This section contains answers to the most frequently asked questions. The questions have arisen during the visits to the CEIST schools, during meetings with Principals and Deputies and members of Boards of Management. Further questions and answers will be posted as the consultation process with the partners continues.
- Trust Model
- Education Office
- Religious Congregations
Explain Company Structure
A Company is a corporate body which is registered and whose Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association are lodged in the Companies Registration Office. It is a separate legal entity with an existence independent from that of its members.
A Company is made up of Members and Directors.
Companies are governed by Company Law. (Companies Act 1963 and the Companies Acts 1977,1982,1986,1990 and 1999).
What is the difference between Members and Directors?
The Members own the Company. The Directors manage the running of the Company.
What is a Company Limited by Guarantee?
It is a non-profit making company. In a Company Limited by Guarantee the Members guarantee a set sum of money (usually the nominal amount of €1) to the Company. This sum is fixed so there is no possibility of profit by the Members by means of selling their stake. The maximum liability of the Members is the amount of their guarantee.
What does Charitable Status mean?
Having Charitable status means that the Revenue Commissioners officially recognise the Company as having Charitable Status.
The objects of the Company, as stated in its Memorandum, must be exclusively charitable and no member of the company can profit from the assets of the Company. (The promotion of Religion and Education are recognised as charitable functions).
In practical terms, charitable status means that the Company is exempt from the following taxes:- income tax, (in circumstances outlined in Sections 207,208 of the Taxes Consilidation Act 1997) capital gains tax, corporation tax, deposit interest retention tax, capital acquisition tax and stamp duty on a transfer or lease of land.
There is no provision for exemption for a charity, as an employer, of its requirement to operate the PAYE/PRSI system. Similarly, save in certain specified circumstances there is no general exemption from VAT in the case of charities.
Will Director/s be paid?
No. According to Company Law, Members or Directors of a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status cannot be paid. The charitable status of the Company implies that those who form the Company act on a voluntary basis.
Who will appoint the Members to CEIST?
The Provincial Leaders of the Congregations of CEIST
Will the Religious Congregations have a place on the initial CEIST Board of Directors?
Can Religious be Members of the Company?
Anyone lay or religious, who is nominated by the Provincial Leaders of the Congregations to be a Member can be a Member.
What will be the criteria for selecting CEIST Directors?
CEIST Directors shall be selected for the contribution they can make to the CEIST Company.
- Be committed to the Objects of the CEIST Company;
- Have relevant skills and experience;
- Be willing to voluntarily invest time and energy in the promotion of the Objects of the CEIST Company.
Will the CEIST Board be set up on a ratio basis in relation to the Congregations?
Can Members and Directors be removed from CEIST?
Yes. The Articles of Association of the Company will specify the criteria and the procedures that will apply to the removal of Members and/or Directors of CEIST.
Will the Directors have the best interests of Catholic Education at heart?
Yes. They have a duty to uphold the Objects of the Company as expressed in the Memorandum of Association and in the CEIST Charter and to act in a manner which places the interests of the Company ahead of their own.
Will there be any provision made for changing the Memorandum and Articles of Association to allow for evolving developments in the future?
Yes. Power to review and change the Memorandum and Articles will be set out in the Articles of Association. Such powers normally reside exclusively with the Members and are exercised only in exceptional circumstances.
Could an individual school appoint its own Trustees?
No. It is not within the authority of a school to appoint its own Trustees. Trusteeship is handed down from the founding Congregations who hold the schools in trust.
Will the CEIST Board make decisions that were previously made by the Congregations?
Yes. However, the Congregations are entitled to specify in the Articles of Association of the Company that they wish to reserve the right to make certain decisions.
What is a Charter?
A Charter is a formal document, such as a constitution, that states what the organisation stands for. The CEIST Charter will describe the purpose, the vision and the core values of CEIST.
How will the Charter relate to a school's Mission statement?
The school's Mission Statement is a unique expression of how that particular school aspires to live out the vision and the core values as stated in the Charter.
What impact will the establishment of CEIST have on the ethos of the Catholic school?
