Dublin 7 Educate Together National School
Parent/Teacher Association Constitution
The Association shall be called the Dublin 7 Educate Together National School (D7ETNS) Parent Teacher Association (PTA), or D7ETNS PTA.
2. Aim of the Parent/Teacher Association
The aim of the PTA is to foster an effective partnership between the parents/guardians of children attending D7ETNS and the principal, staff and Board of Management that will operate in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998, with a view to:
- ensuring the best possible education for the children of the school,
- supporting the ethical, moral, personal, social, cultural and physical development of children, and
- protecting and promoting the interests of children attending the school.
In pursuing this aim, the PTA will at all times act in accordance with the ethos of D7ETNS, and will seek to adopt best practice in the conduct of its activities, including as set out in the Guidelines for Parent Associations published by the National Parents Council (Primary).
3. Work of the Parent/Teacher Association
The work of the PTA can be divided into two broad categories. The first is to undertake a programme of activities that will promote the involvement of parents in the school’s continued development, and support pupils, parents and teachers, by:
- encouraging parents/guardians to be involved in the education and development of their children,
- providing an active communication link between students, parents/guardians and the school, for example through Class Representatives,
- assisting parents/guardians to acquire the skills that they feel their role demands,
- raising funds to provide improved facilities and educational and other opportunities for members of the school community,
- carrying out other activities consistent with the overall aim of the PTA, including organising social events and encouraging parental involvement in these.
The second is to ensure effective communication between parents/guardians, teachers and the Principal and Board of Management, by:
- advising on and communicating parents’ views,
- coordinating input from parents/guardians to the development of school policies,
- providing a forum through which teachers, the Principal and Board of Management may be advised on any matter relating to the school,
- providing a forum through which the Principal and Board of Management may inform parents/guardians about issues discussed at board level,
- making representations to and seeking advice from the National Parents Council through the nominated members of the PTA committee.
The PTA also recognises that the examination and resolution of complaints relating to individual pupils or parents/guardians will be a matter for the pupil and/or their parents/guardians and the school authorities, as per school policy.
4. Membership of the Parent/Teacher Association
All parents/guardians of children attending D7ETNS, and members of the school staff, are deemed to be members of the PTA, with rights to vote at general meetings and to hold office.
5. Membership of the Committee
The Committee is the team which manages the work of the Association. It includes the offices of Chairperson and vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Vice-Secretary, and Treasurer and Vice-Treasurer. The committee shall be elected each year at an AGM, which shall be held before 31st October and which all parents/guardians of children attending the school, and teachers, shall be invited to attend.
The Committee shall be comprised of a minimum of six and a maximum of twelve people. The members of the Committee should include two parent nominees as elected to the Board of Management (see 12 below) and two staff representatives who should be elected by the staff of the school.
Candidates can volunteer/be nominated for election and must be seconded by a member of the PTA. Candidates who cannot attend the AGM may send their nominations to the committee in advance.
At least fifty per cent of the members of the committee shall retire annually but will be eligible for re-election immediately at the AGM.
The Committee will have the power to fill any places vacant following the Annual General Meeting, or any vacancy that arises in the Committee or among its named officers before the next Annual General Meeting.
Officers may hold the same position for a maximum of three consecutive years. However, in the event that the committee is unable to fill any of these positions, any previous office holder will be eligible for appointment to that role. The roles of Committee Officers are outlined in further detail in the attached annex.
If a member of the Committee, including an office-holder, does not attend three consecutive meetings without leave of absence that member may, at the discretion and on decision of the Committee, be removed from the Committee.
6. Committee Meetings
The officers will be elected at the first committee meeting after the AGM . The Committee will meet as required. Meetings may be held in person or by any other means of communicating as decided on by the Committee from time to time. All members of the Committee, including office holders, will be given at least seven days’ notice of a meeting by the Secretary, in writing.
Voting at Committee meetings requires a quorum of 50% plus 1 of the fully elected committee. In the event of a tied vote, the chairperson shall have the casting vote.
The Secretary will ensure that minutes of meetings, which will include:
- the names of those present,
- all decisions that are required by the constitution or by law to be made by the organisation, and
- any other matters discussed at the meeting
are maintained and made available in a timely fashion to all members of the organisation.
The Committee will at all times be bound by the decisions of the members at General Meetings.
