Goverance vs Management
What is the Board's role?
The Board provides the governance guidance and framework to allow the teaching and managerial staff to focus on their roles. The Board oversees the school, making sure it fulfils its mission, lives up to its values and remains viable for the future. This covers all key aspects of the school's operation, from the financial and risk management to amenities development and key recruitment decisions. It is important to stress that the Board's role is a governance role. Governance is about vision and organisational direction as opposed to day-to-day management and implementation of policy and programs.
Why do we need the Board if we have a Headmaster?
Every school has a board of trustees to provide governance. It is the same with most larger commercial organisations, too, whereby the management reports to a board which represents the interests of the shareholders. In the case of Cathedral Grammar, the shareholder is, in effect, the Anglican Church, via the Chapter.
What's the difference between the Board's role and the Headmaster's role?
Again, you can liken it to the difference between a board of a company and that of the chief executive. The Headmaster reports to the Board on all aspects of the school's activities and performance, and in return takes guidance and direction from the Board on strategic and financial matters. The Board avoids getting involved in day-to-day teaching, curriculum and administrative matters, unless they have broader significance for the running of the school and its future policy setting. The Headmaster’s role is to communicate expectations – mission, strategy, policies – to staff and the School community, and to manage day-to-day operations and program implementation to fulfil these expectations. He will ensure that the guidance from the Board in terms of vision and direction is translated into operational practice. As Chief Executive, the Headmaster also provides advice to the Board to assist it in its deliberations and decision making.
How are the Board members chosen?
When a vacancy arises or there is a need for a particular new skill-set, names are proposed and vetted by the Board. It is key that there is considerably diversity of skills represented on the Board and we are fortunate to have a strong and balanced team at Cathedral Grammar. All Board members are appointed to the Board by the Chapter for a three year term which may be renewed on expiry.
Are the Board members paid? Do they receive a discount on their school fees?
It is entirely voluntary and there is no subsidisation of fees.
Why don't we see more of the Board?
The Board is not intended to be a public facing body. It is important that the Board allows the Headmaster to be the public face of the school and that he be allowed to get on with running the school. In fact, there is often a direct correlation between how well or poorly an organisation is being run, and how much you hear publicly from the board. In a well-run organisation, as we believe Cathedral Grammar to be, there is little need for the Board to play a public role.
Who should I contact if I have a question about how the school is being run?
Any enquiries, suggestions, complaints or discussions regarding the operation of the School should be directed to the Headmaster in the first instance. The Headmaster will elevate to the Board any matters that need to be considered at a governance level. If you have questions or comments regarding the School’s strategic position or long term vision or which relates directly to the relationship between the School and the Chapter then those issues should be directed to the Board Chair.
Abby Foote Paul Kennedy
Board Chair Headmaster