The Parent Association is the structure through which parents/guardians 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 effective partnership of home and school.
Educational research on the involvement of parents in schools shows that children achieve higher levels when parents and teachers work together.
We are continually seeking new volunteers for our wonderful Parents’ Association.. please get in touch if you are willing to volunteer your time for to this invaluable committee.
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 A.
The Education Act, 1998 sets down the role of the parent association.
Under the Education Act, 1998
Section 26. – (1) 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.
(2) A parents’ association shall promote the interests of the students in a school in co-operation with the board, Principal, teachers and students of a school and for that purpose may –
(a) advise the Principal or the board on any matter relating to the school, and the Principal or board, as the case may be, shall have regard to any such advice and
(b) adopt a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents, in consultation with the Principal, in the operation of the school
(3) The board shall promote contact between the school, parents of students in that school and the community and shall facilitate and give all reasonable assistance to parents who wish to establish a parents’ association and to a parents’ association when it is established.
(4) (a) A parents’ association shall, following consultation with its members, make rules governing its meetings and the business and conduct of its affairs.
(b) 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 the national association of parents with the concurrence of the Minister.