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What is the Parents Association?
A structure through which parents in the school work together for the best possible education of their children.The PA communicates with and represents the entire parent body.
Who is a member? All parents of the children in the school are members of the Parents Association. The Parents Association Committee (PAC) work on their behalf from one year to the next. In St.Olaf’s the Parents Association is composed of volunteers.
What is the role of the PA?
1. To work in partnership with the Principal, Board of Management, Pupils, Staff & the whole school community for the betterment of the children in the school.
2. To support and empower parents to be active in the best interests of their children’s educational lives.
It is important to note that the PA is not a forum for complaint against an individual, teacher, parent or child. Nor does it have a role in the pursuit of individual complaints UNLESS – the complaint raises a whole-school policy issue or it supports and empowers parents – for complaints see Complaints Procedure.
The PA operates a non-discriminatory policy and treats all concerns objectively and equally. The PA will treat all parents with respect and dignity and provide all parents with the same guidelines and advice.
How does this work in practice?
Collaborative work and good relationships depend on good communication between all the partners above. This is done through (i) shared goals and expectations for the children and the school and (ii) shared understanding of one another’s work and responsibilities.
What is the work of the PA?
The PAC manages the business of the PA in accordance with the rules (constitution) of the PA from one AGM to the next. The main aim of the PAC in St.Olaf’s is to raise funds for the school by holding events such as Pub Quizzes, Skipathon, Textile Collection, Bag Packing, Inspirational Talks, Holy Communion Party, Confirmation Party, 6th Class Graduation Party, Christmas Cards and School Calendars for the year and Welcoming the Junior Infant parents.
Who is on the Parents Association Committee?
Parents Association Members 2016-17
A full list of current members can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The key roles on the Parents Association?
Chairperson – The role of the Chair is to:-
- Chair Meetings
- Guide and lead the Committee
- Ensure that all members are respected and listened to and are encourage to have their say. All decisions are taken democratically with respect for everyone’s opinion.
- Endeavour to facilitate that people work well together
- Delegate work to the committee and ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of the goals and roles.
- Plan the meetings in advance and ensure that there is a clear and manageable agenda
- Work closely with the Secretary to plan the agenda and meetings.
- Adhere to the start and end time of the meeting.
- Take and keep minutes of the meetings and to make sure that all the minutes are files safely.
- Ensure attendance of the committee members and that the agenda is circulated prior to the meetings
- Check that the minutes are approved at each meeting
- Appropriately administer incoming and outgoing correspondence
- Assist the Chairperson
- Lodge and record all financial transactions.
- Manage and maintain books/records of income and expenditure.
- Give reports on finances after a major fund-raising event.
- Issue receipts for financial transactions.
- Liaise with the bank on behalf of PAC.
- Present a full account of the year’s income and expenditure at the PA AGM.
The PAC is entitled to raise funds for the administration and activities of the Association. Full accounts must be maintained and presented at the AGM of the PA - which usually takes place at the end of the calendar year. The PA consults with the Principal and also the Board of Management (BOM) about fundraising for school projects. The expenditure of these funds must be approved by the BOM.
How does the PAC communicate with the Principal?
The Chairperson (and or Secretary) meets with the Principal before and after every meeting which takes place at 8.30 p.m. in the school staff room every second Tuesday of the month. Written/Verbal feedback of Parent’s views on aspects of school policy will be sought from the PAC. The PAC will share and prepare a calendar of events with the Principal.
What is the relationship between the Board of Management and the PA?
They share a common interest in the provision and enhancement of the facilities/activities available to the school community.
Partnership between PA & Pupils
Children should have a voice in matters which affect them and their views should be given due weight - The PAC where possible and appropriate encourage a culture and practice of giving information to pupils and involving them in decisions that affect them e.g. school code of behaviour and anti- bullying policy and helping out with fund-raising events.
The school plan
The plan is a vision for what the partners want to achieve for all the children in its care – discussing how hopes can become a reality. Objectives are set and the success of these objectives is monitored. The school plan is available to all parents upon request.
How can the PA support and empower parents?
Welcoming new parents.
Preparing a school newsletter.
Providing regular and relevant updates by email / text / facebook.
Inviting parents to guest speaker events.