Parents Association Constitution

NAME
 – The name of the Association shall be St. Mary’s Primary School (PS) Parents Association hereafter referred to as the PA.

AIM
 – The aim of the PA is to provide a forum for the parents/guardians of children attending St. Mary’s PS, Enfield, to work together in partnership with the Principal, Staff, Board of Management (BOM) and the whole school community, to help provide the best possible education for the children in the school.

ROLE
 – The Education Act, 1998 sets down the role of the parent association:
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 down two broad tasks for a parent association, as ways of implementing that role:
To advise the principal or the BOM 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.

MEMBERSHIP
 – All parents and guardians of pupils of St. Mary’s PS, Enfield shall be deemed to be members of the PA.

COMMITTEE
 – The members of the PA will elect a number of members who will have responsibility for managing the activities of the PA. This team will serve as the committee of the PA and will be elected for a 2 year term. All committee members must complete a Garda Vetting process through the school following election.
There are 4 core officer positions which must be filled in order to form a committee. These are:- Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer And Public Relations Officer [PRO]
The 4 vice positions to the above will also be sought at election but are not mandatory to form the committee. They will be elected in the following order vice-treasurer, vice-chairperson, vice-secretary and vice-PRO. 

The PA shall hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the start of each academic year. At every bi-annual AGM all committee members must step down from their positions. Any interested parents (including previous committee members) can put themselves forward to join the new committee either in writing prior to the AGM or in person at the AGM. In the event of more than one nomination being received for a role, an election will take place. Voting will be by secret ballot and those wishing to vote must be in attendance at the AGM. 

There is no limit to the number of times a member may go forward for re-election, providing they have a child in the school; however it is preferable to maintain a balance of both new and experienced members on the committee. No member of the committee shall hold the same officer position for consecutive terms.
 
Once elected the committee may co-opt people onto the committee to assist in their work. Sub-committees can be set up for particular task, they are accountable to the main committee and should not make decisions unless mandated to do so.
Should a committee member be absent for 3 consecutive ordinary committee meetings without prior communication they shall be deemed to have resigned from the committee. Any member wishing to resign from the committee should inform the Chairperson in writing.

Should officer positions on the committee become vacant during the 2 year term, the vacancy shall be filled from existing committee members who do not currently hold an officer role.

DEFINITION OF ROLES:
CHAIRPERSON:
Chairs meetings and liaises with the principal
Represents the PA in meetings with new parents
Co-ordinates the AGM
Sets the agenda after consultation with the Principal and the Board of Management
Liaises with the Secretary to ensure that all PA members are aware of the contents of the agenda prior to the meeting
Ensures that the minutes are agreed and circulated to the PA by the Secretary
Ensures that items outside the remit of the PA are forwarded to the relevant person or group
Can convene special PA meetings if necessary to discuss issues of serious significance.

SECRETARY:
Minutes the proceedings of each meeting and that of the AGM
Attends meetings with Principal along with the Chairperson
Ensures that the agenda for each full PA meeting is circulated to members at least one week before each meeting
Forwards the minutes to the PA within a week of the meeting
TREASURER:
Keeps the accounts of the PA
Provides each PA meeting with a summary of the accounts
Details fundraising proceeds and the disbursement of funds
Provides a copy of accounts to the AGM in September, outlining expenses incurred and income received from the previous school year.
Liaise with a bank or other financial institutions on behalf of the PA
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER:
Promotes the activities of the PA in the media
Promotes the activities of the PA on social media and the school website
Monitors social media and email correspondence to the PA and is responsible for updates, at the direction of the committee

VICE POSITIONS:
Deputise for the relevant officer.
It is expected that at the end of their term of office all committee officers complete a thorough handover with their incoming equivalent.

Parents nominees elected to the Board of Management are automatically members of the PA committee but will not hold officer positions.

THE WORK OF THE PARENTS ASSOCIATION:
The committee will draw up a plan for the activities of the association, in consultation with the parent body and the Principal. 

The committee will be responsible for seeing that activities are run in an efficient and effective way.

The committee will meet on a regular basis in order to plan and manage the association’s programme of activities. These meetings may be committee-only; however a minimum of 3 meetings per year must be open to the general body of members.
A minimum of 3 committee members are required to take decisions. A simple majority is required to carry a decision. In the event that a clear majority is not forthcoming, the chairperson will have a deciding vote.

The PA reports on its work at the AGM and by publishing meeting agendas and minutes to all parents.

The PA maintains effective communication with the school principal and BOM by meeting with the BOM at the start of each academic year to review the proposed programme of activities, and by meeting with the principal once a term, or more frequently if deemed necessary and with the agreement of the principal. The Chairperson and Secretary should attend the meetings with the principal but if this is not possible any 2 officers of the committee can attend.

The PA manages and accounts for any funds collected by its fundraising activities. Any spending of these funds requires prior approval from the BOM.

It is not the role of the PA or its officers to pursue a complaint on behalf of an individual or a group of parents. However, in the case of a parent approaching the PA with a concern, they will refer the parent to the school’s complaints procedure.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM): 
The AGM should be held before the end of October each year. At least 2 weeks’ notice of the agenda shall be given in writing to all parents in the school. A statement of accounts for the previous school year shall be presented by the PA Treasurer. The AGM agenda shall include a report on the progress of the PA and its sub-committees throughout the previous year and it shall canvass the views of parents on new initiatives.

EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING (EGM):
The committee shall call an EGM when it deems it necessary, on a majority decision, or when a written request to call an EGM is received by an officer of the committee, signed by at least 40 parents and stating the purpose of the proposed meeting. The secretary shall, within one month of receiving such a request, summon the meeting, stating its purpose. EGMs, as for AGMs, shall be held during term time, to allow as many members as possible to attend. Notice to parents shall be given 14 days in advance of all general meetings.

FUNDRAISING AND FINANCES: 
Fundraising for the school is done only with prior agreement of the BOM. The PA will provide its agreed opinion to the BOM on specific projects for which funds are to be raised and used for the benefit of the school. Any spending of PA funds requires the prior approval of the BOM.

MEMBERSHIP OF NATIONAL PARENTS COUNCIL PRIMARY
 – The PA will affiliate to the National Parents Council Primary annually. A committee member to be chosen as the NPC authorised representative who represents the PA in all matters pertaining to membership of NPC and to whom information is sent.

CONFIDENTIALITY: 
The PA represents the views and opinions of parents in the school. Confidentiality is essential as the association would be compromised if there was a breach of trust.

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION:
A review of the constitution to take place every two years when a new committee is elected. Any amendment to the constitution should be passed by a simple majority of those attending either the AGM or an EGM which has been called for the purpose of an amendment. Notice of any proposed amendments should be submitted in writing to the Secretary, not later than 2 weeks before the due date of the

AGM/EGM.

DATE OF RATIFICATION OF CONSTITUTION: 
This constitution was passed at the EGM of St. Mary’s PA on 3rd June 2015.