A brief history of the Transferor Representatives’ Council
Controlled schools are ‘church-related schools’ because in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches transferred (hence the origin of transferors) their school buildings, pupils and staff into state control on the understanding that the Christian ethos of these schools would be maintained.
During the transfer process, the Church leaders at that time stressed that it was not simply buildings which were being transferred, but pupils, and a concept of education directly informed and shaped by Christian teaching and values.
In return for transferring their schools into state control, the Transferor Churches were accorded statutory rights of representation. Schedule 4 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 details the provisions for transferor representation on the Boards of Governors of controlled schools. In addition to statutory rights of representation the Transferor Churches secured legislative assurance in respect of the provision of Religious Education and daily collective worship in controlled schools, as detailed in Part III, Section 21 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986.
The statutory rights accorded to the Transferor Churches and the consequent responsibilities placed upon the state combine to ensure the continued existence of a Christian ethos within controlled schools.
The Department of Education recognises the Transferor Representatives’ Council (TRC) as the body representing the Transferor Churches.
The Transferor Churches work together at policy level through TRC in respect of education matters in Northern Ireland in the following ways:
Monitoring developments in legislation and policy
Ongoing support of transferor governors
Developing and supporting the delivery of the Core RE Syllabus
Promoting the relationship between local churches and schools
Contributing to policy development
Representation and advocacy within the education sector – e.g. with the Department of Education, Education Authority, Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA), Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC), Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and Catholic Schools’ Trustee Service (CTSS)