During the first class parent meeting organized by the school at the beginning of each school year, the parents of each class elect among themselves a Class Representative and a Deputy Class Representative. This is in accordance with the School Statutes.
The following is a summary of the typical tasks of the Class Representative. It is intended as a guide line in order to clarify the expectations of the role. It is designed to be a helpful aid to new and current Class Representatives, other parents, teachers and the School Administration.
It is not intended as a list of binding rules, rather more, a framework in which to operate.
Procedure in the first class parent meeting of the year:
2 parents are elected as Class Representative and Deputy Class representative by majority of the parents present in the meeting. The relevant protocol provided by the class teacher is signed by all parents present and is subsequently handed back to the class teacher. The Class Representatives will later share out the various tasks according to their interests or skills.
At this first meeting, money is collected from every family for the class fund, this is usually around 50 Euro per child. This money is managed by the Class Representatives and used towards expenses incurred by the class such as outings, class purchases or presents. (This is a common practice in the primary level but happens less in the secondary level due to the mix of classes, lessons and teachers).
Family addresses, telephone numbers and e- mail addresses are collected for later circulation amongst the class. Some Class Representatives also include the children’s birthdays.
Class teachers will inform the Administration of the e-mail addresses of their Class Representatives. The school Administration establishes a contact list of Class Representatives. This contact list is also sent to the Parents Association (PA) for the dissemination of information amongst the school community.
Main Tasks of Class Representative:
The Class Representative network is the channel through which information is shared. Because of the close contact between the Class Representative and their class, the contact information collected on a local level is often more accurate than that held by the Administration, for this reason, the local Class Representative information network is key to the process of speedy and effective communication amongst the school community.
The Class Representative will gather, update and circulate the contact details of their class families amongst their class and with the class teacher. Class parents are encouraged to inform the Representative if there are any changes to their contact details. (The Class Teacher may also use the e- mail list gathered for the purposes of their own direct communication with their class.)
Class Representatives forward e-mails sent by PA and School Administration to the parents of their class as and when requested.
The Class Representative may organize social events in order to foster good contact between families. They may also choose to compile an “available to play” table which shows who is around and when. This has been very useful in the past to facilitate social interaction during the long summer holidays.
The Class Representative may choose to meet with teachers individually to get to know them and foster cooperation in case there is an important question to discuss during the course of the year.
The Class Representative is not expected to represent families on an individual level, concerning problems in relation to the school or an individual teacher. However, the Class Representative should be prepared to defuse potential problems and mediate between the class and school or teachers, should the situation arise. The main focus is to create an atmosphere of cooperation.
The Class Representative represents the class if there is a matter which affects the class as a whole. He/she may represent the views of the majority of the families in a constructive and objective way. To this end, a Class Representative, before making contact with the School on any important matter, is advised to get in contact with all families concerned. Any Correspondence they intend to send to a teacher or the School Direction on behalf of the parents should be approved by all parents.
The Class representative should inform the representative of the Section Pedagogical committee when they are not able to resolve important problems of a pedagogical nature.
The Class Representative can also contact the Parents’ Association on any policy, teaching, administrative or social matter which has not been possible to sort out at class or section level. Likewise, it is the role of of the Parents’ Association to provide, to the best of its ability, information and support to Class Representatives and families as and when it is able.
Note: A European School is not a self-governing body. It comes under a system run by the Board of Governors of the European schools, the majority of its teachers are public servants who are detached by the national authorities to serve in a European School. The host countries are responsible for providing and maintenance of buildings infrastructure. Consequently, many important matters affecting each School are not decided individually at the local level.
The Parents’ Association is a member of Interparents, the umbrella organization of the Parents’ Associations of all European Schools, which sets the Parents’ Associations’ policy on matters of common interest and makes proposals to the Board of Governors and its various working groups. Parent Class Representatives are the first link in the chain to encourage parents into making a positive contribution to life at the school.