Why Parent Clubs?
Among the benefits of a Parent Club are:
- It can be a forum to discuss items of mutual interest and collective concern, and to share positive stories. This can be a very valuable source of constructive, formalised feedback for schools & your community.
- It can provide a welcoming, informal way for parents to get involved in their children’s schooling and support the school.
- It can help parents with support and information, e.g. guest speakers on issues relating to education and parenting.
- Parents can learn from each other, exchange ideas and feel welcomed and integrated into the school community.
Starting up a new Parent Club
If your school doesn’t have a Parent Club, you can start one!
Before you start on the formal procedure, do your networking with other parents. Make sure you have a core group of parents who will be willing and able to form the first committee.
The next step is to speak to the Principal. You will need at least 6 parents to sign a written request to the Principal for the formation of a club.
The Principal will then convene a meeting for the purpose of forming a Parent Club. The rules around this are set out in the Policy and Advisory Library.
The formal procedure
There’s a quick guide on the Education Department’s
Parent Involvement page.
The formal process of setting up a new Parent Club is outlined in the Education Department’s Policy and Advisory Library (PAL).
At first it might look complicated, but each step is quite simple if you have done your groundwork first.
You can contact our office if you face any unexpected obstacles.
Education Department support
The following paragraph is taken from the Education Department website:
“Parent clubs (and associations) promote the welfare of, and provide support to, the school and its community. Parents are key partners in their child’s learning. By interacting with the school and other parents, parent club members can use their skills and experience to work collaboratively with others in supporting the school and its students, and build a sense of community within the school.”
See the Policy and Advisory Library for more Education Department statements about the role and typical activities of a Parent Club.
Parents Victoria membership
Parents Victoria is the peak body for Parent Clubs in Victorian Schools. We’ve been representing the interests of Victorian parents, through their clubs, since 1925. As a Parents Victoria member club, you would have access to our online Toolkit – a comprehensive guide to running a club, including all the relevant Government regulations, building participation, maintaining your Committee, running meetings, finances and fundraising.
If your school doesn’t have a Parent Club, you can join Parents Victoria as in individual member. Once your club has formed, it can join as a Member Club.
See our Membership page for more information on how to join.
Parent Club and School Council
Make sure you’re clear on the difference between a Parent Club and the School Council.
Parents may ask, “Why do we need a Parent Club when we have a School Council?”
The two are quite different, although they should work together.
The School Council is the committee of management for the school. It includes the Principal, other staff, parent, community and possibly student representatives. It has extensive powers over the management of the school, as set out in the Policy and Advisory Library.
The School Council has some big responsibilities; the school budget, Strategic Plan, school governance and employment issues.
A Parent Club is set up to represent the interests of parents at the school, to support parents and to carry out activities for and on behalf of parents. Parent Clubs can be more of an open forum for parents and focus on activities that meet parents’ needs – social events, guest speakers, volunteer activities to benefit the school and fundraising. They can also be a think-tank or sounding board for the school (e.g. the school might want to seek school community opinion on the introduction of a new school uniform item).