Parents Voice in Government School Education

Practical tips to build participation

Here are some practical tips on how to build participation in your club.

  • Always designate a personable contact to liaise with parents. If the President is unable, it could be the Secretary or a Publicity Officer. We would suggest it is someone confident and readily available to do the ‘meet & greet’, follow up people, talk to parent class reps, school council & staff etc.
  • At the beginning of each school year, promote your Club to the school community. You could put an article in the school newsletter, use social media or (with the school’s co-operation) arrange for a letter or flyer to be sent home with each student. Explain how your Club operates, when it meets, what your activities are, who to contact etc. Seek ideas/feedback and if possible supply a calendar of events (this could be with the assistance of the students’ art/design).
  • A social event early in the year is a great way to welcome new families to the school, and your Club!
  • When you stage events/guest speakers – extend the invitation to your wider community (feeder kinders/schools/colleges) & seek support from your local government leaders/community support services.
  • Contact neighbouring school Parent Club Presidents & liaise re local events so as not to clash or compete with each other for local business support.
  • Maintain a volunteer parent register to record details of those who offer support at Club activities.
  • Acknowledge helpers with personal thank you letters, emails or a phone call.
  • Utilise email groups, social media, telephone trees even snail mail to keep your school community well informed. This includes PC Community Board and articles in the School Newsletter and on the school website.
  • Provide roles for everyone and delegate tasks so that all jobs are not being performed by the same one or two people – otherwise no one will ever pick up the reins!
  • Provide opportunities for new members to learn the ropes so that they will be confident to take on tasks.
  • Provide handover folders containing a copy of the Club Constitution, list of important contacts, useful resource reference page if applicable, copy of the important job descriptions (i e Secretary etc).
  • Provide examples of flyers, invitations and other useful templates.
  • Arrange a handover meeting at the changeover of committees.
  • Encourage people to commit to 2 years at least; to allow them a year of getting to know the ropes and then the second year they can start to train up new recruits/supporters.
  • Liaise with the School Council & school management as much as possible. Agree to reasonable timelines/how they wish to communicate and work with the Parent Club.
  • Encourage people members to bring others along to meetings and share the information by publishing a summary update/report and distribute via preferred communication methods. This keeps people informed & enthusiastic.