St. Colmcille’s Girls’ National School, Chapel Lane, Swords, Co. Dublin
PARENT ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION
DATE: October 2016
The Constitution of the Parent Association of St. Colmcille’s Girls’ National School, Chapel Lane, Swords, Co. Dublin
THE PURPOSE OF THE PARENT ASSOCIATION
The purpose of the Parent Association (PA) is to provide a structure through which
Parents/Guardians of children attending St. Colmcille’s Girls’ National School can work together for the best possible education and school environment for their children. The PA will work with the Principal, Staff and Board of Management to build effective partnership between home and school.
THE AIM AND ROLE OF THE PARENT ASSOCIATION
The aim and role of the Parent Association is to:
- Enable parents to play their part in ensuring provision of the best possible educational experience for their children and encourage them to take an active interest in the school.
- Promote good relations, communication, understanding and co-operation between parents, teachers, students and the school authorities.
- Assist in furthering the objectives of the school, and to support and promote the ethos of the school.
- Provide a forum to inform and consult parents regarding school policy, plans activities and communicate parent’s views on such issues. However the PA will not be involved in matters relating to the internal administration of the school.
- To be affiliated with, and work together with national and regional bodies such as the National Parents Council Primary (NPC).
The Parent Association will undertake a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents and which will support pupils, parents and school staff. In planning its activities, the Parent Association will liaise with the school Principal & Board of Management.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE PARENT ASSOCIATION
All parents or guardians of children attending St. Colmcille’s Girls’ National School are automatically deemed to be members of the PA.
Parents/guardians interested in being involved in any/all of the activities of the PA are welcome to, and encouraged to, attend any committee meeting during the school year. Committee meetings will be notified in advance via the Parent Association Newsletter, noticeboard or school website.
There is an open invitation to the school Principal to attend every meeting of the PA.
A member shall cease to be a member when they no longer have a child attending St. Colmcille’s Girls’ National School. Ideally the PA Committee will have representation from each class year within the school.
Two parent representatives shall be elected to the Board of Management, one male and one female, and their primary obligation is as a member of the management team of the school and as such they are not there to represent the parents’ association or individual parents. The parent representatives will pass on only appropriate information to the PA as agreed by the Board following Board of Management meetings, as some information may be confidential to school management.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE PARENT ASSOCIATION & THEIR ELECTION
The members of the committee will be elected each year at the AGM of the Parent Association. At least 14 days written notification of the AGM will be sent to all parents/guardians of children in the school. The AGM shall be held between the 1st of September and the 31st of October each year.
At the AGM the members of the PA will elect a committee with a maximum of 15 and a minimum of 5 members. This committee will have responsibility for representing the parents of St. Colmcille’s Girls’ National School and managing the activities of the PA. If there are more than 15, then an election will take place on the night of the AGM. Should the number fall below 8, then a vote of the present PA members is taken to allow the Committee continue with that number going forward and to allow them to co-opt Committee members at a later date.
Each Committee Member will be elected for one year. At the AGM all committee members step down, but can be re-elected. The Committee will ensure places are available for new members each year.
Parent representatives elected to the Board of Management are automatically members of the committee, but will not hold an officer position on the PA.
A member of the committee can resign their position by giving notice to the Secretary. If a member does not attend three consecutive Committee meetings, without good reason, he/she may be requested to step down from the Committee. The Secretary will inform the Committee Member in writing to this effect. Should no response be forthcoming, then the person is deemed to have resigned.
In the event of a vacancy arising during the year, the committee will have the power to co-opt additional members to the committee. This will be decided at a Committee Meeting.
The committee can set up a Sub-Committee for a particular task, the sub-committee may also co-opt people to assist in their work. The sub-committees will make recommendations to the Parents Association for approval; they remain at all times accountable to the main committee.
A Quorum for each meeting will be 5 people.
The officer positions on the PA are Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. At the discretion of the Committee, the following roles can also be appointed; Vice Chairperson, Vice Treasurer, and Public Relations Officer.
No member of the committee will hold the same officer position for more than three consecutive years and must be re-elected to the Role by the Committee for each of those 3 years.
Definition of Roles:
- Chairs committee meetings and ensures the agenda is worked through in an orderly fashion.
- Liaises with the principal on behalf of the Parents Association.
- Sets the agenda of the Committee meeting.
- Liaises with the Secretary to ensure that all PA members are sent the Agenda prior to the meeting.
- Ensures with the Secretary that the minutes are agreed, and circulated to the PA by the Secretary in a timely manner.
- Can convene special Parents Association meetings if necessary to discuss issues of serious significance.
