Parent and Citizens’ Associations (P&Cs)
The functions of P&Cs are covered by legislation. P&Cs promote the interests of the school. They do this through:
- cooperation between parents, teachers, students and members of the general community
- assisting in the provision of resources, facilities and amenities for the school
- fostering of community interest in educational matters.
P&Cs are very highly regarded in public schools for their organisation of fundraising or other benefits for the good of the school. P&Cs can seek voluntary contributions from parents of students at the school, and these are reflected in the contributions and charges schedule published by the school each year.
Public school councils and boards
The council or board of a public school works with the school community to achieve the best outcomes for students. It plays an important role in contributing to good school governance so that school resources are used efficiently, and community expectations and the school’s priorities reflect the needs of students.
The functions of councils and boards are covered by legislation and include both approval and advisory roles. Some of the matters councils and boards may make decisions on include fees and charges, book lists, sponsorship and dress codes. Councils and boards make these decisions with the principal who ensures the decisions comply with legislation and policy. Councils and boards promote the school in the community and take part in establishing and reviewing the school’s objectives, priorities and general policy directions and evaluating the school’s performance in achieving these.
Relationship between the P&C and councils or boards
P&Cs, councils and boards each play important yet different roles in supporting public schools. They have separate functions which are legislated but work together to achieve common goals. Members of the council or board and the P&C often work together on different projects. The P&C is often an incorporated body through WACSSO, and if so, they can apply for grants or funding.
P&C members on the council or board
While there can be no ex officio position for a P&C member on the council or board, there are two ways by which P&C members can be members of the council or board:
- nominated as a parent member
- nominated as a community member.
The legislation provides categories of membership on a council or board: parent, student, community and staff. Once appointed to the council or board, members do not represent any particular group. These include, for example, teachers, P&C members or members with other affiliations. P&C members bring their experience as parents at the school, and the views and context of the wider school community. Teacher members may bring expertise such as an education perspective, networks and knowledge that the council or board is looking for at that time.
Be involved in your child’s school
There are many ways to be involved in your child’s school, including:
- join the P&C
- nominate to be a member of the council or board
- act as a classroom helper
- volunteer in the canteen or library
- help out at events, such as the sports carnival
- bring along your skills to a ‘busy bee’
- take part in class excursions
- coach sporting teams or clubs, for example chess, computer, netball or football
- attend school assemblies and special occasions, P&C and council or board meetings – everyone is welcome
- help to organise fundraising initiatives.