Parent Clubs and School Councils should always work together, but they are quite different in their role and functions. If you find that parents at your school aren’t clear on what each group does, here’s a quick guide:
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).