Following the Educational Endowments (Ireland) Act, 1885, Schedules were framed for each Diocese for the future government and management of the Educational Endowments of and belonging to the diocese, ie the schools – Elementary, Intermediate or Technical. The Schedules of 1893 and 1894 laid out in great detail, how the Parochial Schools should be maintained, funded, and inspected. The Board were also to promote and encourage the religious education of those children belonging to the Church of Ireland. This was, of course, before schools were run by the State. The Schedule also states how the Board’s funds can be spent.
Today, the role of the BOE is more to do with supporting and encouraging the staff, pupils, families and Boards of Management in our National schools. A greater role is the allocation of grants to benefit members of the Church of Ireland, enhancing their education, in particular, second Level education. Funding from investments and bequests left to the Board of Education is used for this.
Membership of the BOE is also detailed in the Schedule of 1894. Now the Members are elected at Diocesan Synod, at each triennial – 4 Clerical and 4 Laity. Co-options can take place as befits the Board. In the case of TKA, any Incumbent who has a National School in his/her parish, all Chairpersons of Boards of Management and lately, a school Principal to represent the teachers, are all members.
Each triennial a Clerical and a Lay Representative are elected to the General Synod Board of Education.
The CRA (Charitable Regulatory Authority) must receive an Annual Report on the role, activities and financial report of the BOE. This is a continuance of the Endowment Act of 1885.
The Diocesan Boards of Education can differ in their role today, as Annual reports to the Diocesan Synod will verify!
Canon Doris Clements