Hi and welcome to a new school year.
Many John McGlashan College families will be familiar with what PFA does, however, to update the newer families I have written this article to get you up to speed.
The Parents and Friends Association is an opportunity for interested parents to involve themselves in school projects, meet with other parents, discuss school issues, contribute to policy making and to act as a forum for the exchange of ideas about the school.
The PFA meets every month. At the meeting, Neil Garry, Principal, a teacher representative, and board member give the committee reports on what is happening around the school.
Three times a year we also have a grant funding round to distribute funds to support school activities.
The fete, held in the fourth term is the only Parents and Friends Association fundraiser. Last year’s fete raised $57,000. There is also a voluntary fee charged to parents’ accounts every term which is used to supplement the Association’s funds.
While the Association has governing rules, the guidelines for the distribution of the funds are more flexible so we can support the school as the need arises.
The current guidelines are as follows:
We contribute to one major school project per year which the school and committee decide on before the yearly fete.
In recent years, these have been sport ground lighting, chapel audiovisual equipment, and carpet flooring tiles for the Davies Sports Centre.
We have three grant funding rounds per year; these distribute approximately $12,000 each time. Teachers, school departments, sports and cultural groups, and individual pupils can apply for funding via contacting the PFA teacher representative, Rachael Gardiner, for a funding schedule and application form.
Teachers and College departments
Successful 2016 fund applications were for emergency group shelters (outdoor education), costumes and props (drama), tools (gateway programme), BBQ (general), defibrillator (general), board games and puzzles (Junior School), grow tables (science), gym equipment (P.E.), library resources, robot kits (digitech), a pie warmer (canteen), funding assistance for Year 10 Arts week, languages week, Year 10 careers and wellness week, and the upcoming 2017 School Production.
The amounts funded varied widely from a few dollars to several thousand.
Sports and cultural groups
Successful 2016 fund applications have been for accommodation, travel expenses, tournament fees, chess sets, uniforms and venue hire.
Our ‘rule of thumb’ is a sports code/ team can apply for one $500 grant per year.
We do not contribute to activities that can be funded by the Sports Council, or the sport code's own fundraising efforts.
Successful 2016 fund applications have been for travel, accommodation, and entry fees.
Our ‘rule of thumb’ is individuals can apply for a $250 grant when they are representing the College at an event or representing their chosen sport at a national or international level.
We do not contribute to individual students where other College students will be participating in the same activity unless it is a group application.
When reviewing the grant applications, the committee focuses on the objectives of the PFA rules:
- does it maximise the beneficiary group of students?
- does it facilitate improved educational outcomes for pupils?
- does it encourage students to participate in sport or recreation?
- does it encourage students to participate in art and cultural experiences?
- does it enhance the environment of the College?
- what other fundraising efforts have been made by the applicant?
The AGM for the Parents and Friends Association is being held on 13th March at 7:00 pm upstairs in the Edgar Learning Centre.
All parents & guardians of current students are welcome to come along to see what we do and to join the PFA committee if they wish.
The current office bearers are happy to continue in their roles; so, do not feel you going to be pressured into a job.
I have been involved with many committees over the years and I must say this is the easiest by far. As a member, you get a far greater understanding, and input into your school community. The only real work is helping out with the Fete later in the year; which is great fun!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 4883383
JMC Parents and Friends Association Chair