Recruiting Class Reps is one of the more thankless tasks for PTAs and schools.
Where some PTA members despair that other parents avoid them in the playground. Just in case they get signed up to volunteer for something. Unsurprisingly, during lockdown and limited school gate mingling, finding those potential candidates can be harder than ever.
Although there are schools at the other end of the spectrum. Being a Class Rep is so popular that the PTA holds a lottery to allocate the role!
Here are three tips that will have parents queuing up to get involved.
Provide a clear ask
Class Reps are parents who liaise between their child’s class and the school PTA. They organise social events for the parents and carers of children in the class; keep parents informed about fundraising events and ask for volunteers to help with those events.
Class Reps are important community builders. Playing a key role of ensuring that no pupil or family is left out. As a rule of thumb Class Reps should organise at least one day and one evening gathering each term. This can be as little as turning up at a local cafe or pub. To more ambitious end of term picnics and Christmas parties.
Classlist’s event tool makes arranging an event, sending invitations and collecting money from parents take as little as 15 minutes. A lot of kudos for minimal effort.
Making parents laugh when recruiting can make the job more appealing. Here is a link asking parents to find their class rep super power in a humorous way.
Encourage job sharing
One of the key benefits of becoming a Class Rep is getting to know all the families in the class. Helping their child gain a stronger network of friends.
When recruiting class reps suggest sharing the role with another parent. It’s an easy way of making the job seem less onerous and more fun. Don’t assume the Class Rep role is the domain of mums only. Pro-actively seek out and ask Dads to volunteer. With the new normal of remote working this opens up the role to a much wider pool of candidates. Working parents will be looking to forge links with their school community tribe. Possibly as hanging out with work colleagues in person in the future will be less frequent.
Reward actions above words
Strong school communities are transparent about the school’s mission and values. They encourage parents to be there for each other. Strong communities recognise that some members of the community have different responsibilities. And offer them a path in which to grow and join an ‘inner ring’ within the community. This is not about leaving anyone in the community out. It is about acknowledging individual contributions with appropriate rewards. With Classlist community schools it is possible to monitor those parents that respond to parent questions or arrange informal events. Note these are not necessarily the parents with high profiles and are visibly hovering around the Head’s door. Rewards can be in the form of higher status. Giving them authority to invite new members to join the community or to approve new parent members. Such as hosting a ticketed event.
Read our article ‘What it’s like being a dad class rep‘ on our blog.
For more school community trends click on the link here.