Role and Constitution of the Parents’ Association and Committee
We the Parents and Guardians of pupils of Balrothery National School acknowledge that: “The staff and board of management of Balrothery National school want to create a climate of physical, emotional, social and intellectual safety for students, teachers and parents so that teaching and learning can occur within relationships of mutual valuing and respect.” As the most invested party in the education of our children, we agree to support and promote this ethos, and further agree to adopt a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents in the operation of the school, in consultation with the Principal, for the benefit of the students. This work shall be carried out by the selected representatives of the Parents Association who make up the Parents Committee. We will endeavour to engage in fundraising activities for the betterment of our children and the school.
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:
“A Parents' Association shall promote the interests of the students in a school in co-operation with the board, principal, teachers and students.”
We constitute ourselves as an Association, heretoafter named the Parents Association of Balrothery National School, as follows:
All parents/guardians of the students of Balrothery National School are members of the Parents Association of Balrothery National School.
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. In order to ensure effective management and oversight of the purpose and function of the association, a committee is established. The parents who participate on the committee manage the responsibilities of the Parents' Association on behalf of the other parents.
As such the following constitution outlines the establishment, purpose and function of the Balrothery National School Parents Committee
The committee is the team that will manage the tasks of the parents’ association on behalf of the parent body (the members). Decisions will be reached by a majority vote of those present at a committee meeting.
The aims of The Parents' Committee, as elected by the Parents Association (i.e. the Parent Body) is as follows:
- To assist in furthering the objectives of the school.
- To encourage and facilitate the participation of parents in promoting the well-being and interests of the pupils of the school.
- To fundraise for the school, in order to provide a learning environment for our children with up to date technology and facilities. All fundraising activities shall be agreed upon following consultation with the Board of Management in advance.
- In planning its activities the parents’ association will consult with the principal.
- To be involved in development of school policy, plans and activities, following consultation with the school principal.
- To work, through affiliation, with regional or national bodies representing parents where such affiliation would be in the best interests of the pupils, school and parents. The decision to affiliate to any such body will be at the discretion of the Committee and The Board of Management (as per WSE recommendations).
- The selection of the Parents Committee shall take place each year at the Annual General Meeting from the general parent body.
- From the parents committee, the Executive Committee shall be elected for a two year period.
- Nominations for participation on the Parents Committee shall be requested from the members of the Parents Association (i.e. the Parent Body) prior to the AGM. The parents of all students will be encouraged and supported to nominate themselves to participate on the Committee.
- If a member does not attend three consecutive Committee meetings, without good reason, he/she will be deemed to have resigned from the Committee. He/she may return to the Committee following consultation with the Executive Committee.
- Each class shall have one parent or guardian, selected by the parents/guardians of that class, as a representative on the Committee.
- In the event of a member of the Committee resigning or if a particular class does not elect a representative at the AGM, the Committee may co-opt a parent/guardian to the vacancy until the next AGM.
- As a fair and equal representative of the parental population the Committee will then elect the core Executive Committee who will be responsible for the management and oversight of the functions of the committee.
2.3 Executive Committee
- At its first meeting the Committee shall elect, for a term of two years, the Executive Committee namely a Chairperson, a Secretary and Treasurer (x2) from amongst its members. A simple majority will determine the outcome of the election for those posts. In the event of a tie the matter shall be decided by the drawing of lots.
- The members of the Executive Committee may hold the positions for two successive terms totaling no more than 4 years in the same position. They may be re-elected in an alternate position. They must be re-elected by the members of the Committee after each 2 year term.
- If for any reason an officer is unable or unwilling to continue to act the Committee shall elect a replacement from amongst its members at the next available opportunity.
- Committee meetings shall be chaired by the chairperson, or by the Secretary in the absence of the chairperson. If neither is in attendance the members present shall elect a chair for the meeting.
- The agenda for each meeting can be contributed to by any and all members of the Committee.
- The Secretary shall record the minutes of the meeting for approval at the next meeting.
- Minutes shall be circulated to all non-attending committee members in advance of the next meeting.
- The Committee shall hold at least one meeting each term. Thirty three percent of its membership shall constitute a quorum for any Committee meeting.
- The Committee may, at its discretion, set up any sub-committee it deems necessary for specific purposes.
- All decisions of the Committee shall be decided by a simple majority of all members voting on an issue and in the event of a tied vote the Chairperson shall have a casting vote
3.2 Annual General Meeting/Extraordinary General Meeting
The committee will report to the parent body (the members) about the work of the committee at the Annual General Meeting (AGM)
- An Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the members of the Parents’ Association shall be held before the end of October each year.
- At least two weeks notice of the date of the AGM shall be given, in writing, to the members of the Parents’ Association.
- The notice shall include the agenda for the AGM.
- A report on the activities of the Parents’ Association and on its financial position shall be presented to the AGM
- Notification of upcoming vacancies on the Committee shall be circulated to parents and guardians in the classes where vacancies exist at least two weeks before the AGM.
- Any parent or guardian interested in participating on the Committee shall inform the Chairperson of the Association in within one week of the Annual General Meeting. A list of those parents who are interested in participating on the Committee shall be distributed at the AGM. This information shall also be shared with parents/guardians in the school newsletter.
- Each parent or guardian shall be entitled to nominate themselves for participation on the Committee.
- Any amendment to the constitution should be passed by a simple majority of those attending the AGM.
- Proposals/motions to change the constitution must be submitted in writing to the parents’ association committee in good time. The parents’ association committee will then circulate these motions to all parents before the AGM. All parents/guardians of children attending the school and who are present at the meeting are eligible to vote on the proposals.
- Where necessary an EGM may be called. Reasons for an EGM may include: changes to the constitution, changes to the Executive Committee, changes to the role and functions of the Parents Association, issues relating to the management of the Committee finance.
- An EGM shall be convened by the Committee upon the request of a minimum of 5 Parents. The request shall be submitted to the Secretary or Chairperson.
- At least two weeks notice of the date of the EGM shall be given, in writing, to the members of the Parents’ Association.
- This request shall outline the purpose of the meeting, and provide details of all motions that parents/guardians propose to raise at the EGM.
- Any member of the parents association may submit motions to be raised at the EGM. Such motions must be submitted to the Secretary 7 days in advance of the meeting.
- Parents who attend the EGM in person are eligible to vote on the motions, with one vote per parent per motion. Motions shall be carried by a simple majority of Parents in attendance.
- The Committee shall apply all other funds raised by it to further the aims of the Parents’ Association as agreed by the Board of Management . All funds include any surplus of income over expenditure. The Committee will endeavor to maintain a modest surplus at the end of each financial year.
- The financial year for the Parents’ Association accounts shall be 1 September to 31 August. Annual financial accounts shall be prepared for each financial year and presented to members of the Parents’ Association at the next AGM.
- The accounts shall make provision for expenses incurred and not yet paid, and income earned and not yet received.
- A copy of the annual financial accounts shall be forwarded to the Board of Management once approved by the Parents’ Committee in advance of the AGM.
- The Committee shall prepare an income and expenditure plan for each year no later than 1st December of that year.
- Cheques drawn on the Parents’ Association account shall be signed by two signatories. Authorised signatories shall be the Treasurers, or in the absence of the Treasurer, another nominated Officer of the Committee.