School board meetings

School board meetings

A board meeting is an opportunity for board members to come together to meet and discuss key issues and priorities facing the school community.

The effectiveness of a school board meeting is determined by the degree of organisation and planning by the Principal and Chairperson of the school board prior to the meeting.

This ensures the maximum return from the time invested by those on the board.

Below are some highlights from the 'Manual for School Board Members'. Section 10 of the Manual (pp 27-30) contains more detail, which we would encourage board members to read.

Download 'School Board Manual'

Agendas

Time allocations should be made for agenda items. Members are invited to indicate items requiring discussion and to list other matters for board consultation.

The format of meetings

A suggested school board meeting format could be:

  • Members are welcomed and the meeting begins with prayer. (Meetings should also incorporate a period of spiritual formation of members. You will need to determine how this takes place - this could include prayer, an exploration of the role of the school board, investigation of one aspect of the Christian tradition, discussion about the goals of the Catholic school or the acquisition of particular skills.)
  • Apologies and attendance are noted and recorded, including co-opted members.
  • Minutes of the previous meeting should be circulated with the agenda and reports prior to the meeting. (The minutes of the meeting should be a summary record of the issues discussed and any resulting recommendations. They should not be a word-for-word account of the meeting.)
  • These minutes are evaluated for accurate reporting, then a person who attended the previous meeting should move that the minutes as printed be confirmed. 
  • Business arising from the minutes is discussed. Some matters may be dealt with under reports or correspondence.
  • Correspondence is tabled and approved by motion. Inward correspondence can be listed and available for perusal before or after the meeting.
  • Where reports are required, they should be written and attached to the agenda.  (Where it is not possible for any of the above to meet this requirement, copies must be tabled to all members on the night of the board meeting.)
  • The Chairperson of the Finance Committee should give a full report of the school’s current and projected financial situation.
  • Each item is considered in turn. In decision-making, a discernment process leading to consensus is preferable. If a more formal process is necessary, the process of moving and seconding motions and/or amendment is followed. Where the discernment process needs to move to a voting process, the majority of votes will carry the vote.
  • The meeting is closed and the date of the next meeting clarified.

Section 10 of the 'Manual for School Board Members' has far more information to assist in running your school board meetings, and we would encourage you to read through it.

Frequency of meetings

Each schools determines how often a school board meets.

The suggested time structure for meetings is two hours, meeting times may be extended for a brief period if the Chairperson and/or Principal believes the number of items listed will require additional time. 

Duration of meetings

The suggested time structure for meetings is two hours, meeting times may be extended for a brief period if the Chairperson and/or Principal believes the number of items listed will require additional time.

“A school board is vitally important because it gathers together the voices that need to be heard in a school community.”

Sue Young, Assistant Director

Catholic Education South Australia © 2020