Chapter 22 School publications of guide for school governorsThis chapter identifies the information which the Board of Governors is required to publish in respect of a grant-aided school.
In this chapter:
- School prospectus
- Board of Governors annual report
- Information published by the ELBs
- The law
The role of the Board of Governors
The role of the Board of Governors is to ensure that the school meets the statutory requirements in relation to the publication of information.
22.1. The Board of Governors of a grant-aided school (other than a school established in a hospital) is required by law to publish
- an annual school prospectus; and
- an annual Board of Governors’ report.
The Board of Governors may delegate the work of compiling the information to a committee or to the school principal.
22.2. An education and library board may, with the agreement of the Board of Governors, publish on behalf of the Board of Governors, prescribed particulars or information relating to the school. Information about the school and other schools is included each year in the booklets published for parents by the education and library boards, about the arrangements for the admission of pupils to schools. Information is provided annually by the Board of Governors to the education and library boards and may not be altered except with the agreement of the Board of Governors.
22.3. The Board of Governors must make available at the school, copies of the following information for reference by any person, at all reasonable times during a school day and for distribution without charge to parents on request
- the times at which the school day begins and ends;
- the dates of the school terms and half-term holidays for the current school year;
- particulars of the charging and remission policies determined by the Board of Governors (the education and library board is also under a requirement to make its charges and remissions policy available at the school);
- particulars of any capital charge made by a voluntary grammar school in the current school year;
- particulars of any tuition fee charged by a Group B voluntary grammar school in the current school year.
Where any significant change is to be made in this information, three months advance notice must be given to parents of the change and when it is to take effect.
22.4. The Board of Governors must ensure that the principal and each teacher on the staff of the school have a copy of its written curriculum policy statement. The principal must make available to any person on request or for inspection at all reasonable times, the following documents or any documents containing the following information:
- the curriculum policy statement;
- any statutory instrument, document or memorandum or DE circular about the statutory curriculum;
- any ETI report published about the school;
- any course of study followed by pupils at the school;
- particulars of how to make a statutory complaint about the curriculum.
The principal must provide on request a copy of the written curriculum policy statement or the Annual Report of the Board of Governors and may provide a copy of the other documents listed above, including an ETI report but not a copyright document other than an ETI report. A charge, not exceeding the cost of production, may be made for these documents, other than the annual report of the Board of Governors.
22.5. The school prospectus must include
- in the case of a school other than a nursery school, the information listed in Schedule 3 to the Education (School Information and Prospectuses) Regulations (NI) 2003;
- in the case of any other school, the information listed in Schedule 4 to the Education (School Information and Prospectuses) Regulations (NI) 2003;
- such other information, if any, as the Board of Governors thinks fit.
The regulations set out the minimum requirements for a prospectus and schools are free to include additional explanatory, contextual or descriptive information about their provision or performance as they wish.
22.6. The information in Schedules 3 and 4 relating to a school year, must be published in advance of that year and not later than six weeks before the date by which parents must express a preference for a school.
22.7. Copies of the prospectus must be available at the school free of charge for distribution to parents on request and for reference by anyone else. In the case of a special school, the prospectus must also be available from the education and library board on the same basis.
22.8. The annual report of the Board of Governors must contain
- a summary of the steps taken by the Board of Governors in the discharge of its functions during the period since its last Report; and
- such other information as the scheme of management of the school may require.
22.9. The annual report is required to
- be as brief as is reasonably consistent with the requirements below;
- give the name and membership category of each school governor;
- give the date on which the term of office of each member (other than the principal) comes to an end;
- name the chairperson and secretary of the Board of Governors;
- provide information about arrangements for the next election of parents to the Board of Governors;
- contain a financial statement
- reproducing or summarising any financial statement furnished to the Board of Governors by the education and library board or DE;
- indicating how any grants or financial allocation to the Board of Governors in the period of the report were used; and
- giving details of the application of any gifts or bequests made to the school in that period.
- describe the arrangements made for the security of the pupils and staff and the school premises and any changes since the last report;
- describe the steps taken to develop links with the community;
- describe the arrangements and facilities for pupils with special educational needs (SEN), ensuring that they are treated no less favourably than other pupils;
- describe the steps taken to secure the implementation of the SEN policies;
- provide information as to the facilities provided to assist access to the school for pupils with a physical disability and the Accessibility Plan for the school;
- give such information on the curriculum and educational provision and educational achievements as is required to be made available in the annual report in accordance with Regulation 10 of the Education (School Information and Prospectuses) Regulations (NI) 2003.
Further detail about the contents of the annual report is in the scheme of management approved by DE for the school and DE Circular 2003/15 listed under the Guidance section below.
22.10. The Board of Governors may produce its report in such language or languages (in addition to English) as it considers appropriate.
22.11. The Board of Governors must take such steps as are reasonably practical to secure that
- the parents of all registered pupils at the school and all persons employed at the school are given (free of charge) a copy of its report; and
- copies of the report are available for inspection (at all reasonable times and free of charge) at the school.
A copy of the report must also be provided to the education and library board and in the future to ESA.
22.12. The education and library boards are required, for each school year, to publish at such time and in such a manner as the Department of Education (DE) may direct, particulars of
- the arrangements made for the parents of a child to
- express their order of preferences as to the school at which they wish education to be provided for their child ; and
- give reasons for this preference;
- the arrangements for the parents of a child to appeal against any decision by the Board of Governors of a grant-aided primary or post-primary school refusing the child admission to the school;
- the arrangements for the admission of children to grant-aided schools which include particulars of
- the school’s enrolment number
- the school’s admissions number;
- the respective functions of the Board of Governors and principal in relation to admissions to the school; and
- the criteria to be applied in selecting children for admission to the school.
Further detail about the information required to be published by an education and library board is contained in the Education (School Information and Prospectuses) Regulations (NI) 2003.
Education (NI) Order 1997 - Article 17
Admissions to primary and post primary schools
(Information as to schools and admission arrangements)
Education (NI) Order 1998 - Article 15
(Contents of annual report of Board of Governors)
Education (NI) Order 1998 - Article 33
Pre-School education at grant-aided schools
(Information as to schools and admission arrangements)
Education Reform (NI) Order 1989 - Article 125
(Annual report of Board of Governors)
Education (School Information and Prospectuses) Regulations (NI) 2003 SR 378
(Explains the information to be published by a school and an ELB)
These regulations will be updated to take account of the changes in the revised curriculum.
DE Circular 2003/15 Education (School Information and Prospectuses) Regulations (NI) 2003
www.deni.gov.uk/2003-15.pdf PDF 49 KB