9. The Key Roles of the School Board and its Members

It is the role of the School Board to provide strategic guidance for the School and to effectively oversee and review the School’s management. Governance practices require the School to formalise and disclose the roles and responsibilities of the School Board and its Members.

Good governance requires the School Board to:

  • adapt to the distinctive characteristics of an academic environment and act in a way that exemplifies and reinforces the institution’s core values and ethos
  • oversee all aspects of the School, including its control and accountability systems and approve the expenditure and capital budgets
  • appoint, review and, in some cases, remove the Principal and provide ongoing support and supervision
  • handle grievances concerning the Principal
  • develop and maintain healthy relationships with key stakeholders including effective communication channels
  • ensure a strategic approach to the school’s future by setting major goals, policy frameworks and strategies
  • set the tone and the ethical standards of the school and monitor adherence to them;
  • review plans and budgets established by school management
  • approve all material expenditure outside the budget
  • anticipate problems as much as possible and act to diffuse issues
  • be attentive to the matter of succession
  • establish committees where appropriate
  • review and monitor adherence to systems of risk management, governance and legal compliance
  • monitor organisational performance
  • conduct an annual review of the Board’s own performance (i.e. Board Appraisal)
  • conduct an annual review of the School’s progress and performance in meeting its objectives
  • establish a whistleblower procedure
  • maintain the solvency of the school.

It is often said that the Board’s most important task is the selection of the Principal.  The Principal is the public face of the School and is crucial in setting the tone, standards and personality of the School.  The relationship between the Principal and the Chair of the Board is pivotal to the success of the School.