Tuam Boards of Education Annual Report


ANNUAL REPORT 2021 – 2022 


Chairperson – The Bishop, The Rt Rev Patrick Rooke

Elected – Rev Carole Reynolds
Prof Paul Johnston, Dr Catherine Emerson
Co-opted: Canon Jen McWhirter, Provost Lynda Peilow,
BOM Chairperson = Professor Steve Ellis

Killala + Achonry:
Elected -, Canon Doris Clements (Secretary) Rev Karen Duignan
Mr Wilfred Bourke (Treasurer) Jackie Higgins
BOM Chairpersons – Archdeacon Stephen McWhirter, Canon Andrew Ison
Representatives on the General Synod Board of Education – Prof Paul Johnston, Canon Doris Clements

3 meetings were held during the year, all on Zoom. 

Diocesan Education Grants

€7,300 towards fees, was allocated for the school year, 2021-2022, to 3 schools – Sligo Grammar School, The King’s Hospital, and Villiers School. 14 pupils, who were in receipt of the Secondary Education Committee (SEC) grants, received these grants. There were 10 Boarders and 4 Day Pupils. Maximum boarding grant was €1000 and €500 for day pupils.

€975 in Book Grants was allocated to 6 x families according to receipts received.

€2000 in Transport Grants was allocated to 8 x families, attending 2 of our Primary schools – St.Paul’s NS, Collooney and Holy Trinity NS, Westport. 

Change in Membership –

As the Ballisodare Group transferred from TKA Dioceses, and Bishop Patrick retired, at the end of October, membership changed following the October meeting. Canon Jen McWhirter chaired the February meeting and our new Bishop, Michael Burrows, chaired the meeting in May. Bishop Patrick and the BOE wished the BOM, the staff and the children of St.Paul’s NS, Collooney every good wish as they became part of the KEA Dioceses. Canon Andrew Ison was thanked for all his contribution to our BOE. Wilfred Bourke also resigned as treasurer of the BOE and was thanked sincerely for his work for the Board. Sinead Murray, Ballina, was appointed as the new Treasurer. New signatories on our accounts had to be appointed to replace Bishop Patrick and Wilfred Bourke. Sinead Murray, Myrtle Nairn and Jackie Higgins were appointed. Canon Doris remains as a signatory.

Canon Jen McWhirter was elected as our clerical representative on the General Synod Board of Education as Canon Doris resigned because of age requirements. 

Diocesan Primary Schools –

The Board was kept up to date on each of the schools – building, management and enrolment issues. Karen Gainsfort was appointed as the new Principal of Leaffoney NS, and Myrtle Nairn as Chairperson of the new BOM there. Both Leaffoney and St Michael’s, Ballina are now 1 – teacher schools.

The DES have finally agreed that Holy Trinity NS be the only school on the old Convent site, The BOM have had a long struggle with this but are now proceeding with tenders for a project manager and construction company.

Annual Schools’ Service – Canon Jen McWhirter organized a very successful virtual service on Zoom, for the schools, with children taking part. 

Erasmus Bursaries – Unfortunately, no progress was made during the year, regarding changing the criteria for the Erasmus Smith bursaries – criteria laid down centuries ago – in order to benefit more of our students. Only those Boarders who receive full SEC grants can benefit. 

School Patronage –

Ownership, Trusteeship and Leases of St Paul’s NS were discussed. Canon Jen McWhirter had researched this. It is a complex matter as it entails much more than that.

Insurance liability for BOE members, a BOE Constitution, safekeeping of old BOE books and documents –  all were discussed at our meetings. 

General Synod Board of Education – Canon Jen attended this meeting that was held on Zoom.. 

Accounts –

A statement of the accounts, for the year ending 31st December 2021, is available here

Canon Doris Clements  (Hon Sec Diocesan Board of Education)