10.5 The School Chaplain
Provision is made for the appointment of a Roman Catholic Chaplain in all Community Schools. The School Chaplain is appointed by the Board of Management on the nomination of the local Bishop. The terms and conditions of such appointment are set out in DES CL 57/2008. The Chaplain is appointed in addition to the school allocation of wholetime teacher equivalents, and is paid a teacher?s salary by the Department of Education and Science.
The Chaplain is required to teach four hours of class instruction per week. Other Chaplaincy duties include visitation of homes, religious services, retreats and celebrations, as well as counselling. The Chaplain is also expected to take an interest in the extra-curricular activities of the school, to encourage young people to be involved in the community, to be available during state examinations and to be in contact with the adult education student body.
Chaplaincy is a full-time job and requires full-time commitment. As a staff member, the Chaplain is expected to share in the corporate responsibility for discipline and good order. In this context, it is reasonable to expect that the Chaplain shares supervisory duties, but it is important that the special role of the Chaplain in developing the spirituality of students and in providing a strong Christian witness is not compromised by too much involvement as a disciplinarian. Although no specific provision is made for the appointment of a Chaplain in Comprehensive Schools, Boards of Management are advised to seek such an appointment as a matter of equity. In the case of the five Protestant Comprehensive Schools the appointment of a School Chaplain should, of course, be subject to the nomination of the appropriate Church authorities.
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