In line with the provisions of the Irish Constitution, the Board of Management acknowledges that parents are the primary educators of their children. The Board of Management strives to ensure that parents find the school an open, welcoming, inclusive place. There should be a parents' association in each school.
Parents' associations may choose to affiliate to the National Parents' Council and should be encouraged to do so. The National Parents' Council offers training for Parent Associations on their role and will deliver this training in their school. (NPC Primary Head Office is at 12 Marlborough Court, Dublin 1. Tel 01-887 4034.)
In a spirit of collaboration and trust, parents will recognise that there are areas of school activity that belong to the professional work of the teachers. There will also be a recognition that certain areas of responsibility (e.g. finance) belong to the Board of Management.
- A parents' association is entitled to raise funds for the administration and activities of the association without obtaining approval from the Board of Management.
- Full accounts must be maintained and presented at the parents' association AGM, in accordance with the rules of the association.
- The parents' association should consult with the Board about fundraising for the school or school projects.
- The approval of the Board is needed before these funds are raised.
- The expenditure of these funds is by the Board of Management, in consultation with the parents' association.
- The Board prepares a total account of income and expenditure at the end of each school year and this is available to parents. (Constitution of Boards and Rules of Procedure, Clause 21)
- Any funds raised must be used for the purpose/s for which the money was collected.
- If, in exceptional circumstances, it becomes unnecessary for the Board to use all the funds collected for the purpose specified, the Board will communicate this to the parents' association and, where appropriate, the local community. In any event, the funds must be used for the school. The change of purpose for which the funds are used will be decided by the Board in consultation with the parents' association committee.
Partnership Between the Parents' Association and the Board of Management
Both the Parents’ Association and the Board of Management have the best interests of the child as a common goal in the running of the school. To fulfil their duties as set out in the Education Act, 1998, the Board of Management and the Parents’ Association need to have effective ways of communicating with one another. Ways of communicating between the Parents’ Association and the Board of Management may include:
- An annual meeting, early in each school year, with a jointly planned agenda, to discuss ideas for working together, to share information and to exchange views.
- A social event where parents, teachers, and Board of Management members can meet and get to know one another.
- The Parents’ Association’s committee meeting agenda may include a report [when appropriate] from the parents’ nominees on the Board of Management.
- Meetings between the Chairperson of the Board of Management and the Chairperson of the Parents’ Association committee. The parent nominees elected by parents are not on the Board to represent parents but are there to manage the school. While they may bring a parental perspective to all meetings, their primary function is the managing of the school.