Should I Join the School P&C Association?
Louise Lavery is a content writer and the online content manager for Families Magazine. Louise taught senior English for over ten years with a focus on the promotion of literacy development in adolescents who have processing and behavioural difficulties. In her “spare” time she is a freelance writer, a young adult novelist and chief wrangler of the world’s cheekiest three-year-old boy.
The School P&C (Parents and Citizens’ Associations) is a very important group that addresses a broad range of issues. You can join the school P&C as a great way to involve yourself in the community, to safeguard the best interests of your children and to look for creative ways to fund school projects that will benefit everyone.
All Queensland state schools will have a P&C. In Catholic and Independent schools these groups are usually known as P&F (Parent and Friends’ Association). If you join the school P&C it is a great way to get your voice heard, to network with other parents and even to make new friends!
What does the School P&C do?
Your school’s P&C will be looking into a lot of different things. Issues of focus will change from time to time depending on the needs of the community.
If you join the school P&C you might look at…
• Outside of school hours care or vacation care programs
• The planning and resourcing of school functions
• Fundraising and volunteering activities
• The creation of links to the broader community
• Tuckshop staffing, budgets, resourcing and menu planning
• Issues to do with financial planning
• Issues to do with school policy
• Finding out about grants and looking at how the school could qualify for them
Where and when do School P&C meetings occur?
Most schools will meet every month or two. Some schools will meet once a term. Meetings will typically take place at the assembly venue in your school – you might find yourself sitting at tiny tables and chairs in a classroom or in a grand lecture hall depending on the school!
Some of your meetings will be group discussion and some of them will be working on your individual projects. Expect email and phone communication as well. P&C’s want parents to help so will be understanding if you sometimes can’t attend. You can always find a way to be involved in a way that suits your lifestyle best.
Area network meetings, if you would like to broaden your involvement in the P&C network, happen once per month. You can find more information about P&C’s here.
What are the drawbacks of joining a P&C?
Like any working environment, a good P&C will operate as a team. Many of us have very busy daily lives so when we give up personal time to be involved with a group like this we want to make sure our time is being well spent.
You may find that you need extra help, that you’re being asked to do more than you’re capable of or that it’s just not what you thought it would be. Contacting your school P&C President and explaining the situation will usually bring about a calm, professional resolution. Remember that we all want the best for our kids and to get there we need to work together!
How do I find out about my P&C?
Contact details should be on your school’s website. If not, send an email to reception or administration and ask them for the information. There will also be information in newsletters and as part of notes that come home throughout the school year so check those school bags!
We all want the best for our kids. If you are able to join your P&C you might be able to make positive contributions that will benefit the whole school community. Change can start with just one person!