CEIST Information Session for Chairpersons

In terms of school governance October 15th is a significant date in the calendar. On this day every year new Boards in various schools take up office. This year thirty three CEIST schools have new Boards of Management and will serve for a three year term up to 2017. The CEIST team therefore thought it was timely to have its annual information session for Chairpersons on Saturday 18th October. The Chairpersons of all new Boards as well as existing Boards were invited which meant 110 people were invited - representing all our schools and their Boards of Management.

Pictured above Mr. Bernard Keeley, Chairman of the CEIST Board of Directors opens the information session for Chairpersons. 

The day began with a background briefing on the establishment of CEIST by Mr. Bernard Keeley, Chairman of the Board of Directors. He outlined the aims and operation of the Trust. The CEO Dr. Marie Griffin followed with her perspectives on Catholic Education and Ethos. She noted ethos should permeate all aspects of school life including policies and procedures.

Brendan Forde, a retired Principal and currently Chairperson of a Board of Management delivered an interesting insight into both roles and the vital role the Chair plays in relation to the operation of both the Board and school. He said the relationship between the Principal and Chair should be one built on both respect and trust. He went to outline some of the pitfalls to avoid but reminded his audience that being a Chairperson while challenging was also an opportunity to bring about positive change and thus enhance the life of our students.

Justin Brown of the CEIST team followed with a presentation on effective governance. As well outlining the requirement of the Trust in relation to Board minutes he put a number of scenarios to the gathered Chairpersons which stimulated some interesting discussion and debate. The discussions continued with Bernadette McKeown the CEIST Office Accountant bringing the Chairpeople through the various financial reporting protocols which any Board should observe.

The final speaker of the day was Dr. Robert Ryan of Medmark the providers of occupational healthcare for all teachers and SNAs. He described the role of Medmark and the Boards role as employer. He also outlined the recent changes in sick pay entitlements for teachers and SNAs and their possible impact on schools.

The day concluded with a well deserved lunch for our Chairpersons. Hopefully the session also provided them with plenty of other food - food for thought!! We would like to thank the large number of people who could attend and those that sent their apologies. It was heartening to see such interest and engagement.