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YESTER PARENT COUNCIL | CONSTITUTION

Version | June 2018

 1 | NAME

         I.            This is the constitution of the Yester Parent Council, hereafter referred to as the Council.

       II.            Yester Primary School parents/carers are collectively referred to as the Parent Forum, hereafter referred to as the Forum.

     III.            The Council is comprised of a group of parents selected to represent the Forum, school staff and community representatives.

     IV.            The term ‘parent’ applies to all parents and carers of pupils of Yester Primary School.

2 | AIMS & OBJECTIVES

         I.            The aims of the Council are:

a.       To support the school in its work with pupils

b.       To represent the views of the Forum

c.        To strive for effective communication between school, parents, pupils, providers of nursery education and the wider community

d.       To promote the values and ethos of the school

e.       To actively support the school through fundraising and community events

       II.            The objectives of the Council are:

a.       To promote partnerships between the school, pupils, parents, the community and the Education Authority

b.       To develop and engage in activities which support the school in relation to the education and welfare of pupils

c.        To identify and represent the views of the Forum on education provided by the school and other matters affecting the education and welfare of pupils

d.       The Council will be open and inclusive, and will work to broaden membership to ensure that it is as representative of the Forum as possible

e.       To work in partnership with the school to create a welcoming inclusive environment

f.         To encourage parental involvement through open meetings and other opportunities

3 | MEMBERSHIP

         I.            The minimum and maximum numbers on the Council will be 8 and 18 respectively.  Positions may remain unfilled providing the minimum number is adhered to.  Individuals can only hold one position on the Council at any one time.

       II.            The term ‘Parent Member’ refers to all positions outlined in 3(III) with the exception of Head Teacher, Staff Members and the Community Representative.  All Parent Members must have a child at the school.

     III.            Membership of the Council will be comprised of the following positions:

a.       Chair (office bearer)

b.       Class Representatives (one per class)

c.        Cluster Liaison

d.       Communications Coordinator (office bearer)

e.       Community Representative

f.         Events & Fundraising Coordinator (office bearer)

g.       Head Teacher

h.       School Staff, maximum of 2 (other than Head Teacher)

i.         Treasurer (office bearer)

     IV.            A Clerk will be appointed, who will be paid for carrying out their duties (detailed in appendix).  The Clerk is not required to be a parent of the school.   The Clerk may contribute to the discussion at meetings but is not a voting member of the Council.

       V.            Officer bearers will be appointed for a two year period, following which they may be put forward for re-election.  All other parent members will be appointed for a one year period, following which they may be put forward for re-election.

     VI.            Parent Members must attend a minimum of 50% of the meetings held in a school year and, where available, introductory training for Council members.

   VII.            Parent Members may listen to the concerns of members of the Forum however cannot act on these independently and must refer matters to the Chair or Head Teacher.

  VIII.            Parent positions on the Council may not be shared to avoid exceeding the maximum number outlined in 3(I) above.  Parent Members may receive assistance in carrying out their duties from another member(s) of the Forum, however only 1 parent will be named, and communicated to, as a Council member with associated voting rights.

     IX.            The Parent Council will represent the Forum at external meetings, including but not limited to the ‘East Lothian Association of Parent Council Members’ (ELAPCM) where they will usually be represented by the Chair and the ‘Haddington & Lammermuir Area Partnership’ (HALAP) where they will usually be represented by the Cluster Liaison.

       X.            The Council may establish sub-groups/committees to carry out specific tasks or functions, including but not limited to fundraising, each of which will involve a minimum of one Council Member.  These will report to the Council via Parent Members and sub-group/committee members will not be considered Council members.

     XI.            Local Councillors will be invited to attend the meetings but will not be voting members.

    XII.            Pupils of the school will not be Council members, but may request, or be invited, to attend a meeting to represent their views.

  XIII.            School staff positions may be shared with staff attending on a rota basis across the year.

  XIV.            A description of positions, including responsibilities, for all members is provided in the Appendix and will be available on the Parent Council website for the Forum to view.

4 | SELECTION OF MEMBERS

         I.            Any member of the Parent Forum can be nominated/volunteer to serve as a Parent Member of the Council.  Individuals can only hold one position on the Council at any one time with the exception of Class Representatives, who may represent more than 1 class if an alternative representative cannot be identified.

       II.            The Chair and the Clerk will circulate a list of vacancies to the Forum with instructions on the nomination process annually.

     III.            If there are more nominations than vacancies names will be drawn from a hat witnessed by the Chair and Head Teacher. 

     IV.            Any member of the Parent Forum will be welcome to participate in any sub-group/committee established by the Council to assist in carrying out its duties.  Opportunities to participate will be advertised to all Parent Forum members and no selection criteria will apply.

5 | TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

         I.            A member of the Council may resign at any time by giving a minimum of one month’s notice to the Chair in writing.

       II.            Parent members must have a child at the school, where this is no longer the case the Parent Member will automatically lose their place on the Council.

     III.            Where minimum attendance requirements are at risk of not being met as outlined in 3(VII) the Chair will contact the Parent Member to discuss the matter.  If attendance does not improve membership will be terminated in accordance with the process outlined in 5(IV).

     IV.            Should a member of the Council act in such a way as to undermine the aims and objectives of the Council, their membership will be terminated if the majority of members agree.  Termination of membership will be confirmed in writing by the Chair within 10 working days of the decision being taken.  In the absence of the Chair, or should the matter relate to the Chair, the Council will nominate a member to confirm the termination.

       V.            Upon termination of a membership the Council may co-opt an additional member until an election is arranged in accordance with section 4 ‘selection of members’.

6 | MEETINGS

         I.            The Council will meet a minimum of 5 times per school year.  Meetings must be held in the school.

       II.            At any time, with a minimum of 7 calendar days’ notice, 50% of the Council can demand that a meeting be held.  At any time, with a minimum of 7 calendar days’ notice, 35 members of the Forum can demand that a meeting be held. 

   III.            Meetings of the Council are open to all members of the Forum with the exception of closed agenda items which are restricted to Council members only.  Forum members who attend are entitled to contribute to the discussion.  All Council members must keep matters discussed during closed agenda items and/or meetings confidential.

     IV.            Where a vote is required each member of the Council present at the meeting will have one vote.  In the event of a tie the Chair will have a second casting vote.  Forum members present are not entitled to a vote.  In exceptional cases the entire Forum can be asked to vote on an issue.

     V.            The quorum of the Council will be the Head Teacher (or their representative) and six parent members.  One parent member will take the position of acting Chair if the Chair is absent.  If members are unable to attend a meeting apologies should be submitted to the Clerk at the earliest opportunity.

       VI.            Agenda items must be submitted to the Chair no later than 2 weeks prior to the meeting, items received after this date will be carried forward to the next meeting.  Agenda items should be in line with the aims and objectives of the Council.  Forum members may submit items for inclusion via any Parent Member.  The Chair can determine an item unsuitable for an agenda, however is required to provide an explanation for this decision.  An agenda will be circulated 1 week prior to the meeting to all members and will be published on the Council website and noticeboard.  In exceptional cases items may be included under ‘Any Other Competent Business’ however any such items must be notified to the Chair, who will notify the Head Teacher, prior to the meeting.

     VII.            All meetings of the Council will be minuted, draft copies will be circulated to Council members within two weeks of the meeting.  Copies of the minutes will be published for the Forum within two weeks of the minutes being approved at the next available meeting.  Class representatives can provide feedback in advance of the minutes being formally published.

   VIII.            The Head Teacher, or their representative, will be present at all meetings of the Council.  A Head Teacher Report will be included as a standing agenda item at every meeting to provide an update on developments within the school, including matters relating to curriculum, staffing and ethos.  The Head Teacher will also, at an appropriate time, provide the Council with an annual report (including attainment levels), a financial report of outturn for the previous year and budget for the current year in respect of school running costs and, where available, capital expenditure, and a draft of the school Development Plan for comment.   

7 | ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

         I.            An AGM will be held annually, usually in the summer term.  The AGM is in addition to meetings detailed in section 6.  The AGM must be held in the school.

       II.            The AGM is open to all Forum members who may propose items for discussion.  Forum members must send proposed items to the Chair of the Council 1 month prior to the AGM.  The Chair can determine an item unsuitable for the agenda, however is required to provide an explanation for this decision. 

     III.            The agenda, including date/time/venue, for the AGM will be sent to Forum members a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the meeting. 

     IV.            The AGM will include, but is not limited to, a report on the work of Council (and any sub-groups/committees), a financial update, selection of members and a discussion of issues Forum members may wish to raise.

       V.            The AGM will be quorate provided the Head Teacher (or their representative) and six parent members of the Council are present.  One parent member will take the position of acting Chair if the Chair is absent

8| FINANCE

         I.            The Council will be responsible for ensuring all monies are used in accordance with the aims and objectives of the Council.

       II.            The Council will hold a bank or building society accounts in the name of ‘Yester Parent Council’ for which a minimum of two signatories will be appointed, to include the Treasurer.

     III.            Withdrawals up to the value of £250.00 require one signatory.  Withdrawals of a value greater than £250.00 require two signatories. 

     IV.            The Treasurer will carry out the duties of the position as detailed in the appendix.

       V.            An independent examiner will be appointed to examine the accounts annually.

 9 | COMMUNICATION WITH THE PARENT FORUM

         I.            The Council will use a range of methods, predominantly digital, to communicate with the Forum, taking environmental concerns into consideration wherever possible.  The Council will be mindful of the need to communicate to all Forum members, including those unable to access digital communications.

       II.            Class representatives will maintain an awareness of issues affecting the school and will act as a first point of contact for Forum members.  Class representatives can request to meet with the Teacher of the class they represent periodically to be briefed on class specific issues. 

10 | AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

         I.            The Council may alter the Constitution by tabling a revised version at a meeting or AGM, the motion will be carried by a simple majority of those attending plus proxy votes as per 10(II). 

       II.            Information included within any appendix to the Constitution can be amended without consultation with the wider Parent Forum, by means of vote at any Parent Council meeting or AGM, the motion will be carried by a simple majority of those attending.

     III.            All members of the Forum will be sent a copy of the proposed amendment with reasonable time to respond to the proposal.  All Forum members will be invited to vote on amendments to the Constitution, in person or via a proxy vote.  Instructions on how to vote will be provided by the Council.

     IV.            Copies of the amended Constitution must be sent to the Head Teacher and Local Authority.

11 | STAFF RECRUITMENT

         I.            The Council will represent the Forum on interview panels if requested by the Head Teacher and/or Local Authority.  The Council will be represented by the Chair plus one other parent member, a second parent member will take the position of acting Chair if the Chair is absent.  Council members are required to have attended the Local Authority ‘Recruitment & Selection for Parent Council Members’ course before they may join an interview panel.

       II.            In the event that no Parent Members of the Council are available to participate in an interview panel the opportunity will be advertised to the Forum.  Forum members participating must have undertaken training as per 11(I).

     III.            The Clerk will circulate details of training events made available by the Local Authority to Council members.

12 | DISSOLUTION

         I.            Should the Yester Parent Council cease to exist, any remaining property and/or assets will be passed to the Education Authority to be used for the benefit of the school.