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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Parents' Clubs

Policy

This policy sets out the requirements for the establishment and operation of all school parents’ clubs.

Summary

  • A Victorian government school parents’ club:
    • must be established and operated in accordance with the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic) (the Regulations) and Department policy
    • is not a subcommittee of the school council
    • has no legal powers, functions or formally prescribed powers or duties
    • must adopt the Model Parents’ Club Constitution which must be approved by the Minister or Minister’s delegate
  • For information on fundraising activities, refer to Fundraising Activities (including fetes)

Details

Role of a parents’ club

Parents’ clubs (alternatively called parents’ associations) promote the welfare of, and provide support to, the school and its community. Parents are key partners in their child’s learning. By interacting with the school and other parents, parents’ club members can use their skills and experience to work collaboratively with others in supporting the school and its students, and build a sense of community within the school. 

The role of a parents’ club is threefold:

  • to provide support, in various forms, for the school, its students and community, including raising funds for the benefit of the school
  • to work in cooperation with the principal, staff and school council in building effective partnerships between home and school
  • to encourage diversity by getting to know the parents of other children at the school, and to support the operation of the school

A parents’ club is not a subcommittee of the school council. Parents’ clubs have no legal powers, functions or formally prescribed powers or duties and must ensure they operate in accordance with the Regulations and have a Ministerially approved Constitution. The Constitution must be consistent with the template Model Parents’ Club Constitution published by the Secretary from time to time — refer to Model Parents’ Club Constitution. Parents’ clubs must operate in accordance with the rules and procedures set out in their Constitution.

Schools and parents interested in forming a parents’ club must follow the Guidance for Parents’ Clubs, on the Guidance tab, which provides information on:

  • Forming a parents’ club
  • Operational requirements
  • Financial management
  • Dissolving a parents’ club
  • Resolving conflict

Working with the principal and school council

Parents’ clubs are most effective when there is a close and cooperative working relationship with the principal and school council. This can be achieved by:

  • providing opportunities for regular updates and discussion between the parents’ club, principal and school council
  • principals (and school council where required) providing feedback when the club is planning social, educational or fundraising activities
  • encouraging discussion about, and an understanding of, a wide range of issues relating to broader general education and student welfare matters
  • inviting parents’ club members on sub-committees of the school council
  • offering a position on school council in the community member category, where appropriate to do so, to a parents’ club representative
  • utilising the parents’ club as a reliable mechanism for parent feedback on school policy and initiatives, to assist in school and school council decision-making

Typical activities of a parents’ club

In performing their role, parents’ clubs may undertake a variety of social, cultural, educational or fundraising activities. Parents’ club members, working with the principal, provide invaluable support to the school in a number of ways with the primary motivation of building a sense of community. Such activities may include:

  • participating in discussion, plans and activities for events such as:
    • welcoming new students and parents at the school
    • second-hand book and uniform schemes
    • social opportunities such as Father's Day breakfast, Mother's Day high tea
    • comedy or movie nights
    • twilight markets
    • bush dances
    • barbeques
    • parent information sessions
  • promoting cultural and social diversity by encouraging membership and participation of all parents in parents’ clubs
  • channeling parents’ views to the school leadership about school policies that have been identified by the school for review, such as anti-bullying, student engagement and wellbeing and codes of behaviour
  • raising funds for the school with the prior approval of the school council (for example: installing shade sails, upgrading library books or computers)

Relevant legislation

Department policy outlining the required process for the establishment and operation of school parents' clubs

Reviewed 14 October 2020

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

Scope

  • Schools
  • School councils

Contact

School Operations and Governance Unit

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