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Purpose and Responsibilities of Boards

The purpos​e of the School Board

 

School Boards within the Brisbane Archdiocese are Boards of pastoral governance. A model of discernment called 'sharing wisdom' has been adopted as the most appropriate form of school governance in the Archdiocese. The School Board listens to the wisdom of the members of their community and their own Board membership in order to know how best to lead and serve them.

The purpose of the School Board is to build, strengthen and nourish the school as part of the parish. The School Board is a structure intended to facilitate members of the school and faith community to share responsibility for the well being of the whole of the school within the beliefs and values, teachings and traditions of the Church. The role of the Board is one of stewardship, developing the school in all its facets 'in trust' for the faith community. As stewards, the Board is called, through the Spirit, to serve the faith community by caring for and developing its school community. In this role, members of the Board are called to servant leadership, collectively accepting accountability for the school's well being.

The School Board is accountable to the Archbishop through the Executive Director of Catholic Education. Membership of the School Board is discerned by the local faith community and commissioned by the Executive Director. The authority of the Board is not so much dependent upon a legal definition but rather on its understanding and practice of leadership and ministry in the context of Shared Wisdom. However, all involved with school Boards need to develop an understanding of their fit within Archdiocesan and Parish structures, functions and aspirations.

Accepting membership of the School Board is an acceptance of a call to the ministry of service within and for the educational enterprise of the Church. This ministry calls and requires the Board to fulfil key responsibilities.

 

Key Responsibilities of the School Board

 

The Board is called to take the responsibility to:

Mission and Vision

  • Lead the school community in articulating and developing the mission and vision of the school based on Gospel values and Catholic ethos
  • ​​Seek on-going opportunities to assist the school community to understand and strengthen the mission of the school and wider Church
  • Review and evaluate the mission and vision when appropriate
  • Celebrate and affirm the school community and its identity as a unique community within the broader faith community
 

Policy development

  • Promote and ensure the implementation of Archdiocesan school policy
  • Adapt Archdiocesan policy, when appropriate, to the specific context and culture of the school
  • Develop and approve specific school-based policy and keep the Brisbane Catholic Education Office informed of such policy development
 

Strategic Planning

  • Collaborate with the school community to set goals within its mission and vision
  • Develop and oversee a Strategic Plan for the school
  • Establish its own annual operations plan
  • Support of the school's educational leadership

 

Support of the school's educational leadership

  • Act as a consultative forum for the Principal on issues such as: curriculum, finance, property and maintenance, administration, human resources, parent education etc and to provide timely, appropriate advice as requested
  • Provide avenues of support to the Principal and school executive for the management of the school through the establishment of a needs-based committee structure
  • Advise upon and monitor, in conjunction, with the Principal, school effectiveness within the cycle of school renewal
  • Provide affirmation and encouragement to the Principal and school executive team
  • Assist in harnessing the expertise, talents and resources of members of the school community and wider local community for the benefit of the school's development.
 

Collaboration and communication

  • Support the Principal in modeling, developing and strengthening a school culture of participatory decision-making and collaboration
  • Establish and sustain avenues of consultation and mutual communication with those affected by Board decisions and policy implementation
  • Use processes of discernment and consensus in all areas of decision- making
  • Communicate regularly with the Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education on the positive and negative impact of policy implementation, through the provision of regular reports
  • Strengthen relationships between the parish (es) and the school through joint planning of school-parish initiatives

 

Board sustainability

  • Recruit, induct and regularly review its own membership in the model of pastoral governance, and within guidelines and assistance from the Executive Director of Catholic Education
  • Develop on-going understandings of the spirituality and practices of 'Sharing Wisdom' as the foundation of pastoral governance
  • Conduct its meetings within best practice of contemporary meeting procedures
  • Develop processes to assess and appraise its performance and hence discern its own training and development needs
  • Balance its commitments, expectations and ambitions with the demands on and needs of Board members in their own family and working lives

 

Activities outside the Board's mandate

  • management of day-to-day operations of the school and its curriculum; •operational decisions about the use of teaching or learning resources at the school;
  • making decisions about the individual teaching style used, or to be used, at the school;
  • making a decision that is contrary to law or a written policy of Brisbane Catholic Education;
  • control of funds;
  • contractual dealings;
  • acquisition,or disposal of property;
  • litigation