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Starting a Parent Association

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CSPA would recommend that parents form a Parent Association in consultation with the Principal of a school.  This can lead to a good working relationship.  The first step is for a number of parents to get together to plan an AGM.  It is always good to have a speaker on a topic that is of interest to parents.  You must send every parent notification of this meeting; it’s content and your intention to form a Parent Association.

Every Parent Association needs a Constitution and CSPA have a suggested constitution for Parents Associations.  Whatever constitution you choose should be distributed to the parents present at the meeting for acceptance as the Constitution of your school. 

Every parent in the school is a member of the Parents Association.  You need to elect a committee from these members.  You can choose to elect members to the committee and decide who holds what position at the first committee meeting or you can elect individuals to positions at the AGM.  It is always best to try to elect a representative from each year or class to the committee though this is not always possible.  Some schools elect parents according to the local areas.  Each school must decide what is best for them. 

CSPA has produced a leaflet with some basic Guidelines for Parent Associations.
 

Newsflash

CSPA
A VOICE FOR PARENTS IN EDUCATION

We need your support to support you
Our President David Hegarty sent out the following letter to our Schools in 2014 and it indicates a movement towards a more engaged National representative organisation and how future funding is to be organised.
 

Dear Chairperson,

As you are probably aware, the CSPA has been working for a number of years now with the NPCpp (National Parents Council – post primary) to develop a structure for representing all Parents in a more ‘professional’ capacity – akin to the way teachers are represented by their Unions, Principals are represented by the NAPD, and Boards of School Management are represented by the JMB.

 

The CSPA (The Congress of Catholic Schools Parent associations) is your voluntary representative organisation and has four parents sitting as Directors of the NPCpp representing Parents interests in a voluntary capacity on the National stage.  The commitments necessary to represent parents nationally in a voluntary capacity in no longer tenable in todays’ society, and hence the need to adequately fund NPCpp in the same manner that school management and teachers are funded.

 

In this regard, your school would have received a request to affiliate to the NPCpp on the basis of a single €1 per child per year basis.  Notwithstanding the significant demands on the finances of our schools, it is our parents who provide significant additional financial support to our schools.   The addition of a single fundraising event by your school of a ‘non-uniform’ day for €1 per student would serve to provide the necessary support required.

 

The initiative to ‘professionalise’ the way parents are represented has the support of all other representative organisations for Management, Principals and Teachers. To further this support, the Minister for education and his Department have written to state that “Where a school’s parents association is affiliated to the National Parents Council Post Primary, the school management authorities in those schools may meet the cost of affiliation fees paid on behalf of the parents association in their school to the National Parents Council Post Primary. While any such payment is at the discretion of the school authorities, the Department would consider the payment of this affiliation fee is an appropriate charge on school funds”.

 

School’s management is represented by way of an annual levy by their professional representative body (JMB) and that payment is also deemed to be “…..an appropriate charge on school fund”.  All we are asking for is to be able to represent its parent nationally in the same way as all our other Education Partners.

 

All Parents need adequate support, and we are appealing to your committee to request that your Board of Management sanction the provision of funds. Enclosed, please find other support documentation outlining the case for Parents.

 

With warmest regards,

 

David Hegarty – President - CSPA