What is a class rep?
Parent-teacher associations (PTAs) are an important asset to most primary schools, organising events and helping to raise vital funds for the school. In many schools, as well as the formal PTA positions of chair, treasurer and secretary, parents are invited to become the PTA representative for their child’s class. But what exactly does being a class rep involve?
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Why become a class rep?
There are many good reasons to get involved as your child’s class rep. The main one is to help your child’s school. ‘I decided to be a class rep to help my children, feel involved and give my input into what happens at their school,’ explains Diana Ross, mum to Daniel, 11, Ben, eight, and Eleanor, seven. ‘It’s nice to be a part of making their school better.’
Being a class rep allows you to have a greater say in what the PTA does in terms of organising events and raising money. ‘I enjoy being at the forefront of school events,’ says Dimal Patel, dad to Tia, six. It’s also a good way to get to know other parents within the school, from your own child’s class and others.
Class rep duties
The exact duties of class reps will vary from school to school. Typically, though, they include:
- Attending PTA meetings and passing on comments and suggestions from the other parents in your child’s class.
- Helping with school events such as the summer fete and Christmas fair. This may involve helping to organise the entire event, coordinating a particular stall, and compiling a rota of class parents to help on the day.
- Attending other school events such as sports day and concerts to help serve refreshments, sell programmes and other similar tasks.
- Drawing up a list of contact details for all the parents in the class, circulating this to the families, and keeping it up to date. This is helpful for arranging playdates and birthday party invitations.
- Organising social events for parents such as coffee mornings and meals out.
- Coordinating collections for end-of-term presents for teachers, and for children who are leaving the school.
- Setting up and running a Facebook page where class parents can communicate.
- Acting as an extra line of communication between the teacher and parents, for example by passing on messages about school trips and events.
How are class reps chosen?
In most cases, class rep vacancies are publicised early in the autumn term, and usually, the job is given to the person who offers to do it. ‘I volunteered when I heard there were spaces,’ says Diana. If there are two or more people interested in being a class rep, they may share the duties, or the PTA may arrange a vote to decide who gets the role.
Class reps can either change at the start of each school year, or the existing rep may carry on with their position.
What qualities does a class rep need?
There’s no formal person specification for the class rep position, but ideally, you need to be sociable, confident enough to put pressure on other parents to help out with events, and organised. Having enough spare time for the job is important, too; if you work full-time and are rarely in the playground for drop-off or pick-up, it can be hard to build relationships with other parents.
Being a class rep isn’t just a job for women. ‘When Tia started nursery, I realised the PTA was mostly a mums’ domain,’ says Dimal. ‘I thought that being involved as a dad could bring in some fresh ideas. I would advise anyone thinking of becoming a class rep to take the plunge: I know Tia is proud knowing that I’m involved with her school.’