Parent Council Constitution
1) This is the constitution of the Yester Parent Council (the Council).
2) The Yester Parent Council is a representative group of parents and school staff. Parent members of the Council are selected to represent all Yester Primary School parents, who are collectively referred to as the Parent Forum.
Aims and Objectives
3) The aims of the Council are:
- To support the school in its work with pupils.
- To represent the views of the parents.
- To strive for effective communication between the school, parents, pupils and providers of nursery education and the community.
- To promote the values and ethos of the school.
- To actively support the school through fundraising.
4) The objectives of the Council are:
- To promote partnerships between the school, pupils, parents, the community and the Local Authority.
- To develop and engage in activities which support the school in relation to the education and welfare of the pupils.
- To identify and represent the views of parents on education provided by the school and other matters affecting the education and welfare of the pupils.
- The Council will be open and inclusive and will broaden membership to ensure that it is as representative of the Parent Forum as possible.
- To work in partnership with the school to create a welcoming school which is inclusive for all parents.
- To encourage parental involvement through open meetings and other opportunities.
5) Membership of the Council will be made up of the following:
- 4 office bearers, including a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Fundraising Liaison.
- 9 class representatives (one for each class and for both morning and afternoon nursery)
- Headteacher and 2 other members of staff
- Optional community member(s)
6) It is hoped a community member will join the Council, for example from the Gifford Community Council or a school business partner.
7) Yester pupils will not be members of the Council but may, from time to time, be invited to represent their views.
8 ) A Clerk will be appointed and he or she will be paid for carrying out the Clerk’s duties. The Clerk will be free to contribute to meetings but will not be able to vote.
9) The Headteacher, or his/her representative, will be present at all meetings of the Council.
10) The local councillors will be invited to attend meetings but will not be voting members.
11) The minimum and maximum number of members on the Council will be 8 and 18 respectively.
Selection of Members
12) Office bearers will be appointed for a period of two years, after which they may put themselves forward for re-election if they wish. Selection of office bearers will be arranged on a rotating basis.
13) Class representatives will serve for a minimum of 1 year, with the option to extend, subject to 16) below.
14) Any parent with a child at the school can be nominated to serve as a parent member of the Council. The term ‘parent member’ refers to both office bearers and class representatives.
15) If there are more volunteers than vacancies, office bearers will be elected by balloting the Parent Forum. Nominations should be in writing and each applicant should have a nominee. A statement of up to 250 words may accompany the nomination and will be circulated to parents in the event of a ballot.
16) If more than one person puts their name forward as class representative a name will be drawn from a hat. Selection will be carried out in each classroom.
17) Individuals can only hold one position on the Council at any one time.
18) All members of the Parent Forum may take part in the selection of office bearers for the Council and all parents in each class may volunteer to be a class representative. Parents will have two weeks to make their selection of office bearers from the time the candidates are announced.
19) All teaching staff may take part in the selection of teaching members.
Termination of Membership
20) A member of the Council may resign at any time by giving notice in writing to the Chair.
21) Parent members of the Council must have a child at the school. Where this is no longer the case the parent member will automatically lose their place on the Council.
22) Should a member of the Council act in a way that is considered by other members of the Council to undermine its objectives, their membership of the Council will be terminated if the majority of the members agree. Termination of membership will be confirmed in writing to the member within ten working days of the decision being taken.
23) Upon termination of a membership the Council may co-opt an additional member until the time of the next elections.
24) A Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Fundraising Liaison will be appointed by the Council members. All members of the Council will take part in the vote to select the Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer and Fundraising Liaison.
25) To provide continuity, the Chair of the outgoing School Board and another parent member with the relevant training will continue on the Council for the first year, serving alongside two newly appointed office bearers. The Chair and the other former Board member will resign and be replaced after one year. Thereafter new office bearers will be appointed. Existing class representatives will be eligible to continue in their post for a further year.
26) The Clerk does not necessarily have to be a parent of a child attending Yester Primary School.
Parent Member Commitment
27) All members of the Council agree to attend a minimum of 50% of the meetings held in a year.
28) All parent members agree to attend introductory training for Council members.
29) Office bearers agree to attend, in addition, training to understand school Development Plans and training to assist with interview technique. The Parent Council will have input into key staff appointments, with representation on the interview panel.
30) All members agree to keep matters discussed at closed meetings confidential.
31) Parent members agree to listen to the concerns of members of the Parent Forum but will not act independently. Matters will be directed to the Chair or Headteacher.
32) The Council will meet at least five times in every school year. An additional Parent Forum AGM will be held during the summer term.
33) Meetings of the Council will be open to the Parent Forum. If the Council needs to discuss an issue which it considers should be dealt with on a confidential basis part of the meeting may be closed and for members only.
34) Parent Forum members who attend meetings are welcome to speak but will not be entitled to vote on a matter. In exceptional cases the entire Parent Forum may be asked to vote on an issue.