The establishment of CEIST presents an opportunity for each member of the school community to reflect on his/her understanding of the Catholic school and its place in the mission of the Church. This reflection opens the way to a renewal of commitment to Catholic values in education which will be reflected in the ethos or characteristic spirit of the school.
Will CEIST schools be welcoming of other faiths?
Yes. The Catholic School is a school for all. Admission to the school will be in accordance with the stated Admissions Policy of the school. Before enrolment, students and parents will be made aware of the ethos, philosophy and practices of the CEIST school and will be in a position to decide if the values of the school are compatible with their own beliefs.
Will entry into CEIST mean a change in the kind of education being offered?
CEIST schools will continue to offer high quality education and aim for excellence in all that they offer.
Are CEIST schools relevant in the context of secondary education in Ireland?
Yes - because they provide choice for parents who want Catholic education.
There will be 110 schools in CEIST representing approximately 58,000 students and 4,000 teachers and administrative staff. Currently one in six second level students in Ireland attends a CEIST secondary school.
Will CEIST schools be open to Catholic students only?
No. A CEIST school is a Catholic school that is open to all students. Anyone who chooses to attend a CEIST school will know in advance the Vision, Mission and Core Values of the school.
Will future staff of a CEIST school have to be of a Christian faith?
Future staff, on recruitment, will be required to subscribe to the core values and practices of CEIST schools.
How will CEIST ensure that the Catholic ethos of the school is maintained?
The Vision, Mission and Core Values of a CEIST school, as set out in the Charter, will be subscribed to by the entire school community in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Education Act (1998).
Will the appointment of Boards of Management change?
No. Boards of Management of CEIST schools will be appointed by CEIST.
Will teachers be moved between CEIST schools to fill vacancies or provide short term cover?
No. CEIST will not affect teachers employment terms or conditions.
Are Primary schools included in CEIST?
What will be the role of the CEIST Education office?
The role of the Education Office will be to act as the executive of CEIST in carrying out its day-to-day trustee roles and functions. The Education Office will serve both CEIST Directors and the schools.
How will the Education Office be staffed?
The CEIST Board will decide on staffing.
What form will communication between CEIST and schools take?
Communication will be through the Education Office.
Who will negotiate with the Department of Education and Science in matters of school management, curricular issues etc?
This will continue to be the responsibility of the Secretariat of Secondary Schools at Emmet House, Dublin.
Will there be evaluation of the Education Office?
In the past, some schools may have communicated directly with Congregational Leadership. Will this continue?
No. CEIST replaces the role of the Congregational Leadership.
We are working on issues relating to property.
When civil and canonical issues have been resolved decisions will then be made and communicated on property.
Will CEIST have the capacity to negotiate with the Department of Education and Science effectively?
We do not envisage a situation in which any one trust will negotiate with the Department of Education and Science.
Will CEIST Members/Directors be paid?
Will there be any funding available to CEIST schools?
Current funding from the Department of Education and Science will continue.
What is the role of the Department of Education and Science in the setting up of CEIST?
Could CEIST be exposed to a takeover bid?
Will CEIST address the issue of parity of funding of voluntary and state schools?
This is already being addressed by the JMB.
Will schools pay licence fees to CEIST?
Will profit-making become an issue for CEIST as a company in the long term?
Will school communities be kept informed of on-going developments?
Yes, through regular correspondence, updating of the CEIST web site, and school visits.
Will CEIST have a Communications Office?
The CEIST Education Office will be responsible for communication.
Rationilisation / Amalgamation
If schools which belong to different Trusts amalgamate, who will then be the Trustees?
When an amalgamation is proposed, there is a consultation process involving Trustees and all the relevant partners. Following this consultation the Trustees decide on future trusteeship of the particular schools.
Will entry to CEIST contribute to rationalisation/amalgation of schools?
How will schools currently in an amalgamation process be affected?
Rationalisation/amalgamation of schools will follow the usual process.
If numbers drop in a CEIST school, could teachers be moved to another CEIST school?
Will some record be kept of each Congregation's contribution to education?
A record of their history and contribution to Education will be included in the CEIST Charter and on the website.