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In line with government guidelines, the majority of CCMS staff are working from home at this time. Our office is staffed and you can contact our reception on the telephone number below.  Please contact staff individually by phone or email or contact reception if you need your query directed. Staff emails are available here and useful Locality and Senior Leadership Team contact details are available here.

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Guidance on Governance in Catholic Maintained Schools

Guidance on Governance in Catholic Maintained Schools during the Current Exceptional Closure Period

Issued - April 2020 

  1. Regular Meetings – Board of Governors and Committees thereof

In line with Current advice on social distancing, and in particular in light of the Prime Minister’s statement of 23 March 2020, schools should not be organising to physically meet as a board or as committees for the foreseeable future. It may be possible to conduct some urgent business using available technology, though it is imperative that the following points are given due consideration:

  • Is it absolutely necessary for this business to be addressed at this time, or can the matter be postponed until normal meeting arrangements can safely resume? If the business can be postponed, it should be.
  • If the matter cannot be postponed, then consider if there are sufficient/correct governors available to engage in the business using the technology available.
  • If so, then consider if the technology is secure, and can the requirements of GDPR be satisfied?                                                                                              
  1. Meeting the Requirements of GDPR

Where governors are endeavouring to progress or conclude certain matters at this time through the use of technology, the requirements of the GDPR regulations will still apply in the normal way.

Skype/Facetime/Video Conference etc[1] – Governors should secure a private space from which to participate in the online meeting, and should ensure that the conversation cannot be overheard by anyone else in the household. The chairperson should remind governors of the importance of confidentiality in the normal way, and should seek additional assurance that no other parties are privy to proceedings in any way.

Electronic Documents – Governors are likely to be making greater use of email to keep in touch and to exchange documents and other information, or to reach agreement on straightforward matters. Governors may also be using different email accounts, including work email addresses or those shared with family members.  Governors should ensure that information shared between members of the governing body is only accessible to those entitled to access it, and that documents are password protected if necessary.

  1. Scheme for the Management (SOM)

The Scheme for the Management for Catholic Maintained Schools states a number of requirements that schools should follow each year, and most schools will have planned to meet these requirements at some stage in their school calendar. The SOM requires that the governors would meet as a board once a term. Many boards will already have met this term, though not all, and it is unlikely that all boards will be in a position to meet in the summer term.

CCMS would recommend that you consider:

  • What urgent matters if any need to be addressed at this stage that cannot be deferred until the school resumes normal practices?
  • Is there a quorum of governors who can ‘meet’ in a virtual way to address any urgent matters that cannot be deferred?
  • Can certain matters reasonably and appropriately be delegated to the principal of the school as leadership matters?

When dealing with urgent matters, the use of Article 25 of the SOM may be appropriate. (See below).

If no meeting is required to progress any urgent business in the third term, no meeting should be held.

  1. Article 25 of the Scheme for the Management

‘Power of Chairperson or Vice Chairperson of the Board of Governors to act in cases of urgency’

Article 25 makes provision for the chair or, in his/her absence, the vice chair, to discharge any function of the Board of Governors in the case of genuine urgency. This Article should only be enacted as follows:

  • In cases of genuine urgency, and where the matter cannot be postponed until normal practice has resumed in the school.
  • Until a meeting of the board can satisfactorily be convened. The matter should be reported at the next meeting of the Board of Governors.
  • Governors are encouraged to seek advice from CCMS prior to engaging this Article.
  1. Ongoing and/or New Procedures

Governors may be involved in progressing one or more procedures, such as staffing matters or handling complaints. In dealing with some matters, timeframes are clearly stated in the relevant procedure, and it is likely that proposed timetables will need to be reconsidered due to availability of governors and or other personnel involved.

Given the current Governmental guidance on restrictions and social distancing, governors should not be arranging to meet unnecessarily, even in small numbers.

Where possible, either the principal or the governors should contact all parties to advise that any delay will be unavoidable, due to the current exceptional circumstances. Correspondence should also advise that it will not be possible to provide an indicative revised timeframe. The principal/governors should undertake to provide an update once the situation is clearer, and once a revised timeframe can be issued. This will no doubt be disappointing and frustrating for many, and it may be helpful to acknowledge this in the correspondence, though the priority is to communicate that the situation is exceptional, and that such action is unavoidable. Where appropriate, correspondence could also make reference to support available for school employees e.g. Inspire Workplaces’ independent, free confidential support service which can be accessed on 0808 800 0002 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  1. Supporting the Principal

While governors may not be meeting to conduct business for some weeks to come, it is important that regular contact is maintained with the principal to keep up to date and to provide ongoing support. Contact should be between the chairperson and the principal, unless the chair is unavailable, in which case the vice-chair should step in. The chair (or vice-chair) should keep other governors up to date as appropriate. 

