Lourdes Secondary Parent Council

1. This is the constitution of Lourdes Secondary Parent Council.

2. The objectives of the Parent Council are:

· To promote partnership between the school, its pupils, parents and Catholic Church.

· To work in partnership with the school/nursery class to create a welcoming community which is inclusive for all parents.

· To develop and engage in activities which support the education and welfare of all pupils.

· To identify and represent the views of parents on the education provided by the school/nursery class and other matters affecting the education and welfare of the pupils.

· To promote equality of opportunity and embrace diversity in all of our activities.

3. The membership will be a minimum of 5 parents of children attending the school/nursery class. The maximum size is 25 parents and 2 co-opted members (one Church representative and one staff member)

The Head Teacher (or his/her representative) has a duty and right to attend all meetings.

4. The Parent Council will be selected for a period of 2 years (For year 1 (2011/12) 50% of the Parents selected will retire at the first AGM. The resulting places will be selected at the AGM and those retiring members may put themselves forward for reselection if they wish.)

Any parent of a child at the school class can volunteer at the AGM to be a member of the Parent Council. Where possible a spread of parents from different stages of the school will be selected. In the event that the number of volunteers exceeds the number of places set out in the constitution, members will be selected by “the drawing of names”.

Anyone not selected to be a member of the Parent Council may be offered the opportunity to be on a reserve list of members to the Parent Council (if someone retires) and/or an opportunity to be part of any sub-group set up by the Council.

5. The Parent Council may co-opt up to 2 members to assist it with carrying out its functions.

The Parent Council must seek a nominated co-opted member from the local Diocesan office of the Catholic Church. The other co-opted member will be a staff member.

Co-opted members will be invited to serve for a period of 2 years after which time the Parent Council will review and consider requirements for co-opted membership.

6. The office bearers of Chair, Vice-chair and Treasurer will be agreed by the Parent Council members immediately following its formation and subsequently at a meeting arranged for this purpose immediately after the AGM. Office bearers will be re-selected by the Parent Council on an annual basis at the start of each session.

7. The Parent Council is accountable to the Parent Forum for Lourdes Secondary School and will make a report on its activities to the Parent Forum at least once each year.

If 10% of members of the Parent Forum request a special general meeting to discuss issues falling within the Council’s remit, the Parent Council shall arrange this.

The Parent Council shall give all members of the Forum at least 14 days notice of the meeting and at the same time, circulate notice of the matter, or matters to be discussed at the meeting.

8. The Annual Meeting of the Parent Forum will be held in September/October of each year. A notice of the meeting including date, time and place will be sent to all members of the Parent Forum at least 2 weeks in advance.

The meeting will include:

· A report on the work of the Parent Council and it’s committees

· A report by the H.T. on the work of the school

· Selection of the new Parent Council

· Appointment of Clerk to the Parent Council

· Discussion of issues that members of the Forum may wish to raise (these items should be raised up to 7 days in advance with the Chairperson and if possible included in the Agenda).

· Approval of the accounts and appointments of the auditor.

9. The Parent Council will meet on at least 6 occasions each session. Should a vote be necessary to make a decision, each member at the meeting will have one vote, with the Chair having a casting vote in the event of a tie. The exception to this would be when appointing co-opted members or members to certain offices or committees.

A third of members of the Parent Council can request that an additional meeting be held and all members of the Parent Council will be given at least 2 weeks notice of date, time and place of the meeting. The request for this meeting should be made in writing to the Clerk to the Council.

If a Parent Council member acts in a way that is considered by other members to undermine the objectives of the Parent Council, their membership of the Parent Council shall be terminated if the majority of Parent members agree. Termination of membership would be confirmed in writing to the member.

10. Copies of the minutes of all meetings will be available to all parents and to all staff.

11. Meetings of the Parent Council shall be open to the public unless the Parent Council is discussing an issue which it considers should be dealt with on a confidential basis. In such circumstances, only members of the Parent Council and the head teacher or his or her representative can attend. Individual cases relating to pupils, teachers or parents at the school are not matters for direct Parent Council involvement.

12. The Treasurer will open a bank account in the name of the Parent Council for all Parent Council funds. Withdrawals will require the signature of the Treasurer and one other Parent Council member

The bank accounts will have three authorised signatories.

The Treasurer will keep an accurate record of all income and expenditure and till provide a summary of this for each Parent Council meeting and a full account for the Annual Meeting. The Parent council accounts will be audited by the auditor appointed at the previous Annual Meeting. The Parent Council shall be responsible for ensuring that all monies are used in accordance with the objectives of the Parent Council.

13. The Parent Council may change its constitution after obtaining consent from members of the Parent Forum, at the AGM or an EGM

Members of the Parent Forum will be sent a copy of any proposed amendment and given 14 days to respond to the proposal.

14. Should the Parent Council cease to exist any remaining funds will be passed to the Education authority to be used for the benefit of Lourdes Secondary where this continues, or its replacement.

15. The Parent Council will have the authority to establish sub-groups or working parties for a specific purpose. Each working group may decide upon its own objectives and agendas to be ratified by the Parent Council. Members of these groups can be members of Parent Council, co-opted members or volunteers who have been approved by the Parent Council.

If a fund-raising group is set up, the Treasurer of the Parent Council will be a member. All monies will be lodged in the Parent Council account. The sub-group will have the authority to distribute its funds in a way that meet the objectives of the Parent Council and can access its funds by submitting a requisition to the Treasurer of the Parent Council. The Treasurer will provide regular financial reports to the sub-group and the Parent Council.

N.B. *Parents are defined as:

· Non-resident parents who are liable to maintain or have parental responsibilities for child

· carers who can be parents

· Others with parental responsibilities, e.g. foster parents, relatives and friends who are caring for children under supervision arrangements

· Close relatives, such as siblings or grandparents caring for children who are not looked after or are under home supervision arrangements