The school website is (or should be!) a one-stop-shop for information about the school. It will be used by parents and carers to download documents, find up-to-date and reliable information, find links to social media and much more.
The school website will also be used by parents who are looking for a school. They’ll want to know what the school has to offer for their children, and a Parent Club is part of that.
For all those reasons, we think it’s important for the Parent Club to have a presence on the school website.
What information should you include?
- A welcoming introduction. Make it clear that all parents and carers of children at the school are welcome. See below for examples and a template.
- Your aims and objectives. Consider all the ways your club works to improve the functioning of the school, beyond just fundraising. See below for a template.
- Your activities. Give parents an idea of what to expect throughout a school year. It doesn’t have to be a complete list.
- Your Committee. It’s more welcoming for parents if they know the names of the Parent Club Committee. Publishing a Committee list also recognises the Committee members for their contribution. (The Committee list will probably need to be changed every year, make sure it’s part of your AGM procedure to update the website list if someone has left or there are new Committee members.)
- A way for parents to contact you. It could be a phone number or email address – it’s important that parents can make contact if they want to join up, ask a question or make a suggestion. You can set up a free email account with a service such as Gmail or Outlook.com.
- Call to action. What do you want parents to do?
- Links to social media accounts, if you are using them.
- You might also wish to add more items – a photo gallery of activities, a list of equipment/facilities your fundraising has provided… anything that’s useful, of interest to parents or maybe just fun!
- And of course we suggest you join Parents Victoria (it’s free), and put a link on your page, so your members know they are linked to a network of other parents and Parent Clubs in Victoria (and nationwide through the national parent body ACSSO).
Creating and maintaining your web page
- Check what’s already there – sometimes the Parent Club will be mentioned briefly in a school profile, a Community page, or a School Council page. We think a Parent Club should always have its own page on the school website. If there’s a page but the information is out-of-date or does not include the items mentioned above, consider updating it.
- If there’s no Parent Club page, think about where your new page should appear on the website menu. Often there’s a section titled Parents or Parent Information or Community, where the Parent Club page would fit in well.
- In either case, you’ll need to make contact with whoever maintains the school website. Be aware that the website manager is likely balancing this task with many others. Make their job as easy as possible by providing any information for your page ‘ready to go’, so they can simply copy and paste into the website. The website manager may need to seek approval from school leadership before including a new (parent club) page.
- Ask around among your club members – there might be someone with expertise in creating content for the web.
- Put a regular check of the web page into your club calendar – out-of-date information doesn’t reflect well on your club.
Tips for web page content
- Keep it brief – people usually don’t want to read long passages of text on their computer or phone screen.
- Use lots of sub-headings and dot-points to break it up and make it easy to scan.
- You don’t need to use formal language – it’s OK to write personally and informally, like this sentence!
- Photos or kids’ artwork are great if the website manager is able/permitted to put them in.
- Airey’s Inlet Primary School Parents and Friends – this page has a warm welcome, contact details, information about the club and a delightful photo of some students.
- Beaumaris North Primary School Parents and Friends – all the details in a welcoming, easy-to-read format – this club has its own logo too.
- Bundoora Secondary College Parents and Friends – great promotion of the club’s achievements
- Kew High School Qnetwork – this page starts with a fun photo gallery. Further down, all Committee members are listed.
We have created a template for your Parent Club web page. It’s a Word document, so you can change it to suit your club, then send it to the school’s website manager to ‘copy-and-paste’ the text into the website. This template uses the name “Parents and Friends”, because it’s the most commonly used name for a Parent Club. If your club has a different name, just use “Find and Replace” to substitute your club’s name. The template is for text only, you can add visual elements such as photos, galleries or kids’ artwork as you wish.