Section 10 of the current Governance Manual for Primary Schools outlines the role of Chairperson of the Board of Management as follows:

  • Each board of management shall have a chairperson, who shall be entitled to vote and who in the event of a tied vote shall also have a second and casting vote.
  • The chairperson shall be appointed by the patron and his or her authority shall derive from such appointment. In exercising this function the patron may give due consideration to the opportunity to engage in a consultative process within the school community and/or with members of the Board. The patron, in appointing an individual as chairperson shall also give due consideration to the possibility of perceived conflicts of interest in holding the position of chairperson and shall have regard to the individual’s capacity to undertake the duties of the role.
  • The principal or elected teacher nominee shall not be eligible for appointment as chairperson/acting chairperson. In addition, the chairperson/acting chairperson should, where practicable, bear no direct relationship to any serving staff member or Board member.
  • In the absence of a chairperson from a particular meeting or where the chairperson, on account of a conflict of interest, withdraws from a meeting or part thereof, the Board shall elect an acting chairperson to preside at that meeting only or part thereof only, as appropriate. Otherwise, the patron shall appoint a new or acting chairperson where the circumstances require it (e.g. due to the long-term absence of the chairperson).
  • The Board may authorise the chairperson, and/or another member, in respect of a particular function or functions, to act on its behalf for a specified period of time.
  • In schools other than community national schools the Board shall authorise the chairperson to act on behalf of the Board in entering into an agreement with each new staff member appointed to the staff of the school.
  • In schools other than community national schools the chairperson or where applicable, the principal (with the permission of the chairperson) shall act on behalf of the Board in certifying the school returns and other official forms as required. In community national schools the principal and the Chief Executive (or their delegated officer) shall certify the school returns and other official forms as required.
  • The Rules for National Schools state that managers should visit their schools and satisfy themselves that the Rules are being complied with; this requirement shall be fulfilled by the chairperson of the board of management/manager(s). Board members may also visit their schools; however such visits must only be undertaken where official Board business is being conducted and as authorised by the chairperson of the Board.