Diocesan Catholic Education Council Constitution
In order to be well advised and supported in my care for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Bathurst, I hereby establish the Catholic Education Council (“the Council”), according to this constitution:
The Council shall report to the Bishop annually, or as requested, on the condition of catechetical formation of Catholic young people and children in the Diocese, whether in Catholic or non-Catholic schools or in other settings; and have the task of developing and proposing to the Bishop policies to maintain and improve its quality. It shall have a special responsibility for oversight and, through the Bishop or his Vicar, governance of the Diocesan Catechists Coordinating Team.
The Council shall report to the Bishop annually, or as requested, on the condition of all Catholic schools in the Diocese; and have the task of developing and proposing to the Bishop policies to maintain and improve their quality, respecting the right to autonomy of internal management in schools not conducted by the Diocese. It shall have a special responsibility for oversight and, through the Bishop or his Vicar, governance of the Catholic Education Office (CEO) and schools under the CEO’s direction. Specifically:
The Council shall monitor and recommend to the Bishop, proposals for establishing or closing systemic schools in whole or in part.
The Council shall monitor, develop and recommend to the Bishop, the structures of internal governance for systemic schools.
The Council shall monitor, develop and recommend to the Bishop, policies for the appointment and oversight of principals and staff in systemic schools.
The Council shall monitor, develop and recommend to the Bishop, policies for the appointment and oversight of the Executive Director of Schools and staff of the CEO.
The Council shall oversee the preparation and implementation of budgets and budget strategies for Capital Works, the Diocesan Schools System and the CEO; and approve them before they are submitted to the Diocesan Finance Council for its approvals or recommendations to the Bishop.
The Council shall establish appropriate structures for its oversight of the financial operations of systemic schools, the schools system and the CEO.
The Council comprises the Episcopal Vicar for Education (or another priest representing the Bishop) and up to ten members appointed to three year terms by the Bishop. These appointments may, for a serious reason, be terminated earlier by the Bishop.
The Episcopal Vicar for Education (or his equivalent) is President of the Council, and must approve its agenda and keep the Bishop informed of its work.
Formal communication between the Bishop and the Council will usually be through the President. Public comment on behalf of the Council is reserved to the President or another person specially delegated by him. In the event of disputes between the President and members of the Council, all members have the right of direct appeal to the Bishop.
The Bishop shall appoint from among the members of the Council a Chair, who will prepare, conduct and carry out decisions of all meetings. The Chair will have secretarial and administrative assistance provided by the Diocesan Chancery.
The Council is to meet at least four times each year, or more often according to its discretion. At least two thirds of its members are to be present in order to constitute a meeting.
The Council shall elect from among its members three persons who will, with the President and Chair, comprise the Council’s Executive Committee. This Committee may be convened by the President at any time between Council meetings in order to deal with matters either specifically delegated to it by the full Council, or which have emerged since the Council’s last meeting. The Executive is to provide the Council, to whom it is accountable, and whose policies it is bound to implement, with minutes and supporting documents of its meetings.
Decisions by the Council are to be taken by majority vote of those present, which is to be by secret ballot if any member requests it. The President has a casting vote in the case of a tie, but otherwise does not vote.
The Council is to invite the regular attendance of the Executive Director of Schools and the Director of Catechetics at all or part of its meetings, according to its discretion, or at the Bishop’s direction. Attendance means full participation in discussion, but not in voting.
The Council is to invite the attendance, from time to time, at part of its meetings, according to its discretion, or at the Bishop’s direction, of representatives of Catholic school boards; and of parents’, principals’, and teachers’ associations.
The Council may, from time to time, with the Bishop’s approval, establish other sub-committees as it judges helpful to assist in its work; and appoint to these sub-committees, with the approval of the President, other persons of expertise who are not Council members.
The Council shall have an annual allocation for its operations in the Diocesan budget, approved according to procedures of the Diocesan Finance Council.
The Catholic Education Office and the Diocesan Catechists Coordinating Team shall make regular payments, to be fixed from time to time by the Diocesan Finance Council, for the services provided them by the Council.
Given at Bathurst on the fifth day of July 2010
+ Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst