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Background to New Parent Council
The Scottish Executive introduced the Parental Involvement Act in 2006 with an aim to increase parent and carer’s participation in all aspects of school life. The suggestion of new Parent Council’s would replace the School Boards and parents of each school would decide whether they wanted to have Parent Council and a separate PTA.
We at West Coats piloted a merged School Board and PTA and found that one body was more effective than two separate forums. Therefore, in October 2007 at the AGM in West Coats the Parent Council formally officially replaced the School Board and PTA.
How We Have Decided It Should Look for West Coats
Every parent/carer who has a child at West Coats school is part of the PaWS forum (Parents at West Coats School). As it is not possible to meet regularly as an entire parent group a smaller forum has been established called the Parent Council who will meet on a regular basis and will have a duty to ensure they represent the views of parents within the school. The Parent council consists of 3 Office Bearers, Chairperson Kay Dalby, Vice Chairperson Rosemary Bernard, Treasurer, Maureen Sinclair and Secretary, Cheryl Burnett. The group also has a number of volunteer parents who have agreed to co-ordinate task groups looking at a variety of different initiatives, for example, school events, traffic management, consultation, fundraising, website, school uniforms, to name a few. There is no limit to how many parents can become involved with the Parent Council and the meetings, which will be held approx 2 monthly, are open to all parents/carers. These meetings will also involve the Head Teacher who has a right and a duty to attend the meetings.
How Much Funds Do We Raise and What Does The Money Go Towards?
The various events that run throughout the year raise quite a considerable amount for school funds. We have two School fairs at summer and Xmas, Children’s Discos. Family events and school uniform sales. These and more raise approx £4,000-£6,000 per year, all of which goes directly back to the school.
We have helped to buy new PE equipment, Audio/Visual/IT equipment, Sports kits, Scottish Opera performances, playground equipment, P7 leavers party and presents and P1 Santa gifts to name but a few. Our target for fundraising for the forthcoming year will be to refurbish the school library and as well as raising funds we are also looking into grants and awards that can help to achieve this.
If I Wanted to Get Involved How Do I Do This?
You can give as much or as little time as you would like? Some folk like to come along to meetings and express their views, some folk like to bake cakes for the school fairs, some like to volunteer to help out at an event or some folk like to hand in a donation for the school fairs. We are also very keen to involve parents/carers who have a skill they can share. There is no contribution that is too small or not needed. We are always keen to have parents/carers involved and your contribution in any way is really appreciated.
So How Can I Get Involved?
If you can come along to a Parent Council meeting the dates for these are posted on the web site but are also in the Head Teacher’s newsletter. If you fancy helping out at an event or would like to get involved in a task group the groups are also on the web site and you can give your contact details in to the office who will pass them on to the relevant person.
The school and your childs experience at West Coats is made much richer by the involvement of parents and carers so go on get involved you have nothing to lose and you and your children have loads to gain!