8 Reasons Why You Should NOT Join Your School’s Parent’s Association

I’ve always wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of the P&C. For those who aren’t in the know, the P&C is the Parents & Citizens Association which provides volunteer support, raise funds for infrastructure and other expenses and assist in the administration of their school. It is for public (government funded) schools in Australia.

Tonight was the first P&C meeting for the 2014 school year and seeing that I now have a child in big school, I had to sign up and become a member of the organisation. Tonight we discussed the fund raising events; what will we do, who will help organise it, and who will volunteer to participate in the fund raising events.

Even before I joined this I followed our school’s public Facebook page, I joined the private Facebook group and I also joined the one dedicated to parents who have children starting kindergarten this year.

These are some fantastic organisations to follow, become a part of and participate in. And why wouldn’t you? Why wouldn’t you want to support the organisation who is looking out for your child?

Our P&C meets on the third Monday of each month excluding school holidays. This year it happens twice that the third Monday is during school holidays during the year, and the third Monday in December is the last week of the school year so we might not do it, but whether that night is in or not, that’s basically eight or nine nights out of 365 (or 366 even four years) you have to “give up” for the betterment of your child.

And if we put that into percentages, that is 2% of your evenings for the year that you need to stop doing what you’d normally be doing (like watching television). And if 2% seems too high, seeing that the meetings are only 90 minutes – multiplied by the number of meetings using nine as the magic number – that is 810 minutes per year out of 525,600 minutes in a year, which means you are only giving up 0.1% of your year.

So it got me thinking, why wouldn’t you want to be part of it, and here’s some reasons why I think you should NOT join the P&C. Or to put it more accurately, here’s some acceptable excuses in my book;

  1. You are a single parent who doesn’t have anyone to look after your child or children at night. No one would expect you to pay for a sitter.
  2. You work shift work and the third Monday each month is night duty for you.
  3. You don’t love your kids… enough.
  4. You don’t want to be part of the school community.
  5. You are involved with other charitable organisations in the community that already take up 2% of your evenings.
  6. You’re currently in the midst of six years of weekend detention and Monday night is when you get to catch up on how the rest of the family enjoyed their weekend while you were locked up.
  7. It clashes with Monday Night Football which you really HAVE to watch otherwise, how can you justify spending $99 per month on the pay TV sports package?
  8. Two words; reality television… (It’s more important than life itself, isn’t it?)

Well, maybe you fit into one of those categories that most people would agree are plausible excuses not to join and you would really love to. So why not be a part of everything else, or at least something else?

Offer to cook the sausage sizzle or sell drinks at the next event. Help out by selling raffle tickets. Donate some prizes for the raffle. Do whatever it is you can to help out the school. After all it is your child’s school. YOUR child. That child that belongs to YOU.

Surely you can read between the lines and see that YOU will benefit by having YOUR child benefit from the funds raised.

Go on join. What’s your excuse?

Are you part of your child’s school’s parent’s association? Would you encourage others to join? What do you enjoy about being part of the organisation?

7 thoughts on “8 Reasons Why You Should NOT Join Your School’s Parent’s Association

  1. Love it!!!
    Would you mind if I quoted some of this in my end of year presentation night speech. It will be my last one as President of our High School P&C and I wanted to challenge the parents to lift their game. Numbers have been dwindling and it is so sad.

  2. Thank you so much for this. I have been a P&C Treasurer for 2 years. Last meeting, our entirely new leadership team (aside from myself and our secretary) were told we have an image problem – hard to swallow for our new team running their first meeting. Eeek?!?! While we’re open to try and change our image and will work to do so, I think your article hits the mark far more articulately. Would you mind if we also shared it with our parent community? It’s a gem and spot on!

  3. Unfortunately, you may be preaching to the converted here. I am our P&C vice president, and tend to head up the fundraisers. While those who volunteer agree 100% with what you have said, I am finding that unless something has changed in their lives (e.g. more time now, kids are old enough to look after themselves, change in schedule etc) , parents who haven’t come forward before are still content not to. I am thinking of ways to meet the time-poor (but interested) parents halfway – finding out why they don’t attend and working a way around it. Wish me luck!

    1. I attended a P&C Association meeting bringing together members of local P&Cs as well as the management of the governing body and also the head of recruitment for one of Australia’s best known charities and although there were plenty of great ideas to get more people to join or volunteer, it is so hard to win some people over.

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