The Church of Ireland has a role in education in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland through its General Synod Board of Education and several related organisations which seek to support teachers, parents and schoolchildren.
The duties of the General Synod Board of Education, in pursuance of the missional role of the Church, are to:
- Define the policy of the Church in education, both religious and secular, and, in promotion of this policy, to take such steps as may be deemed necessary to co–ordinate activities in all fields of education affecting the interests of the Church of Ireland;
- Maintain close contact with Government, Diocesan Boards of Education, and other educational and school authorities with a view to ascertaining the most efficient and economical use of resources including funds, transport facilities and teachers;
- Support church–based Religious Education and faith development through liaison with such structures and bodies as shall be established by the Church of Ireland to further children’s ministry, youth ministry and Safeguarding;
- Study any legislation or proposed legislation likely to affect the educational interests of the Church of Ireland and take such action with respect thereto as it may deem necessary;
- Deliberate and confer on all educational matters affecting the interests of the Church; and
- Make such enquiries as it shall deem to be requisite and communicate with government authorities and all such bodies and persons as it shall consider necessary.
The Board of Education (Republic of Ireland) advises the General Synod of developments in educational policy, represents the Church as an educational partner to the Department of Education and other educational bodies,
and provides advice to school patrons and boards of management on the management of schools.
It also supports Religious Education in primary schools under Protestant management through the Follow Me programme, and co–ordinates and encourages participation in the Synod Examination in Religious Education. The Board facilitates Garda vetting of workers and volunteers in Church of Ireland primary schools and parishes.
Follow Me is the Religious Education Programme for National Schools in the Republic of Ireland under the patronage of the Church of Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The Follow Me series of Religious Education books is accessible from www.followme-series.org
News items for the Board of Education (RI) are available here.
The Board of Education (Northern Ireland) aims to develop, in conjunction with other churches, a clear and shared vision of education shaped by the core values of the Christian faith, and to seek continued curriculum support of the Religious Education core syllabus in schools.
It advises the General Synod of developments in educational policy in Northern Ireland and represents the Church as an educational partner to the Department of Education and other educational bodies.
The Board works closely with the Presbyterian and Methodist churches within the Transferor Representatives’ Council (TRC) in promoting the interests and safeguarding the rights of transferors, facilitates the nomination of transferor governors to controlled primary and post–primary schools, and makes submissions to relevant government consultations. The Board has representation on the Board of the Education Authority and the Board of the Controlled Schools’ Support Council. The Board works also with institutions of higher initial teacher education.
The Transferor Governor Handbook is a guide to the creative opportunities and responsibilities of governors in the promotion of a positive Christian ethos in their school, the importance of implementing the statutory core syllabus in Religious Education, and the legal and statutory rights of the transferor churches in Northern Ireland.
News items for the Board of Education (NI) are available here.
Making cross–border telephone calls
Northern Ireland to Republic of Ireland: Dial +353 & Area Code (drop initial ‘0’) & Local Number
Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland: Dial 048 (instead of 028) & Local Number