Role of a parents’ club
Parents’ clubs (alternatively called parents’ associations) promote the welfare of, and provide support to, the school and its community. Parents are key partners in their child’s learning. By interacting with the school and other parents, parents’ club members can use their skills and experience to work collaboratively with others in supporting the school and its students and build a sense of community within the school.
The aims and objectives of a parents’ club is to work in cooperation with the principal and school council to:
- contribute to the wellbeing of the school community
- encourage the participation of all parents in the life of the school and the education of their children
- provide opportunities for parents to get to know each other and to be informed about their child’s school
- provide opportunities for parents to extend their understanding of school operations, and general education policy
- contribute to proposals on school policy and other educational issues (as identified or discussed with the principal or school council)
- raise funds for the benefit of the school (optional).
A parents’ club is not a subcommittee of the school council. Parents’ clubs have no legal powers, functions or formally prescribed powers or duties and must ensure they operate in accordance with the Regulations and have a ministerially approved constitution. The constitution must be consistent with the template Model Parents’ Club Constitution published by the Secretary from time to time – refer to Model Parents’ Club Constitution (DOCX). Parents’ clubs must operate in accordance with the rules and procedures set out in their constitution.
Working with the principal and school council
Parents’ clubs are most effective when there is a close and cooperative working relationship with the principal, other school staff and school council.
This can be achieved by:
- providing opportunities for regular updates and discussion between the parents’ club, principal, other school staff and school council
- principals (and school council where required) providing feedback when the club is planning social, educational or fundraising activities
- encouraging discussion about, and an understanding of, a wide range of issues relating to broader general education and student welfare matters
- inviting parents’ club members on sub-committees of the school council
- offering a position on school council in the community member category, where appropriate to do so, to a parents’ club representative
- utilising the parents’ club as a reliable mechanism for parent feedback on school policy and initiatives, to assist in school and school council decision-making.
Typical activities of a parents’ club
In performing their role, parents’ clubs may undertake a variety of social, cultural, educational or fundraising activities. Parents’ club members, working with the principal, provide invaluable support to the school in a number of ways with the primary motivation of building a sense of community. Such activities may include:
- promoting cultural and social diversity by encouraging membership and participation of all parents in parents’ clubs
- channelling parents’ views to the school leadership about school policies that have been identified by the school for review
- discussing, planning and organising events such as:
- welcoming new students and parents at the school
- second-hand book and uniform schemes
- social opportunities
- comedy or movie nights
- twilight markets
- bush dances
- parent information sessions
- raising funds for the school with the prior approval of the school council.