The Parent’s Association in a school works with the principal, staff and board of management to build effective co-operation and partnership between home and school.
The role of the Parents’ Association is set down in the Education Act 1998 as follows:
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 out two broad tasks for a Parents’ Association which are:
1. To advise the Principal or the Board on matters relating to the school
2. To adopt a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents in the operation of the school, in consultation with the Principal.
To operate effectively as a Parents’ Association, you need to have mechanisms in place whereby you can establish the views of the parents and pupils on matters relating to the school. In this way you can select activities that will promote parental and student involvement.
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. Usually, the parents who are elected to the committee manage the responsibilities of the Parents’ Association on behalf of the other parents. The formation of the committee is usually determined by the size of the school and the activities to be undertaken.