St Clares Primary School

Education is for Life

NPC Best Practice Guidelines for Parent’s Association

The role and aim of the Parent Association
Although the Parent Association may organise many activities, these activities should all assist the association to achieve its two main roles within the school:
– To work in partnership with the Principal, Board of Management and the whole school community for the betterment of the children in the school
– To support and empower parents to be active in the best interests of their children’s educational lives

Why is partnership between home and school important?
Partnership between home and school is important because with positive and active partnership the child gets the best that primary education can offer.

Parent Association Committee (that’s us!)
While all parents are members of the Parent Association, not all can, or need to, be involved in the day-to-day business of organising the work. It is for this reason that parents in a school elect a committee.
The committee is the team of people who manage the tasks of the Parent Association on behalf of all the parents.

Key Roles of the Committee:
– Planning and managing the annual programme of activities for the Parent Association
– Communicating, consulting with and involving as many parents as possible in the activities of the Parent Association
– Communicating and consulting with the Principal and Board of Management
– Planning agendas and keeping records of meetings
– Managing the Parent Association finances
– Valuing diversity and interculturalism and making sure parents who might find it hard to get involved are encouraged and supported to do so.

The Chairperson should:
Lead and guide the committee in planning and delivering on their activities. This should involve:
– Chairing meetings
– Helping the committee to have a clear vision and clear goals
– Keeping the work of the Parent Association to agreed targets
– Ensuring all members are respected, listened to and are encouraged to have their say
– Facilitating people to work well together ensuring that the work of the committee is shared
– Reviewing the work of the committee
– Work closely with the Secretary to plan the agendas and meetings
– Encourage the committee members to be prepared for the meetings
– Ensure meetings start and finish at the agreed times
– Make sure that, as each item is finished, the group is clear about what has been decided
– Ensure that all decisions are taken democratically and with respect for everyone’s opinions.
– Ensure that at the end of term of office all relevant documentation is passed on to the incoming Chairperson

The Secretary should:
Take minutes at each meeting
– File all correspondence and minutes safely
– Minutes should be brief and should be a record of decisions made and actions to be taken;
they may also record a brief outline of issues discussed
– Agree the agenda for committee meetings with the Chairperson. It is important that all committee members have a right to have items included on the agenda.
– Make sure all committee members receive a copy of the minutes of meetings, including committee members who had been unable to attend
– Appropriately administer incoming and outgoing correspondence
– Assist the Chairperson with clarification of decisions made at meetings
– Ensure that at the end of term of office all relevant documentation is passed on to the incoming Secretary

The Treasurer should:
– Lodge and record all financial transactions
– Manage and maintain books/record of income and expenditure
– Give monthly reports on the Parent Association finances to the Parent Association committee
– Issue receipts for all financial transactions
– Ensure that the committee has the necessary information to understand the Parent Association’s financial needs
– Advise on how the resources can best be used to fulfil the aims and work plan of the committee
– Liaise with a bank or other financial institutions on behalf of the Parent Association
– Present a full account of the year’s income and expenditure at the Parent Association AGM
– National Parents Council Primary (NPC) recommends that a copy of these records should also be submitted to the Board of Management for their information
– Ensure that at the end of term of office all relevant documentation is passed on to the incoming Treasurer