Establishing a P&F
Establishing a P&F Association
Formation of a Parents & Friends Association is an integral part of the establishment of a new school. Once the school principal has been appointed, interim committees of parents are formed to assist in the planning of the new school. Leaders of these interim committees form the main Interim Committee, working with the principal (and teachers once the school has commenced) in the interest of the school.
The Interim Committee
- Meets with the diocesan Parents & Friends Executive and/or the Parents & Friends Executive officer to plan and share information prior to the official establishment of a Parents & Friends Association
- Invites members of established P&F Committees of neighbouring schools to one of these meetings, to share their helpful experiences
- Calls a public meeting to inform all members of the community what a Parents & Friends Association is
- Works with the school principal and staff to plan a series of education/induction meetings to prepare the school community for the P & F Association
Formation of the P & F
Following the education/training sessions a public meeting is called to establish a P & F Association. The meeting:
- Elects office bearers
- Adopts a constitution (a model is available on this website)
- Establishes a number of committees as required; others are formed as time progresses and other needs arise.
The sub-committee structure is recommended because it:
- Spreads the authority and responsibility
- Enables more people to contribute in areas suited to their interests and skills
- Enables parents and teachers to work together
- Allows for meeting arrangements to be convenient to the group
- Confines business at general monthly meeting to a program, reports and special business.
Sub-Committees that are recommended to be created at the time of the Association being established could include:
- Pastoral Care
- Vision and Mission
- Information Technology and Communication
- School Curriculum And Information
- Social And Sporting
- Political Action
- Grounds And Maintenance
- Adult and religious
- Finance and fundraising
- Communication - with the Diocesan P&F, the Federation office. Contact with the neighbouring P&F Committees is often helpful.
The P & F Association should be flexible in its operation, with parents and teachers seeking the most appropriate ways of addressing the needs of the particular community.
- The sub-committee structure is recommended because it
- spreads the authority and responsibility
- enables more people to contribute in areas suited to their interests and skills
- enables parents and teachers to work together
- allows for meeting arrangements to be convenient to the group
- confines business at general monthly meeting to a program, reports and special business.
Some of the suggested Sub-committees roles might be:
Assisting and being aware of community members in need. Activities may include:
- Welcoming for new families
- Visiting of families who are housebound
- Casserole Bank for families with new babies, illness, deaths etc.
- Car pools for families with no access to transport to school or parish
Vision and Mission
Participating in the decisions and development about:
- What the school community’s aspirations are for the future and its goals.
- Translating that vision into a written statement of priorities and specific objectives for the school
Information Technology and Communication
- Planning for future IT needs in the school
- Assisting with expert advice on equipment purchases
Activities which help form and promote community:
- Organising refreshments at parent / teacher conferences, open days, working bees, orientation days etc
- Holding regular “cuppa” and “chat” days
- Organizing a calendar of events for the school year (e.g. Mother’s and Father’s Day stalls, dances, sports events, P&F family camp-outs etc)
Monitoring situations which may require lobbying includes:
- Maintaining regular communication with Local Councillors, State and Federal members of parliament (which includes meetings with sitting members)
- Keeping alert to information from the Federation Office (via “News In Brief”)
- Reviewing lobbying techniques (e.g. the “Political Action for Parents Packages” produced by the Federation Office
Read more about political action.
Grounds and Maintenance
- Organise working bees
- Develop long-term environment plans in collaboration with the school administration
- Seek representation on the Workplace Health and Safety Committee
- Establish a maintenance policy and procedure
School Curriculum and Information
- Actively seek and communicate opportunities for parents to join decision-making groups at the local school level (e.g. task forces, working parties, committees for Equity, Sports, Curriculum etc)
- Relay to parents those same opportunities that occur at other levels (e.g. Board of Senior Secondary School Studies, Queensland Schools Curriculum Council, Queensland Catholic Education Commission etc)
Information on the role and responsibilities of parents who are willing to have their names put forward for representation may be obtained from the Federation office.
Adult and Religious Education
- Liaise with the school’s Head of Religious Education, the Assistant to the Principal, Religious Education (APRE)
- Explore opportunities for parents to further their own religious education through the school, parish and the wider community
- Promote and organise prayer / liturgy for all meetings of the parent body
- Promote parent attendance at school liturgical and Eucharistic celebrations
- Publish a separate P&F newsletter or contribute a regular column to the school newsletter
- Liaise with school administration, all P&F Sub-Committees and the parish office, any parents in representative roles on committees, and also with the Diocesan P&F Councils and the Federation Office
- Arrange for information from the Federation’s Secretariat to be placed in school Newsletters.
The P&F Association is flexible in its operation, with parents and teachers seeking the most appropriate ways of addressing the needs of the particular community.