35) The quorum of the Council will be the Headteacher, or their representative, and 6 parent members. One parent member must take the position of acting Chair if the Chair cannot attend.
36) Should a vote be necessary to make a decision, each member of the Council present at the meeting will have one vote. In the event of a tie the Chair will have a second casting vote.
37) All meetings of the Council will be minuted. Copies of the draft minutes will be posted on the school website and displayed in the school within ten days of the meeting.
38) At any time, with notice period of at least 7 days, 50% of the Parent Council can demand that a meeting be held. At any time, with notice period of at least 7 days, 35% of the Parent Forum can demand that a meeting be held.
39) An agenda will be distributed to all members, posted on the website and displayed in the school 5 days before a meeting.
40) Points for the agenda should be passed to the Chair, by parent members and the staff members, at least ten days before the meeting date.
41) If members of the Council are unable to attend a meeting, apologies must be sent to the Clerk as early as possible in advance of the meeting.
42) Meetings can only be held at the school.
43) The agenda for the meetings will be a matter for the Council to decide upon, but will be in line with the objectives of the Council.
44) The Headteacher will provide for the Council:
- An annual report, including attainment levels
- A financial report of outturn for the previous year and budget for the current year in respect of the running costs of the school and, where available, capital expenditure related to the school.
- A draft of the school development plan for comment.
- A Headteacher’s report will also be included as an agenda point. This will include information which will provide a full picture of developments within the school, including matters relating to curriculum, staffing and ethos.
45) The parent members will provide for the Council:
- A regular account of developments within the Parent Forum.
- A survey of views within the Parent Forum as and when required.
- A budget and outturn report of the Council finances.
- Such other information and representation as may be helpful in accomplishing the objectives of the Council.
46) The process for raising matters to be discussed by the Parent Council is as follows:
- Parents may raise matters through their class representative or any other member of the Parent Council.
- In exceptional cases, items may be raised under Any Other Competent Business at the meeting. Any such items must be notified to the Chair and Headteacher prior to the meeting.
- Outwith Parent Council meetings, concerns and issues raised with parent members must be reported to the Chair or Headteacher. Parents who have concerns regarding their particular child must be directed to the Headteacher but members of the Council can offer to sit in on a meeting.
47) The Parent Council will use a wide range of methods to communicate with parents in the most effective and efficient way, taking into consideration environmental concerns where possible. These methods may include:
- Parent Council section in the school newsletter once a term.
- Issue specific letters to the Parent Forum.
- E-mail via dedicated Parent Council e-mail address.
- Parent Council section on the school website.
- Parent Council noticeboard in the playground.
- Occasional events (e.g. coffee mornings) within the school.
- Class representatives’ feedback.
48) Class representatives will be kept informed of issues affecting the school, to support their role as a first point of contact for parents. Class representatives should also have the opportunity to meet with their class teacher periodically to be briefed on class specific issues.
49) The Treasurer will open a bank or building society account in the name of ‘Yester Parent Council’.
50) Four signatories will be appointed, one being the Treasurer.
51) Withdrawals will require two signatures.
52) The Treasurer will keep an accurate record of all income and expenditure and will provide a summary of this for each Parent Council meeting and a full account for the Annual General Meeting.
53) The Parent Council will be responsible for ensuring that all monies are used in accordance with the aims and objectives of the Council.
54) An appointed independent examiner will examine the Parent Council accounts annually.
55) There will no longer be a separate fundraising group (YAPS).
56) A nominated person, the Fundraising Liaison, will report on any fundraising activities, without having ultimate responsibility.
57) Strategic fundraising issues, such as the type and number of events, and aims and objectives of fundraising activities, will be addressed at the first Parent Council meetings of the year.
58) A range of events will be organized with the aim of promoting both the financial and community aspects of the school. The aim would be to have 3-4 main events annually.
59) Any event planning meetings may take place outwith the Parent Council meetings, but will be discussed as a standing item at these meetings.
60) Other avenues for raising money will be explored e.g. grants.
61) The Parent Council, in consultation with the school, will decide on how the money is spent, aligned with the school’s priorities and developments.
62) Long-term targets for income raising and spending will also be considered.
Amendments to the Constitution
63) The Parent Forum may, having consulted with the Headteacher, alter the constitution of the Council at the Annual General Meeting of the Parent Forum attended by at least 6 of its members and the Headteacher, or his / her representative. The motion will be carried by simple majority of those attending plus proxy votes (see 65) below.
64) All members of the Parent Forum and of the Council will be sent a copy of the proposed amendment in advance and will be given reasonable time to respond to the proposal.
65) Members of the Parent Forum will be entitled to a proxy vote and may make their view known in writing. This must be delivered to the Headteacher in advance of the meeting.
66) Copies of the amended constitution will be lodged with the Education Authority and with the Headteacher.