The Parent Council is made up of parent/carers, a Church Representative (appointed by the Bishop), and the Head Teacher. The Constitution states there will be a maximum of 20 parent/carer members, where anyone with a child attending St Matthews is eligible to stand. Parent/carer members normally serve for two years, but with the opportunity to stand again at the following Annual General Meeting (AGM) if they wish to continue as members.
The election process begins with an invitation to the Parent Forum (all parent/carers are automatically part of the Parent Forum) for nominations 2 weeks prior to the AGM in September –only one member from each family can stand. All nomination papers received are taken to the AGM, where they are considered according to the number of vacancies. In the event that the number of parents seeking re-election along with the newly proposed nominations exceed the maximum of 20 when combined with existing members, then a ballot would be conducted for the available places.
Agreement on matters raised at meetings is usually reached after discussion, but if consensus cannot be achieved, all parent/carer members and the Church Representative have a vote, whereas the Head Teacher and current Secretary are non-voting members.
WHAT DOES THE PARENT COUNCIL DO?
The Role of the Parent Council is to:
Support the school in every aspect of its work
Represent the views of all parents/carers
Encourage the links between the school, parents, pupils and the wider community
Report back to the wider Parent Forum (all parent/carers)
Consider the report from the Head Teacher on school matters at each meeting
Be involved in appointments to the Senior Management Team – Head Teacher and Deputes
Be involved in School inspections undertaken by Education Scotland
Unfortunately, the Parent Council does not discuss concerns over individual pupils or teachers but is rather concerned only with the well-being of the whole school. Therefore, any individual matters would be discussed between parents and the pupil’s Guidance Teacher or Head of Year.
The Parent Council is funded by an annual grant from North Ayrshire Council, which can only be used for administration and publicity costs. In order to support the school in a wider ways, the Parent Council is involved in fund-raising, which enables us to fund special projects which would be out with the ordinary running costs of the school. For example –
Help with the cost of School Shows
Fares, etc. for pupils receiving awards
School Hardship Fund
Sponsoring group projects by individual departments
Contributing to whole school projects
WHEN DOES THE PARENT COUNCIL MEET?
The Parent Council meets in St Matthews approximately every six weeks. Meetings are generally held on a Monday evening, and usually last between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on the number of matters to be discussed. Meeting dates for the coming session are agreed following the AGM in September.
Any parent/carer can attend the meetings if they wish or can speak to a current member to bring forward an item for the agenda to be discussed.
A WORD FROM THE CHAIR
The Parent Council are very grateful for all the support parents give to our fundraising activities, particularly when pupils are so involved in their own fundraising schemes! This support allows us to contribute money towards projects which hopefully your own young people will benefit from, so thank you.
I would also encourage you to let us know if you have any concerns over the running of the school or suggestions for improvements, so that we can take them forward and discuss them with the Head Teacher on your behalf.
In terms of membership, there are currently 4 vacancies on the Parent Council, and I would ask you to seriously consider putting yourself forward. There are no special skills required – everyone who attends are just ordinary parents like you – but you might have skills that could assist the school; you might have good ideas for fund-raising; you might have questions about the policy and direction of your child’s education; you might have suggestions about transport or many other matters. The Parent Council is the way to take these things forward and so benefit the whole of St Matthew’s.
Please use the Parent Council email address or the Parents section of the school website to keep in touch, or feel free to come along to a meeting. We would be grateful if you can help us in any way you can.