Parents' Association

Parents' Association

Holding an AGM

The purpose of the Annual General Meeting is to inform parents of the work and activities undertaken by the Parents Association over the past year and to account for the monies spent and received.

Elections for the parent association committee are also normally held at the AGM and for this reason most associations normally hold their AGM early in the school year, i.e. September or October.

The AGM can of course be held anytime during the school year and some Committees choose to hold it in June. In any event, whenever you hold the AGM make sure all parents receive notice of the AGM – at least ten days notice should be given.

The AGM Agenda

In order to ensure that all relevant information is communicated at the AGM it is recommended that an Agenda for the meeting is prepared and circulated to parents along with the notice of the AGM. The Agenda sets out the order of business of the meeting and the topics which will be covered. It is important to try and keep to the meeting to a tight schedule so that parents do not get up and leave before business is concluded. Whilst the topics and running order may differ from one Association to the next, generally speaking the following will be included in some shape or form on most Agendas:

  • Report on work, fundraising events and general activities of the Association over the last year – (usually presented by the Committee Chairperson)
  • Treasurer’s Report – (The treasurer will usually present a statement of income and expenditure of the Committee over the year)
  • Elections for the next years parents association

In addition to the above, the following often form part of the Agenda

  • A report on the work of the National Parents Council
  • The School Principal/and or Chairperson of the Board of Management may be invited to the AGM , perhaps to update parents on how the money raised through the Parents Association was spent in the school
  • School specific agenda items.

Many meetings would conclude with a question and answer session allowing parents to ask questions and make suggestions on the work of the parent association. It is also a good idea to provide light refreshments immediately following the meeting as this will allow parents the opportunity to get to know each other and equally importantly allow the parents committee the opportunity to circulate and encourage parents to get involved in the association.

Role of the Parents Association

Provision is made in the Education Act 1998 to allow parents of students of a school to set up a Parents Association. The Act states that:

The parents of students of a recognised school may establish and maintain from among their number, a parents’ association for the school and membership of that association shall be open to all parents of students of that school.

The parents association in a school works with the principal, staff and board of management to build effective co-operation and partnership between home and school.

The role of the parent’s association is set down in the Education Act 1998 as follows:

  • A parents association shall promote the interests of the students in a school in co-operation with the board, principal, teachers and students.

The Education Act also sets out two broad tasks for a parents association which are:

  • To advise the Principal or the Board on matters relating to the school
  • To adopt a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents in the operation of the school, in consultation with the principal.

To operate effectively as a Parents Association you need to have mechanisms in place whereby you can establish the views of the parents and pupils on matters relating to the school. In this way you can select activities that will promote parental and student involvement.

While all parents of pupils of a school are members of the parents association, the majority do not need to be involved in the day-to-day activities of the association. Usually the parents association will elect a committee who manage the responsibilities of the parent association on behalf of all the parents. The size and formation of the committee is usually determined by the size of the school and the amount of activities to be undertaken.

The following are some of the activities in which Parents Associations might be involved:

  • Organising information/social events for new parents to the school
  • Organising welcome events for new students to the school
  • Arranging talks on topics of interest to parents, e.g. guest speaker on parenting/discipline etc
  • Preparing school handbooks/calendars
  • Providing support/organisational input to major school events, e.g. communions, confirmations, debs etc
  • Channelling parents views on school policy issues to the Principal/Board
  • Contributing to school newsletter
  • Helping to organise and supervise extra curricular activities
  • Organising Fund Raising Events for the school

Parents Associations are entitled to raise funds for the administration and activities of the association.

A Parents Association is expected to consult with the school board, which includes the Principal about fund raising as the approval of the board is normally needed prior to funds being raised. Any funds raised must be used for the purpose for which the money was collected. Full accounts should be maintained and presented at the Parent Association AGM.

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Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board
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