GUIDELINES FOR USE BY BOARDS OF MANAGEMENT IN METHODIST SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLS OCCUPYING METHODIST PROPERTY
The purpose of the document is to provide guidance to the Boards of Management in Methodist Schools and provides information contained in the Education Regulations (the Code) as well as the Constitution of the Methodist Church.
It aims to:
1. provide a quick guide to Boards on the responsibility which the Church reposes in them when it appoints them to the Boards of Methodist Schools
2. Assist them with abiding by the Code and the requirement of the Early Childhood Commission.
All Methodist Schools are located on property owned by the Church. At present there are:
§ 57 Basic Schools
§ 32 Primary, Prep and All Age Schools
§ 5 High Schools ( 2 in conjunction with other denominations)
§ 1 Community College with numerous campuses
§ 1 Special School
Role of Boards
The Education Regulations (70 - (1) provides for 7 members of the Board (including the Chairman) of secondary schools owned by the Church to be nominated by the Church. In Primary and All Age Schools, four persons including the Chairman are named by the Church. These members are to ensure that the school is managed to the best of their ability and in keeping with the Code and the principles of the Church. These Board members must avail themselves of the training provided by the Church and the Ministry of Education and must do everything in their power to ensure that the Church’s presence is felt in the Schools.
The members of Methodist School Boards appointed by the Church are the representatives of the Church and whilst they are expected to abide by the Education Regulations and are responsible for:
1. The maintenance of the physical plant
2. Abiding by the financial requirements of the Ministry of Education, including ensuring that audits are undertaken.
3. Receiving full and details reports on all aspects of the school from the Principal
4. Monitoring the financial aspects of the school
5. Adherence to the Code and the various instructions issued by the Ministry of Education and for Basic Schools adherences to the dictates of the Early Childhood Commission
6. The appointment of suitable Principals, ensuring that the person selected is willing and able to abide by the moral principles of the Methodist church
7. Ensuring that regular meetings of the Board are held to provide the necessary oversight and guidance
8. Ensuring the appointment of a Personnel Committee to deal with disciplinary matters
9. Closing following the procedures outlined for dealing with any industrial relations matter
10. Ensuring that accurate minutes of meetings are taken and kept in a safe place
11. Ensuring adherence to health and safety guidelines
12. Encouraging staff development
In an attempt to strengthen the relationship between the Church and the Schools, church nominated members of School Boards should encourage the use of the Church by the School for appropriate activities and seek ways to have an active Church presence in the schools.
When schools boards need to alter the structure or erect any building on the Church’s property they must seek the permission of the Church. All proposals must be sent, preferably through their Superintendent Minister, to the District Office, accompanied by the design and the estimated cost of the project. The location of the new structure on the property should be clearly identified. In addition to the Church’s need to monitor what happens to the properties that it owns, the Statutory requirements for construction necessitate that the land owner must give written permission for the erection of any building.
Before embarking on any such venture, Boards should liaise with the Property Manager in the District Office to ensure that the title for the land is available for their use.
School Boards often seek to acquire funds for infrastructural development and based on the principles which the church uphold there are some agencies that Methodist School Boards should not approach for funding. Any agency whose source of funds is an activity which is reprehensible to the Church is prohibited.
The School Board should be aware of activities for which Church property cannot be used and these include:
1. Party Political meetings
2. The supply, sale or use of intoxicants
4. Gambling of any kind including raffles, games of chance sweepstakes or lotteries
5. Vulgar entertainment
6. Public dances or similar types of entertainment