Parent Clubs

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To ensure school parent clubs are established and operated in accordance with the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 and Department guidelines.

Role of Parents’ Clubs

Parents’ clubs (and associations) promote the welfare of, and provide support to, the school and its community. Parents are key partners in their child’s learning. By interacting with the school and other parents, parents’ club members gain a firsthand understanding of how schools operate, and can use their skills and experience to work collaboratively with others in supporting the school and its students.

Parents’ clubs may undertake social, educational and fundraising activities and contribute to school council decision making.

The role of a parents’ club is threefold:

  • to provide support, in various forms, for the school, its students and community
  • to work in cooperation with the principal, staff and school council in building effective partnerships between home and school
  • to get to know the parents of other children at the school and to support the operation of the school.

A parents’ club is not a sub-committee of the school council and has no formally prescribed powers or duties.

Working with the principal and school council

Parents’ clubs are most effective when there is a close and cooperative working relationship with the principal and school council. This can be achieved by:

  • offering a position on school council in the community member category, where there is capacity to do so, to a parents’ club representative
  • inviting parents’ club members on subcommittees of the school council where appropriate to do so
  • providing opportunities for regular updates and discussion between the parents’ club, principal and school council
  • encouraging discussion about, and an understanding of, a wide range of issues relating to broader general education and student welfare matters
  • principals providing feedback (and school council where required) when the club is planning social, educational or fundraising activities
  • utilising the parents’ club as a reliable mechanism for parent feedback on school policy and initiatives.

Fundraising

The club may undertake fundraising activities with the prior approval of the school council, having as their object the establishment or augmentation of school funds or funds for a particular school purpose.

School councils are required to work closely with parents’ clubs and not reject any proposed fundraising activity until the school council has considered a recommendation by a committee consisting of:

  • the president of the school council or the president’s nominee, who must be the chairperson; and
  • one other representative of the school council elected for the purpose by the school council; and
  • two representatives of the club; and 
  • the principal.

Where funds raised are used to establish or augment school funds, the school council will determine how the funds are expended after consultation with the parents’ club and the principal as to what is most desirable in the interests of the school.

If a club plans to raise funds by means of a raffle or bingo or other minor gambling activities, permission and instructions must be obtained from the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation, see: Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation - Community and Charitable Gaming

Note: An interim committee is not considered a parents’ club and should not engage in fundraising activities. However, members of the school community of a Government school may undertake fundraising activities, having as their objective the establishment or augmentation of school funds or raising funds for a particular school purpose, if the school council approves these fundraising activities first.

Formation of a parents’ club

Principals must:

  • on receiving a written request signed by at least 6 parents of students at a Government school, convene a meeting for the purposes of forming a parents’ club
  • take reasonable steps to inform the school community of the date, time and purpose of the meeting; providing at least 14 days notice.

 If the decision of the meeting is to form a parents’ club, those persons present must appoint an interim committee to:

  • develop a constitution for the club consistent with the model published by the Secretary of the Department
  • seek approval of the Minister for the formation of the club under the terms of that constitution.

The sole purpose of an interim committee is to seek the approval of the Minister to form a parents’ club. The interim committee must not conduct fundraising activities.  

When the interim committee and the school’s principal receives notification that the Constitution has been approved by the Minister, an inaugural meeting of the club is called and the principal, teacher at the school or a senior regional officer of the Department (none of which are current club members or are nominated for office) will conduct the election of office bearers. All future meetings are held in accordance with the Constitution.

To download a copy of the Model Constitution, see: Parent clubs.

Dissolution of a parents’ club

A club will cease to operate if it is voluntarily or automatically dissolved.

Note: A principal does not have the authority to dissolve a parents’ club.

Voluntary Dissolution

A club may not be voluntarily dissolved unless:

  • all reasonable steps have been taken to circulate a notice of the proposed dissolution generally throughout the school community; and
  • a meeting to discuss the notice of dissolution is held not less than 14 days after the circulation of that notice; and
  • at least two-thirds of those present at that meeting agree to the dissolution.

Following this meeting, if a decision is made to voluntarily dissolve a parents’ club under the Regulations the following actions must be taken:

  • all property and other assets are to be transferred to the control of the school council; and
  • a person present at the meeting must report the dissolution in writing to the school council as soon as practicable.

The school council must report as soon as practicable the dissolution to the Minister and advise him or her of the completion of actions outlined above.

Automatic Dissolution

When a school closes, the parents’ club is automatically dissolved as a matter of course.  Where schools merge or demerge, the schools involved close and then form a new school entity/entities. If the schools have parents’ clubs, the clubs will also close.

A new parents’ club can be formed once the new school entity/entities have been established. Any funds, property and/or assets from the closed parents’ clubs go to the newly merged school entity/entities.

In the case where a school closes or merges in accordance with the Regulations, the principal should be proactive and clear in his or her communication to the parents’ club about this process..

Related policies

Related legislation

Department resources

  • To download a copy of the model constitution, see: Parent Clubs.