voting shall have one, nontransferable vote for each panel. Arrangements should be made to distribute and collect the ballot papers from those eligible to vote and to nominate a person of standing as Returning Officer. The notification of the ballot should also indicate the date, time and place for the counting of the ballot.

8. The votes shall be counted in public.

9. The election shall be determined on a plurality of votes (i.e the first past the post system) and the result of the ballot shall be notified to the parents and to the patron’s representative.

10. The voting returns from the ballot may be retained for the purposes of co-option in order to fill vacancies occurring during the life of the board where it is decided, having consulted the parents’ association, not to have a by-election.

Procedure for the selection of two members from the community for appointment to the Board of Management

1.The patron’s representative shall convene a meeting of the two nominees of the patron, the two elected parent representatives, the elected teacher representative and the principal.

2. This meeting shall be convened within seven days of the completion of the election processes set out in the procedures.

3. At this meeting, having discussed the skill needs of the board, in line with the criteria set out at 4 below, for the effective management of the school, the members shall propose two extra members from the wider community, agreed unanimously amongst them, to the patron for appointment. These discussions shall conclude within seven days.It would be expedient for the members to identify those other persons who might be approached in the event that those initially selected decline the invitation. The members should determine the order in which the persons selected will be approached. The period for agreement on the selection of the two extra members may be extended from seven days to an absolute maximum of fourteen days but only where the two persons initially selected decline.

4. The criteria to be applied in selecting persons to act as board members from the community shall be:

In the case of Roman Catholic primary schools

· Persons nominated shall have a commitment to the ethos of the school and the community/parish served by the school and shall have an understanding of and commitment to Catholic education as outlined in the Deed of Trust for Catholic Schools.

· Persons nominated shall possess skills complementary to the board’s skill requirements.

· Persons shall be nominated with a consciousness of having a gender balance on the board.

· Persons nominated shall be interested in education and its promotion but would not normally be parents of pupils attending the school.

· In the case of Roman Catholic Gaeltacht schools, people nominated shall also have an understanding of and commitment to the ethos of the school. It is also expected that those nominated shall have a good knowledge of the Irish language.