2nd April 2014 - Joint statement from Irish Primary Principals’ Network & National Parents’ Council – Primary Re.‘Friends of School Committees’

An effective parent association should contribute very positively to the life of a school community.  Parent associations provide an opportunity for parents to work in partnership with the school and to provide practical support to the work of teachers with the ultimate objective of enhancing the quality of learning for every child in the school.

In accordance with Section 26 of the Education Act 1998, the parents of students in a recognised school may establish, and maintain, from among their number, a parent association for that school, and membership of that association shall be open to all parents of students in that school.

A small number of schools, through the efforts of the principal or Board of Management, have selected a group of parents and other interested people to form a ‘Friends of the School Committee’ mainly for the purpose of fundraising.  This is not the same thing as a parent association and, while it might run in tandem with one, does not replace the parent association, which has a statutory basis in the Education Act 1998.

For suggestions on best practice with regard to parent associations see ‘Supporting Each Other’, a joint IPPN-NPC publication, which is available on www.ippn.ie and www.npc.ie.

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