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Boards of Management

National schools have had boards of management since 1975. The Education Act, 1998

puts the system on a statutory basis and sets out the responsibilities of the boards.

National schools are not obliged to have boards of management. The patron of the

school has the right to decide whether or not to have one. In practice, most national

schools do have boards.

Under the Education Act, 1998, the patron is obliged "for the purposes of ensuring that

a recognised school is managed in a spirit of partnership" to appoint, where practicable,

a Board of Management. The composition of the Board of Management is to be agreed

between school patrons, national associations of parents, school management

organisations, teacher representatives and the Minister.

The board is appointed by the patron. In making appointments, the patron must comply with Ministerial directions about gender balance. If the patron decides that it is not practicable to appoint a board, he/she must give reasons to the parents, teachers, staff and the Minister but he/she cannot be forced to appoint one.


The role and method of operation of boards of management of primary schools was agreed by the Department of Education, the school managers, parents and teachers in 2003. The Constitution of Boards and Rules of Procedure (pdf), revised in 2011, sets out the principles on which it is based.

Functions of the Board

The board's main function is to manage the school on behalf of the patron and for the benefit of the students and to provide an appropriate education for each student at the school.

The role and method of operation of Boards of Management of primary schools was agreed by the Department, the school managers, parents and teachers in 2003.

The board must have a procedure for informing parents about its activities – this could include an annual report..

Activities on the Board

Essentially, the board manages the school. Among other things:

Who is on the Board

The composition of the Board of Management for schools with more than one teacher is

· Two direct nominees of the patron
· Two parents of children enrolled in the school (one mother and one father) elected by the parents
· The principal
· One other teacher elected by the teaching staff.
· Two extra members agreed by the representatives of the patron, teachers and parents.

There are particular rules for Boards of Management for convent and monastery schools in relation to the teacher representatives. If the principal is a Religious, the elected teacher-member must be a lay person and, if the principal is a lay person, it is recommended that the elected teacher-member be a Religious. In one-teacher schools, there is one direct nominee of the patron, one teacher representative, one parent and one extra member proposed by these nominees.There are certain criteria set out for choosing the two community representatives on the Board of Management.


The patron appoints the Chairman of the Board, usually the local parish priest in the case of Catholic schools.

The Rules set out in detail how the parents' representatives are to be chosen, including the notice to be given to all parents, how replacements are chosen, etc..

Terms of Office of the Board

The term of office for a board is four years and members can hold office only for four years although members are eligible for reappointment when their term of office expires

Source and copyright Irish Government Website, CitizensInformation.ie