  1. Appointments of Governors

Whilst it will be unlikely that CCMS can support schools in filling governor vacancies at this time, it may be possible to progress some appointments; especially to support schools with multiple vacancies. In these circumstances, schools are encouraged to discuss their particular circumstances with CCMS officers

See Below for Useful Contact Details


 


  1. Useful Contact Details

 

Locality 1 Locality 2 Locality 3
Fermanagh and Omagh, Mid Ulster, Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Derry and Strabane, Causeway Coast and Glens, Mid and East Antrim, Antrim and Newtownabbey

Newry Mourne and Down, Ards and North Down, Lisburn and Castlereagh, and Belfast

Senior HR Advisers:            Senior HR Adviser:             Senior HR Advisers:           
Rita McCrory                                 Susan Sullivan  Brendan Hardy
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Brendan Hardy   Susan Sullivan 
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 HR Advisers:                         HR Advisers:                        HR Advisers
Geraldine McCourt                      Mairead Logue Liz Ward
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Joyclyn Madden Quinn      Frances McCusker Mary Cunningham
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Mary Cunningham   Frances McCusker
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Senior Education Adviser: Senior Education Adviser: Senior Education Adviser:
Geraldine Duffy            Roisin Harbinson Mairead Harvey
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Shirley McKenna
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Education Advisers:  Education Advisers: Education Advisers:          
Mary O’Neill Bronagh Maguire Martin Short
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Bronagh Maguire Mary O’Neill  
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Tony Scullion Geraldine Duffy Geraldine Duffy
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  Tony Scullion  
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Area Planning Adviser: Area Planning Adviser: Area Planning Adviser:
Cormac Quinn                              Wilma Johnston Philip Cunningham
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Planning & Development Adviser: Planning & Development Adviser:  
Kathryn McCune                       Kathryn McCune                        
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Senior Leadership Team 
     
Gerry Campbell, Chief Executive
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Eugene O’Neill, Director of Workforce Planning & Governance 
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Director of Education
     
Majella Corrigan, Director of Planning & School provision
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Regional Integrated Support for Education in NI - Important Message

RISE NI

 

Important message from RISENI

RISE NI is a regional early intervention service which supports children in pre-school educational and  mainstream primary school settings by working closely with parents and education staff to help children develop the foundation skills for learning i.e. speech, language, communication, sensory-motor, visual perception, social, emotional and behaviour skills.

Please follow the link below for advice and support for parents.

https://view.pagetiger.com/RISENI/covid19

Letter from Chair/Chief Executive Covid19 Update

CCMS Logo

 

9 April 2020

To all Principals

To all Principals of Catholic Maintained Schools

Easter is a time of celebration, hope and joy. It is a time when we are reaffirmed in the centrality of the Easter story in our lives as People of the Resurrection. It is a time when darkness gives way to light. The Cross becomes a sign, not of defeat but of Victory.

Despite the joy of the Resurrection that fills our hearts, this Easter speaks to a global reality of uncertainty, fear and panic, with the challenges of the indiscriminate Covid-19 pandemic.  Some of your communities will have already suffered through illness and even death. And yet, at a time of so much distress and perplexity, the Cross of Victory leads us with confidence to trust that we will overcome this crisis and the challenges that it brings, and that we can all eventually re-build a sense of normality – in our homes, in our school families, in our parish communities and in our bigger world.

We write at this time to commend you as school principals for the inspired leadership and courage that you continue to demonstrate in the midst of this extremely challenging and worrying time.  Your ongoing resilience and resolve to work together for the common good is laudable.  Your support and the services you are providing for your pupils and their families - not only within your own schools, but across the wider education community - has been most reassuring and welcoming.  In a time of fear and loneliness, the strength of your communities is a precious gift. 

On behalf of CCMS, we wish to thank you for your calm, joined-up leadership and support that you continue to give to our educational partners, our pupils, their families and other stakeholders throughout this period.  There is a collective strength as we all travel this journey together.  I ask you to pass on sincere thanks to your school staff, your families and all who support you at this time in your endeavours.

We will continue to hold in our prayers all who are working to overcome this crisis, whether they be in education or other front-line services such as the Health and Social Care sector.

Yours sincerely

 SignaturesC

Bishop Donal McKeown DD                     Gerry Campbell

CHAIR                                                 CHIEF EXECUTIVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joint Statement - Mgmt Side and NITC 08.04.20. (Update)

Joint Statement from Management Side and NITC 8 April 2020

Date published: 08 April 2020

At a meeting of the Teachers’ Negotiating Committee (TNC) on Wednesday 8 April 2020, and following receipt of the appropriate approvals from the Department of Education and the Department of Finance, a formal offer was submitted to the Northern Ireland Teaching Council (NITC) to resolve the long running industrial dispute of teachers’ pay and workload. 

Details

joint statement was issued by Management Side of the TNC and the NITC.

Details of the formal offer are outlined in the executive summary.  The formal offer, if accepted will bring an end to current industrial action with immediate effect following ratification.

TNC has issued a letter to each teacher in Northern Ireland together with a copy of the Joint Communication – Teachers’ Pay and Workload Settlement 2017-19.

A copy of the Ministers statement is available here

NB - Document links are shown in blue

CCMS Office

CCMS Lisburn                                                                                             
Linen Hill House
23 Linenhall Street
Lisburn
BT28 1FJ

CCMS Telephone: 028 9201 3014