- Represents the Parents Association at school functions.
- Co-ordinates and chairs the Parents Association AGM.
- Deputises for the Chairperson.
- Minutes the proceedings of each PA meeting and the AGM.
- Ensures the agenda for each meeting is circulated to PA members at least one week before each committee meeting.
- Forwards the minutes to the PA within one week of the meeting.
- Keeps the accounts of the PA.
- Presents each PA committee meeting with a monthly statement of accounts including funds received and disbursements made in accordance with the finance protocols agreed by the committee.
- Presents a written statement of Annual Accounts to the PA AGM each year, a copy of which is forwarded to the Board of Management for their information. The financial year of the PA will run from the 1st of September to the 31st of August annually.
- Liaises with the school auditor as part of the schools’ annual audit.
Public Relations Officer
- Co-ordinates the following; PA newsletter & Facebook page, PA noticeboard, and material to be forwarded to the relevant school staff member for update on the school website. A Sub-Committee can be set up to assist in this role.
- Prepares update/communications for the school to disperse on PA talks.
- Highlights the activities of the PA to the media.
- All PRO activities will be governed by the protocols agreed by the PA.
THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE PARENT ASSOCIATION
- The PA will hold a minimum of 4 Committee meetings annually, and draw up a plan for the activities of the association in consultation with the wider parent body.
- The committee will liaise with the school Principal and Board of Management when planning the programme of activities for any particular
- The Parent Association committee may advise the Principal and Board of Management on any matters relating to the school in accordance with the Education Act, 1998, – (2)(a).
- The committee will be responsible for seeing that activities are run in an efficient and effective
- The committee will arrange with the Principal and Board of Management an effective system for ongoing two-way
- At the annual general meeting (AGM) the committee will report to the parent body (the members) about its activities during the year and its The treasurer will present a written report of the Income & Expenditure of the PA.
- The PA will prudently manage, and properly account for, any funds collected by its fundraising activities, or expended on its behalf.
FINANCE & FUNDRAISING
The Parent Association committee will finance the activities of the Parent Association through fundraising.
All fundraising for the school by the PA will be done with the prior agreement of the Board of Management as to the specific purposes for which funds are to be raised. All financial aspects of the PA will be governed by the Protocols agreed by the PA itself.
The committee communicates openly with the parents in the schools. There may however be occasions where the school or Board of Management may communicate with the PA committee on issues of a sensitive nature, and such matters must be kept confidential.
MEMBERSHIP OF NATIONAL PARENTS COUNCIL PRIMARY
The Parent Association will maintain membership of National Parents Council Primary by annual subscription.
RATIFICATION & CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION
This constitution was ratified at the AGM of St. Colmcille’s Girls’ National School on ________
Changes to the constitution can be made at the AGM or, if for an urgent reason, an EGM can be called for that specific purpose.
Proposals to change the constitution must be submitted in writing to the Parent Association committee. The Parent Association committee will then circulate these proposals to all parents 1 week before the AGM/EGM. All parents/guardians of children in the school at the meeting are eligible to vote on the proposals.
Basis for the Formation of a Parents Association & Governing Legislation
The Education Act 1998, section 26 provides for the establishment of a Parent’s Association. The following is the relevant governing legislation. Section 26 –
- The parents of students of a recognised school may establish, and
maintain from among their number, a parents’ association for that school and membership of that association shall be open to all parents of students of that school.
- A parents association shall promote the interests of the students in a school in co-operation with the board, Principal, teachers and students of the school and for that purpose may:
|advise the Principal or the board on any matter relating to the school and the Principal or Board, as the case may be, who shall have regard to any such advice, and
adopt a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents, in consultation with the Principal, in the operation of the school.
|A parents’ association shall, following consultation with its members, make rules governing its meetings and the business and conduct of its affairs.
Where a parents’ association is affiliated to a national association of parents, the rules referred to in paragraph (a) shall be in accordance with guidelines issued by that National Association of Parents with the concurrence of the Minister.
St. Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S. has a very active, vibrant and supportive Parents’ Association. Membership of the association is open to all parents and guardians of children in the school. The AGM of the Association is held early in the first term each year, which enables the enrolment of new committee members and the election of new officers. The Parents’ Association aims to work with the Principal, staff and Board of Management to build an effective partnership of home and school.
- Available to attend 4 meetings (one hour in duration) during the school year?
- Interested in meeting other parents with the common goal of supporting the school in its’ work.
Willing to share your skills with the school?
……..Then why not join our Parents’ Association Committee.
We are looking forward to seeing you all there.