The Parents Association
A Parent Association is the structure through which the parents in a school can work together for the best possible education for their children. The Parent Association works with the Principal, staff and the Board of Management to build an effective partnership between home and school. The 2 broad aims of the PA are to:
- inform and consult parents about the school’s activities and plans
- provide practical assistance to the school.
General Role of the PA
- Foster relationships between the parents, principal, Board of Management, teachers, staff, pupils and others associated with the school
- Provide opportunities for communication, discussion and consultation on matters of common, educational or topical interest
- Encourage the provision of practical and financial assistance to support the educational, recreational, social and other activities of the school.
- Promote other activities which may enhance the school experience of the pupils
- Build an effective partnership and co-operation between home and school
1 representative from each class.
The 2 parent representatives on the Board of Management (Penelope McGrath & Darren Cran) and the School Principal will give advice, guidance and updates to the Committee.
- Maintains PA Constitution and ensures adherence thereto
- Ensures that PA Year Plan is agreed at start of year
- Sets an agenda for meetings in consultation with secretary
- Chairs all meetings; effective management of Agenda
- Ensures events are properly organised
- Communication with Principal and parents rep on BOM on a regular basis at a mutually agreeable time
- Reports at PA AGM at the beginning of the following school year
- Circulates agenda to committee members in advance of each meeting
- Arranges access to school premises for evening meetings
- Takes minutes of each meeting and circulates to committee
- Submit PA article to each school newsletter
- Ensures that the Annual Operations Book (year plan, minutes, event reports, key contacts) for the year is maintained and handed over to the Secretary of the following year’s Committee.
- Understand what services the NPC offers and bring useful information to the attention of the PA. NPC has very useful Booklet “Working effectively as a Parent Association” (2010 edition)
- Keeps accurate account of all transactions
- Ensures that best value is obtained for all expenditure
- Prepares analytical report of fundraising events for Committee
- Pays invoices
- Organises floats for fundraising events
- Organises lodgements after fundraising events
- Prepares Report for PA AGM at the beginning of the following school year
Role of Class Rep
- Each class representative should communicate with the parents/guardians in the classroom they represent, to gather ideas/feedback and to inform parents about what is going on. Make sure the parents in the class know who you are and how to contact you.
- The class rep should foster a sense of collective responsibility among parents in a class.
- Each class rep should consider arranging an informal social evening for the parents in the class.
- Make sure that parents understand that the PA is not a forum for complaint against an individual, teacher, parent or child, nor does it have a role in pursuing individual complaints.
Communication between the PA committee and the Principal
The principal has a central role in the school. S/he is responsible for the day to day running of the school and plays an all-important leadership role. S/he has responsibility to encourage the involvement of parents. Some PAs invite the principal to be a member of the committee. While this can work well for some groups, it has some disadvantages. Parents need to have the opportunity to freely discuss their own ideas and views before putting them forward to the principal/BOM. The PA should grow as a representative body and avoid being dependent on the principal. The Chairperson/Secretary of the Parents Association and the Principal will plan together how the two groups will communicate.
- General PA meetings to take place on the 1st Wednesday of every month; Quorum for a General PA meeting is 50%+1 of committee members
- Ad hoc meetings as necessary
- All meetings will take place on the school premises
The Committee is self-sufficient and will operate efficiently and effectively in a business like manner. All committee members have use of the school’s photocopier, in consultation with the School Secretary i.e. using the facilities at an appropriate time. Any notes for schoolbags should be given to School Secretary in advance of a Thursday morning. All PA equipment is housed in a cupboard in the corridor