An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) shall be held if a written requisition, signed by a simple majority of Committee members, is received by the Committee, or at the written request of at least 25% of parents. All members may attend an EGM, and must receive at least 10 days notice of such a meeting. In the even of a decision being taken by a vote, all present will be entitled to one vote, and a decision shall be carried by a simple majority. In the event of a tied vote, the Chairperson shall have the casting vote.
7. Co-Options and Sub-Committees
The Committee may co-opt people onto the Committee to assist in its work. It may also establish sub-committees to work on particular tasks, and these sub-committees may also co-opt people to assist in their work.
The sub-committees may make decisions specific to their role but are at all times accountable to the Committee.
The PTA will finance its activities through fundraising specifically for the work of the PTA.
The Treasurer will be responsible for keeping the accounts of the PTA finances. The Treasurer will give a statement of income and expenditure at each committee meeting. A written statement of income and expenditure will be given at the AGM.
The PTA will operate a bank account in its name. The Treasurer and at least one other member of the Committee must sign cheques drawn on the account.
Fund raising for the school by the PTA will be done with the prior approval of the Principal and Board of Management. This will take place in accordance with an agreed expenditure plan drawn up as soon as practicable following the AGM.
9. Conflicts of Interest
Committee members shall avoid, or appropriately manage, any real or perceived conflict of interest by, inter alia, refraining from any decision-making or voting on matters subject to a potential conflict of interest and openly acknowledging any potential or actual conflict of interest which arises through his or her committee membership.
10. Membership of National Parents Council (Primary)
The PTA will affiliate to the National Parents Council (Primary) annually.
11. Changing the Constitution
An Extraordinary General Meeting will be called to discuss this Constitution and a vote shall be taken on its adoption. A majority vote will adopt the Constitution.
The Constitution may be amended at an AGM by a two-thirds majority of members present. Members must be given 21 days' notice of the proposed amendment in writing. No amendment is valid if it would make a fundamental change to the Aim of the PTA as set out in clause 2.
The Constitution shall be circulated to all parents/guardians of children in the school and a copy shall be given to members of the Board of Management.
12. Parent Representatives on the Board of Management
The parent nominees on the Board of Management should automatically be members of the PTA Committee. They should not hold officer positions on the Committee. They will facilitate effective communications between the PTA and the Board of Management, and will discharge their role in accordance with NPC/IPPN guidelines.
The PTA will be consulted on the method to be adopted for the election of parent nominees to the Board of Management, in accordance with Appendix B of the Department of Education’s “Boards of Management of National Schools - Constitution of Boards and Rules of Procedure 2011”.
13. This constitution comes into force
This constitution was adopted and came into force at the Extraordinary General Meeting dated 25 November 2014.
ROLES OF COMMITTEE OFFICERS
- Responsible for ensuring that the rules of the Committee are followed,
- Prepares the agenda for the meetings with the Secretary,
- 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,
- Presents the chairman’s report at the AGM,
- Ensures that the work is shared and that teamwork is reviewed,
- Helps the committee to have clear vision and goals,
- Represents the PTA at any formal occasion or nominates someone in their place if needed,
- Signs the minutes of the previous meeting when approved by the committee as a record of the business and decisions of that meeting.
- Records the minutes of meetings including matters arising,
- Helps the chairperson prepare the annual report for the AGM,
- Notifies committee members of forthcoming meetings and forwards minutes of the last meeting and the agenda for the next meeting,
- Coordinates help for PTA activities,
- Prepares the agenda for meetings in consultation with the Chairperson,
- Ensures an attendance record of all attendees is completed for all committee meetings.
- Keeps an accurate record of money received and disbursed by the committee,
- Liaises with the school financial officer regarding all financial aspects of the PTA.
Extract from Education Act 1998:
26.—(1) The parents of students of a recognised school may establish,
and maintain from among their number, a parents’ association
for that school and membership of that association shall be open to
all parents of students of that school.
(2) A parents’ association shall promote the interests of the
students in a school in co-operation with the board, Principal,
teachers and students of a 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, 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.
(3) The board shall promote contact between the school, parents
of students in that school and the community and shall facilitate and
give all reasonable assistance to parents who wish to establish a parents’
association and to a parents’ association when it is established.
(4) (a) A parents’ association shall, following consultation with
its members, make rules governing its meetings and the
business and conduct of its affairs.
(b) Where a parents’ 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.
Please follow this link to a PDF version of the PTA Constitution.