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Thread: Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime purp

  1. #1

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    Default Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime purp

    So I grew up in UK and my view of parents association is based on that (called Parents and Teachers Association there - not sure if that distinction is relevant or not) - DD has just started school and the PA seems a bit random. I am getting more involved, but just interested to know - do most schools have one? What percentage of parents would attend? Would you describe it as active in the school environment? What sort of stuff does it do/discuss apart from fundraising? Do you think they are important?


  2. #2

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    Default Re: Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime

    Ours is called a Parents and Citizens Association (P&C). In our school their role is pretty much fundraising to buy extra resources for the school or to help fund capital works around the grounds - last year we finally got a covered walk way for the bus students to use when walking to and from the front gate. Took them ages to raise money for that. They also run the second hand uniform pool as well. This year they paid for a full set of formal school uniforms for our captains and prefects to wear for special occasions and assemblies. They were also the ones pushing to change the schol uniform a few years ago. How well supported it is really depends on the parents we have at the school - some years there are heaps of people involved and other years they are scraping for numbers. it's usually dependent on how well liked the exec committee is as to how many people they get involved. I've never gotten overly involved in them because I've always been involved in other committees and don't have the time, but I did take a role on the committee of my eldest kid's high school this year (in a welfare role that I'm familiar with because I'm a teacher and understand the policy documents) I'd say the level of involvement in the school depends on both the school and the committee. At the school I work at where my kids go for primary school, it's not a huge involvement - just working away quietly in the background, but with the highschool that my eldest two attend the P&C is a huge deal and they have a lot of input into things.

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    Default Re: Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime

    Thanks for the reply Trillian - what do you think it says if they can't get a committee together e.g. no one stood for positions?

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    Default Re: Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime

    At the school we have just left, the Parents and Friends committee was primarily for fund raising and doing nice things for the kids.

    So they would raise money for big and small projects
    Run things like soup days, pies days, toastie days for the kids (no canteen to days like that were pretty important)
    Organise school BBQ's for families
    Manage the uniform exchange.

    All this had to be approved by school council, so they could not just do what they wanted, but generally Council approved everything.

    Ours struggled for members, smaller school, but two members were very painful to work with, one excruciatingly so, who sadly was is the President. Basically she was so up her self and rude to everyone, she genuinely believed she was right and felt sorry for anyone who could not see her way. There were parents eager to help, but refuse to work with her.

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    Default Re: Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime

    Did the PA President sit on the school Council? When they talk about the PA being a conduit into school Council for raising issues and suggestions (not individual child stuff more general), but not fundraising - did it generally work like that or does stuff go straight to school council? I get the impression that people think the PA can't do anything but fundraise (and the school/parents are great at that) so people don't see any value.

    My experience with starting the school last year was so rubbish, I vowed that I would endeavor to change for future parents. Some things have been addressed after raising concerns directly with principal, but to me that seems a strange way of dealing with issues - I would have thought funneling through the PA would result in better more thought through solutions and less work for the principal - but perhaps it just doesn't work that way. Isn't part of the PA about feedback and ideas from the parent community?

    Hope all going well Astrid.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime

    Ours is also fundraising and so forth.

    Id join but the president used to run our playgroup, and that ended badly

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    Default Re: Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime

    At Catholic Schools they are called the Parents & Friends (P&F) Association while State Schools are P&C's, at least in QLD.

    I am the Treasurer of our P&F and it is difficult to get enough parents committed to coming to the monthly meetings. We have 4 people on the P&F (President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary). We only have another 3 parents who turn up regularly to the meetings who had all held positions in the P&F in the past. It does seem to be the same parents who commit every year. We work closely with the Executive Committee at the school. In our case, that is the Principal and two Deputy Principals who attend every meeting.

    Basically we are the fundraising arm of the school. Without the P&F, no fundraising can be done and all of the costs must be borne by the school usually funded via school fees. We do fundraising such as Rides Days, markets, sausage sizzles, family photo days etc. The money collected goes directly back to the school via buying iPads for every classroom, touch screen interactive whiteboards in every classroom etc. Our last donation to the school was to help fund the refurbishment of the play area for the Grades 2 to 4. The P&F donated $110,000 so the school could organise a smaller loan to fund the rest of the works. This amount took a few years to accumulate. Our next project is the play area for the Grades 5 and 6 plus the school fašade.

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    Default Re: Parents Associations - how do they work, what is their prime

    Quote Originally Posted by wysiwyg View Post
    Did the PA President sit on the school Council? When they talk about the PA being a conduit into school Council for raising issues and suggestions (not individual child stuff more general), but not fundraising - did it generally work like that or does stuff go straight to school council? I get the impression that people think the PA can't do anything but fundraise (and the school/parents are great at that) so people don't see any value.

    My experience with starting the school last year was so rubbish, I vowed that I would endeavor to change for future parents. Some things have been addressed after raising concerns directly with principal, but to me that seems a strange way of dealing with issues - I would have thought funneling through the PA would result in better more thought through solutions and less work for the principal - but perhaps it just doesn't work that way. Isn't part of the PA about feedback and ideas from the parent community?
    .
    The current President did not sit on school council, but a number of council members were part of the P&F sub committee. It was a requirement that all sub committees had at least one member of council.

    There were multiple committees, one which was not a standard committee, but will be recommended to other schools, was the Building our school community committee. That would be more the committee for working on how families integrate into the school. I know we worked on flyers, feedback to teachers about our own experiences and how things could be improved and what worked. We also worked on a parents area and were generally concerned with the wellbeing of students and families.

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