Galway Educate Together Parent Association Constitution

Ratified: October 13th, 2015


1. The Purpose of the Parent Association (PA)

1.1 The purpose of the Parent Association is to provide a structure through which the parents, guardians and caregivers of children attending Galway Educate Together can contribute to the education of their children, in cooperation and partnership with school staff, Board of Management (Board) and Principal.


2. The Aim of the Parent Association

2.1 The aim of the Parent Association is to enable parents to constructively engage in the school life of their children and to work in partnership with school staff, students, Board of Management and Principal in providing a caring and nurturing educational environment that reflects Educate Togetherís ethos of inclusivity and child-centered learning.

2.2 The Parent Association will promote the interest of the students in co-operation with the Board, Principal, staff and students, in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998. The Education Act, 1998 Section 26 provides:

ď(1) The parents of students of a recognised school may establish, and maintain from among their number, a parentsí association for that school and membership of that association shall be open to all parents of students of that school.

(2) A parentsí association shall promote the interests of the students in a school in co-operation with the board, Principal, teachers and students of the school and for that purpose may

(a) advise the Principal or the board on any matter relating to the school and the Principal or board, as the case may be, who shall have regard to any such advice, and

(b) adopt a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents, in consultation with the Principal, in the operation of the school.

(4) (a) A parentsí association shall, following consultation with its members, make rules governing its meetings and the business and conduct of its affairs.

(b) Where a parentsí association is affiliated to a national association of parents, the rules referred to in paragraph (a) shall be in accordance with guidelines issued by that national association of parents with the concurrence of the Minister.Ē


3. The Role of the Parent Association

3.1  The Parent Association will foster a sense of community by undertaking a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents and which will support students, parents and school staff

3.2  In organizing school events the Parent Association will promote and nurture the schoolís ethos of being multi-denominational, child-centered, co-educational and democratically run

3.3  The Parent Association will provide a communication link between parents/guardians/caregivers, teachers and school management

3.4  The Parent Association may advise the Principal and Board of Management on any matters relating to the school while respecting the school policy on communication between parents, school management and staff

3.5  The Parent Association will support parents/guardians/caregivers in developing skills to facilitate their involvement in school life by organizing training events, talks and other events as appropriate

3.6  The Parent Association will draw up a plan of activities in consultation with parents and in accordance with their wishes

3.7  The Parent Association will consult with the School Principal and Board of Management in relation to Parent Association activities and related matters

3.8  The Parent Association will raise funds to support the activities of the Parent Association and will account for all funds raised and expended.


4. Membership of the Parent Association

4.1 All parents/guardians/caregivers of children attending Galway Educate Together are deemed to be members of the PA.


5. The Committee of the Parent Association

5.1 The members of the Parent Association will elect from among the Parent Association, a number of members who will have responsibility for managing the activities of the Parent Association. This team will serve as the Committee of the Parent Association.


6. Membership of the Parent Association Committee

6.1The Committee shall have a minimum of 10 members. Where possible there will be at least one member from each class in the school.

6.3 The Committee members with include a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary.

6.4 Parent representatives elected to the school Board of Management are automatically ex-officio members of the Committee.


7. Committee Members

7.1 Members of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Each member will be elected for one year. Members may go forward for election for further terms but shall not serve more than three consecutive terms.

7.2 Parents of children from each class may nominate representatives to the Committee at the AGM or in advance of the AGM by writing to the Parent Association. The Committee will endeavor to ensure that each class is represented.

7.3 Candidates can volunteer/be proposed and must be seconded by a member of the Parent Association. In the case of more candidates than Committee places the candidates with the highest number of votes will be deemed to be appointed to the Committee. Each member of the Parent Association has one vote.

7.4 Membership of the Committee shall cease upon the following conditions:

(a) when a memberís child/children cease to be pupils of Galway Educate Together

(b) written notification by the Committee member that they wish to withdraw from the Committee

(b) gross* or criminal misconduct

*Note: Gross misconduct may include but is not limited to, willfully misrepresenting the Committee for personal financial gain.


8. Co-options and subcommittees

8.1 If the Committee membership falls below the minimum number the Committee has the option to co-opt new members during the school year.

8.2 The Committee may also co-opt people onto the Committee to assist in their work. Subcommittees can be set up for particular tasks. The subcommittee may also co-opt people to assist in their work. All subcommittees are accountable to the main Committee and must refer policy or financial decisions to the main Committee.


9. Committee Meetings

9.1 Office holders will be elected at the first meeting of the Committee after the AGM. Office holders will include a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary.

9.2 The quorum for a Committee meeting shall be at least 5 members.

9.3 The Committee shall annually agree procedures for its own meetings. The proceedings will be based on best practice following the guidelines kept on record with the Committee.

9.4 Meetings shall be held as required. Committee members must ordinarily be given at least 5 working daysí notice of meetings. Notice shall include the date, time, location and agenda for the meeting.

