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Catholic Schools

C.C.M.S comes to an end on 31st December 2009. The Education and Skills Authority comes into existence on 1st January 2010. It is the Political Body which will be the central employer of Teachers. In other words CMMS will no longer be the employer of teachers. The Bishop is the legal owner of Catholic Schools in the Diocese. Therefore he will have the obligation to appoint some members to the Board of Governors. Other Partners to Education will have the same obligation.

The Board of Governors will be the Management Committee of the School. The Bishop will appoint four members to that Board. The present W.E.L.B will appoint one member and the present Department of Education will appoint one member. The Principal of the School will be the Secretary of the Board of Governors, and the Parents and Teachers will appoint one member each. The Board of Governors will be ratified by The Education and Skills Authority. This is the content of a draft Education Bill for Northern Ireland. The role of the Board of Governors will change as it takes on further responsibility. The great responsibility of the Board of Governors will be to help the Staff in the School protect the Catholic Ethos of the School which is now regarded by all sectors in Education to be central to Catholic Education.

Governors therefore should be practising Catholics who know what a Catholic Ethos means, and is totally convinced of it. There will be booklets and talks to help us in this understanding. There can be no place for a half hearted approach to Catholic Education among those on the Board of Management.

It will get advice from The Educational Skills Authority with the legalities of the school, and the basic legal requirement which the Board of Governors must follow. However the Board of Governors will become more pro- active in making sure that the Catholic Ethos is upheld. We are asked to have the names for the Board of Governors who represent the Trustees and those who represent W.E.L.B, and Department in the Diocesan office by the 1st May 2009. The role of the Bishops (the Legal owner and Trustee) will be with be carried out by a Trustee Support Group. This Body will no longer be a statutory Body, but it will become a Recognised Charity. We will have therefore (1) The Education and Skills Authority which is involved in the administration and legalalities of the School and (2) and a Management Trustee Support Group which manages the school. These distinctions will become clearer as we receive detailed guidelines. These will be with us very soon. The next Board of Governors will continue until 2013. They will be selected in October this year.

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