There are many good reasons to get involved as your child’s Class Representative (Class Rep from now on). The main one is to help to build a feeling of community between the parents in your child’s year group, and give input into what happens at La Fontaine Academy in order to make it the best it can be. Being a Class Rep allows you to get to know our parents and carers within the school, from your own child’s class and others. Class Reps really do make a difference!
The exact duties of Class Reps will vary from time to time, this is merely a guide. Tasks can be shared between two or three people and also delegated to other parents. The role can be rotated every year – ideally in September. La Fontaine Academy is very grateful to anyone who offers to be a Class Rep and does not intend for Reps to feel overstretched so please adapt the role to suit your circumstances.
Typically, the responsibilities below should not take more than an hour per week to fulfil, with some weeks not requiring any involvement at all. This role is almost entirely remote, with most of the tasks carried out over Whatsapp messages, and no need to be physically present at school.
- Acting as an extra line of communication between the school/PTA and parents/carers, for example by passing on messages about school trips and events via social platforms/communicating face to face.
Note that class reps are not to act as liaison between other parents and the school. If approached by a parent with a query or complaint, the parent must contact the school directly: first the class teacher and if not resolved, the Deputy Head Teacher and finally, the Head Teacher.
Optional ideas for class reps
Below is a list of other tasks that could be carried out by class reps, but are not intended to overwhelm!
- To be a point of contact for new parents/carers and welcome them to the class/year group.
- To enlist any help needed to support with PTA events such as the summer fete and Christmas fair. This may involve working with your class to run a stall, and compiling a rota of class parents that are able to help on the day. The PTA will provide support and guidance to do this.
- To organise social events for parents and carers throughout the year, such as coffee mornings and meals out. Not all year groups will have the same uptake on social events so please only do what you feel comfortable with.
- To support in ensuring communications are in line with the Communications policy (e.g. appropriate behaviour on Social Media such as. WhatsApp and Classlist) and reminding parents and carers of the correct steps to take if there are concerns or complaints (see above).
- Where possible, encouraging parents to attend other school events such as sports day and concerts to help serve refreshments, sell programmes and other similar tasks. The more volunteers the PTA have, the more they can do.
- Collections: historically, Class Reps have organised collections for teachers and support staff at Christmas and the end of year.
- Create individual class WhatsApp groups at the beginning of school year, where appropriate. A WhatsApp group for the year group will be created by the PTA and a link for this will be shared on ClassList. Some year groups prefer to also have individual class WhatsApp groups and if this is the case, you will be responsible for creating this new WhatsApp group.
- Engage with the school leadership on behalf of the class. This will usually be termly through Class Rep meetings organised by the head of school. It will require providing notice to parents of upcoming Class Rep meetings, collating issues from across the parent community and raising with the school as appropriate. The feedback from these should also be captured and fed back to the class group if possible.
- Support the school leadership in accessing a representative cross section of our diverse school community to help inform decisions and operate as a ‘focus group’ to feedback on proposals or comment on certain areas of development as required by the school.
How are Class Reps chosen?
In most cases, Class Rep vacancies are publicised early in the autumn term by existing Class Reps on the WhatsApp group or at the end of the summer, and usually, the job is given to the person/people who offers to do it. There are two Class Reps per class, so they can share the duties. Class Reps can either change at the start of each school year, or the existing reps may carry on with their position. When you feel your term of office is coming to an end, you may wish to let the parents/carers know in your year group.
The following have been collated from previous Class Reps with regards to things that can help future Class Reps in their role. It is not exhaustive and will continue to be added to:
- Delegate, delegate, delegate! Don’t feel that Class Reps have to do all the tasks outlined above themselves. Getting other parents/careers to post reminders of events, answer queries where they know the answer and to lead on collections or socials will spread the burden significantly and ensure as many parents as possible feel involved. For those less comfortable with asking others to get involved a “Hey, it would be great to organise a class social this term, is there anyone who has any good ideas of where we could go and is willing to arrange something?” is a good way to get the ball rolling!
- Try to promote inclusivity. If you are aware of divisions or sub-groups that are being established, it might be worth reminding class parents of their commitment to ensure all members of the parent/career community feel included in discussions with regards the class.
- If requests are being made for information that has already been provided by the school and you are able to help with providing this, try to replicate this info as accurately as possible as it might be the only bit some parents then read! One of the best ways is to take ‘screen grabs’ of the email or newsletter that has the info in and post it into the WhatsApp group. It ensures that the info passed on is accurate and also helps to remind parents that they can often find it themselves!
- When asking for views on particular topics in preparation for Class Rep meetings, be cognisant that some individuals might not feel comfortable sharing their views across a whole group. If possible, also provide the opportunity for parents to make contact with you direct. Feedback can then be provided either directly back to the parent in question, or more likely, as wider feedback to the whole class once the school have confirmed a position on that topic.
- Don’t feel that you need to always capture Class Meeting feedback individually every time. The Classlist Class Reps groups is a great place to share written feedback so other Class Reps can copy and paste to their respective WhatsApp groups.
- Use the closed Class Reps groups on Class List to chat with other Class Reps. It is particularly useful for sharing info/agreeing on whole year group issues to ensure there is commonality of understanding across multiple Class WhatsApp groups in the same year group.
- Try to have an idea of who is in the WhatsApp group and whether or not there appears to be a significant number of parents who are not represented. There will always be some who chose not to engage, but if there are quite a few who appear to me missing it might be worth trying to reach out via Classlist, or word of mouth at the school gates to see if there are parents who are not aware of the group and require further details to allow them to join.