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Nature of School Boards


Catholic School Boards have developed a unique character, which has led to their being described as Pastoral Model Boards of Catholic Education in Queensland. The philosophy and practice of Collaborative Ministry3 and Sharing Wisdom4 are the essence of decision making and ministry of these Boards. 
 
Collaborative Ministry regards participation as a member of a Board as a ministry of decision making and action arising out of the identification and application of the complementary gifts of the members. The Philosophy and Practice of Sharing Wisdom can be summarised as follows: 
 
“To each the Lord gives a piece of the wisdom. 
To no one does He give all the wisdom of God. 
We all get different pieces” 
and, as a consequence, 
“We must share our wisdom 
We must hear, respect, and treasure one another’s wisdom. 
We must work for a climate that is open and respectful.”5 ​


Catholic School Boards are not management boards of the kind found in many business companies and in some independent schools.  Catholic School principals in the Archdiocese of Brisbane remain responsible to the Archbishop through the Executive Director of Catholic Education.  Principals are not under the direction of their school boards. Rather, Catholic School Boards are advisory groups.  They act in a manner which is at home with the Catholic belief that the Holy Spirit lives in the Christian community and that all members have wisdom to contribute.  There is a strong spiritual dimension to a Catholic School Board's work.
 
The existence of a Board can help create a sense of continuity in a school's life despite changes of principal and staff and the normal comings and goings of families in the school community. In the reflective, respectful atmosphere of the monthly Board meeting, the principal can seek the Board's advice on matters of school policy and on "big picture" matters affecting the school's present life and its future.
 
Boards usually consist of eight to ten people, some of whom are parents/carers.  Having a Catholic School Board does not detract from the role or importance of a school's Parents and Friends Association.  The P&F remains the official representative body for parents in their dealings with the school, the diocese, government and other bodies.
 
Catholic School Boards in Queensland have a Model Constitution and Commentary for Catholic Education Boards in Queensland,  published by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission.​



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3 Sofield L. and Juliano C. Collaborative Ministry – Skills and Guideline, Ave Maria Press, Indiana, 1987. 
4 McKinney Mary Benet Sharing Wisdom, Tabor Publishing, Valencia CA, 1987. 
5 McKinney Mary Benet Sharing Wisdom, Tabor Publishing, Valencia CA, 1987, p 152 




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