9.5 Minutes shall be kept by the Secretary. The minutes shall be read at the next respective meeting, proposed and seconded by those attending and signed by the chair and the recording secretary at the meeting at which they are read.

9.6 Minutes will be posted on the school website and PA notice board within a week of the meeting.


10. Roles of Committee Officers

(A) Chairperson

a) Responsible for ensuring that the rules of the Committee are followed.

b) Prepares the agenda for the meetings with the Secretary.

c) Chairs all meetings and moderates on all discussions to ensure all attendees are afforded an equal opportunity to contribute to the business of the meeting.

d) Presents the chairpersonís report at the AGM.

e) Ensures that the work is shared and that teamwork is reviewed.

f) Helps the committee to have clear vision and goals.

g) Represents the Parents Association at any formal occasion or nominates someone in their place if needed

h) Signs the minutes of the previous meeting when approved by the committee as a record of the business and decisions of that meeting.


(B) Secretary

a) Records the minutes of meetings including matters arising.

b) Helps the chairperson prepare the annual report for the AGM.

c) Notifies committee members of forthcoming meetings.

d) Forwards minutes of the last meeting and the agenda for the next meeting.

e) Coordinates help for Parent Association activities.

f) Prepare the agenda for meetings in consultation with the Chairperson.

g) Ensures an attendance record of all attendees is completed for all committee meetings.


(C) Treasurer

a) Shall keep an accurate record of money received and disbursed by the committee.

b) Shall act as a co-signatory on all cheques drawn on the Parent Association account.

c) Shall present financial reports to the Committee at agreed intervals.


11. Finance

11.1 A Treasurer will be appointed from among the Committee members and will be responsible for keeping account of the income and expenditure of the Parent Association finances. The Treasurer will give a statement of income and expenditure at each committee meeting.

11.2 A written statement of income and expenditure will be given at the AGM and a copy will be forwarded to the Board of Management for their information.

11.3 The Parent Association will keep a bank account in its name. Each cheque issued requires two signatures.The Treasurer and at least one other assigned member of the committee must sign all cheques drawn on the account.

11.4 The Parent Association will finance its activities through fundraising. Fundraising for the school by the Parent Association will be done with the prior agreement of the school Board.The Parent Association committee will agree with the school Board as to the specific purposes for which funds are to be raised by the Parent Association.


12. Membership of National Parents Council Primary

The Parent Association shall affiliate to the National Parents Council Primary annually.


13. Annual General Meetings, Extraordinary General Meetings and Committee Meetings

13.1 Notice of meetings: Advance notice of meetings shall be provided to all members of the Parent Association with 10 working daysí notice required for AGMs and EGMs and 5 working daysí notice required for ordinary committee meetings. Notice must be communicated to all members of the PA in a timely manner so as to allow members the opportunity to attend. Notice of meetings should include the time, date and location of meetings and the agenda for the meeting.


13.2 AGM: The AGM will take place annually once in every calendar year and not more than fifteen months after the previous AGM. The quorum for the AGM shall be 10% of the number of families with children attending the School.


13.2.1 The business to be transacted at the AGM shall consist of:


         Presenting the accounts and balance sheet of the Parent Association

         Reports from committee members as appropriate, including review of work of the previous year

         Minutes of previous AGM

         Election of new members to the Committee

         Any other business as appropriate. Items for inclusion under AOB must be submitted to the Chair at least 5 working days before the AGM.



13.3. EGM: An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) can be called by the Parent Association Committee or by the Parent Association Committee at the request in writing of at least 20 members of the Parent Association. The quorum for an EGM shall be at least 10% of the number of families with children attending the school.


13.4 Chair at Meetings: At all general meetings, annual, special and open, the chairperson or committee member designated by the chair shall preside. If he/she shall not be present within fifteen minutes of the appointed time the members present shall choose a member of the Committee to preside. If no such member is present or willing, the meeting can choose any other member of the PA willing to do so.


14. Changing the Constitution

14.1 The Parent Association Constitution will be reviewed by the Committee on a regular basis. Reviews should normally take place every 3 years but must at a minimum take place at least once every 5 years.

14.2 Changes to the Constitution can be made at the AGM or, if for an urgent reason, an EGM can be called for that specific purpose.

14.3 Changes to the Constitution can be proposed by the Parent Association Committee or by members of the Parent Association. Where changes are proposed by members of the Parent Association the changes must be supported by at least 6 members and must be submitted in writing to the Parent Association committee. The Parent Association Committee will then circulate these proposals to all parents before the AGM/EGM.††

14.4 All parents/guardians/caregivers of children in the school at the meeting are eligible to vote on the proposals.

14.5 The quorum for the AGM/EGM applies i.e. 10% of the number of families with children attending at the school. Changes to the Constitution must be approved by at least 60% of those present at the meeting.


15. Correspondence

15.1 Correspondence made on behalf of the Committee and or Parent Association shall be the responsibility of the secretary of the Committee. All correspondence shall be undertaken in consultation with the chairperson.