“Boards of Governors will still remain as the employing body..”

In the second part of last night’s set piece on Hearts and Minds between Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd and the DUP’s Mervyn Storey we got the answer to a question I posted a week ago. Apparently John O’Dowd doesn’t think that Cardinal Brady should just “move on” from his concerns about the ESA because his views “aren’t based purely on politics” [So much for the primacy of politics then – Ed]. Thanks Noel! And no wonder Mervyn Storey was cautious in his response. Despite John O’Dowd’s assertion that “the Boards of Governors will still remain as the employing body”, the Cardinal was of a completely different opinion when he appeared in front of the Assembly’s Education Committee – and, below the fold, the anonymous “spokesman for Ms Ruane” seemed to agree with the Cardinal’s interpretation of the Bill.

[Cardinal Brady] said that one clause in the Minister’s draft education Bill making the ESA the employer of all staff in all schools was unacceptable. “This is a fundamental impediment to the ability of owners/trustees to exercise their right and duty to promote and safeguard the ethos and defining character of a school. To exercise our duties as trustees adequately we require that the board of governors of each school shall be the legal employer of all staff in the school,” he added.

According to the Irish Times report, the anonymous “spokesman for Ms Ruane”, the NI Education Minister, appeared to agree with the Cardinal’s interpretation of the Bill.

A spokesman for Ms Ruane said the commission’s suggestion that individual boards of governors, rather than the ESA should be the formal employers of staff would depart from the arrangements in the education Bill. It would also depart from the current arrangements for Catholic maintained schools, in which teachers are employed by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, and non-teaching staff are employed by the North’s education and library boards.

“It is not clear from the submission why the commission feels that only individual school employers can safeguard the ethos of Catholic schools, particularly when at present the vast majority of Catholic schools are part of collective employment arrangements,” he added.

And how can the Boards of Governors still remain the employing body if they’re not the employing body at the minute?

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  • Padraig

    Its interesting seeing Sinn Fein Being stuck in a cleft stick like this.

    The leadership is idealogically pseudo Marxist, comparable to the Socialist Government in Spain and this should lead them to take the Shillileagh out to the Church and whack them big time.

    On the other hand with almost totally Catholic voter constituents it would be suicide for them to as much breathe in the wrong way at the hierarchy.

    So much head scratching and puffing of cheeks.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    I don’t think that non teaching staff in maintained schools are employed by the Education Boards, are they?

  • Like cleaners and stuff? No they’re employed directly by the school.

  • Oops I’ll bow to Archie’s knowledge.

  • Gregory

    A single employer – the Education and Skills Authority, is definitely not a good idea,

    Not for Catholic children.


  • Seniorhas

    Who employs whom depends on the type of school. In controlled and ccatholic schools, non-teaching staff are employed by the ELB but chosen by the BoG. Under the new ESA, all staff will be employed by them under similar conditions of service. In general, though, the BoG will still make decisions as to who is appointed but they will operate under rules and guidance from ESA and be subject to final ESA approval but that will be mainly a rubber-stamp job. I suspect that Cardinal Brady is possibly afraid that non-catholic staff could be appointed to catholic schools. As the first non-catholic appointed to a particular catholic grammar school here many moons ago there was some questions asked but the principal had no problems in appointing me. His problems started later! Cardinal Brady should ask his Scottish counterpart about the situation there.

  • Sean Ramsey

    It is imperative that the role of the state in the provision of education is limited to the setting out of conditions of numbers required for viability. Once a school has reached this quota then the role of the state is to provide the funding for the institution. It is the parents who should decide, and of course in the real world it would be delegated to a board which would represent their views, as to the internal workings of the school. It is time we removed the state and its agendas from the education of our children.

  • Gregory

    “I suspect that Cardinal Brady is possibly afraid that non-catholic staff could be appointed to catholic schools.”

    Non-Catholics like sex offenders, pimps, pedophiles & etc.

    We do not have sane vetting criteria here in NI. What serves for the Brits, does not serve for Irish Catholics.

    in 2005, we briefed the media, that 60/70 pedophiles were secretly cleared to work in British schools and we were right.

    As many as 18,000 people with criminal records were employed over the last few years.

    C. Ruane has (for her own part) given no indication of ever wanting to ban sex offenders from state schools.

    We could if we are not careful end up employing the same kind of loathsome creatures they have working as teachers in England.


  • Gregory

    “Cardinal Brady should ask his Scottish counterpart about the situation there.”

    Talking recruitment?

    Scotland is pedophile heaven, the schools are positively dangerous,

    the FBI discovered more pedophiles in Scottish schools than the Scots convicted in 40 years.

    Do we want to be like Scotland?

    I say no.


  • Glencoppagagh

    “Non-Catholics like sex offenders, pimps, pedophiles & etc”

    Or even Catholic priests!

  • Gregory

    British teachers are close to surpassing the Catholic Church total for North America.

    That is US child citizen victims on both counts.

    So in a few years, Brit teachers have clocked up almost as many known victims as the Catholic Church in North America was able to do in 50 years.

    It is remarkable.

    Is Jim Gamble allowed to do teachers? I don’t think he is, by the way Morality in Media in the USA, may be taking a swing at him on Monday.

    I would also like to point out that unlike the NASUWT, Catholic priests are not out demanding legalization!

    The British teaching profession is the worst in the developed world for sexual abuse.

    They are publicly campaigning for a free pass!