Parents Voice in Government School Education

Committee: Role of the President

The president is the spokesperson for the club and often represents the club at official functions. The president has an important role in generating enthusiasm and interest in the club. She/he is the facilitator and often the mediator of the group. The president of a club acts as chairperson of the meetings and it is his/her duty to make sure that meetings are conducted in an orderly fashion. Good preparation and consultation before meetings with other office bearers, particularly the secretary, is essential to well-run meetings.

Duties related to meetings:

Every meeting:

  • Greet all new members and make sure they are properly introduced.
  • Negotiate the agenda then follow the agreed order. (See also
    The Agenda in Meetings section)
  • Sign minutes when the meeting endorses them as correct and initial any alterations in ink.
  • Try to encourage shy members to participate in debate by asking their opinions.
  • When contentious matters are discussed, make sure everyone gets a chance to speak and that as many shades of opinion as possible are expressed.
  • Make sure speakers are not interrupted and that memberts don’t start up private side-discussions.
  • Make sure that all present are clear on the voting procedure.
  • Make sure all motions and amendments are put in clearly understood terms and related to the business of the meeting.
  • Make sure speakers keep to the point and keep their remarks to the content of the particular motion or issue.
  • If it is obvious that a vast majority are either for or against a particular issue try to curtail unnecessary debate by asking someone to put a view which is opposite to the majority opinion and then put the vote.
  • Try to maintain personally an unbiased attitude in debates. (Vacate the chair if participating in debate; the vice-president should chair till the end of the debate.)
  • When an action is agreed by the meeting, ensure someone takes responsibility for that action.
  • Ensure agreed tasks are delegated fairly (don’t leave all the action for the secretary).

Annual General Meeting

  • Prepare an annual report of the club’s activities. This should be provided in writing to all present at the meeting and forwarded to the School Council. Speak ’to the report’ at the AGM, i.e. give those present a verbal outline of your report, elaborating as desired on particular aspects. Read more about the AGM.

After the AGM

  • Ensure that new office bearers are familiar with their new duties and meeting procedure. Introduce new office bearers to the principal of the school and other key people in the school community.

Other duties

  • Public speaking e.g. Information sessions for new parents, School Presentation Night. Read more about public speaking.
  • Write a regular column in the school newsletter (or delegate the task to someone else).
  • Make sure you check any written communications on behalf of the club expressing an opinion or making a complaint.
  • Along with other parents club representatives, meet regularly with the principal and other members of the school community.