Meeting Processes

Please visit this page regularly. P&C Association meeting processes may change as new advice and restrictions around COVID-19 are released.
P&C Association meetings during COVID-19 – Update

This page must be read in conjunction with current NSW Department of Education advice and with current pandemic restrictions from the NSW Government.

The NSW Department of Education advice can be read here and current pandemic restrictions can be read here.

Check with your school for any sign-in requirements.

Planning a meeting

If your P&C Association is meeting on school grounds, we suggest sending a notification to all financial members requesting an RSVP to attend. This is to evaluate the number of members wishing to attend and to ensure the meeting does not exceed the allowed number.

If more than the allowed number wish to attend, we suggest one of the following options:

Option One: Virtual Meeting (via Zoom or other online platforms)
Section 10 of the Prescribed Constitution lays out the rules and processes of meeting virtually, and P&C Federation has additional information on how manage this type of meeting. This option applies only to incorporated P&C Associations.

Option Two: Face to face meeting outside the school/offsite
Subject to following NSW Government guidelines P&C Associations can meet in venues that are not on school grounds. This is the only option for P&C Associations governed by the Standard Constitution.

Note: Before organising your meeting, please review the NSW Government’s COVID-19 ‘What you can and can’t do under the rules’ page.

Option Three: Hybrid meeting
A hybrid meeting is a combination of face to face and online where some attendees can attend the meeting face to face and others join virtually. This only applies to Incorporated P&C Associations.

Note: Before organising your meeting, please review the NSW Government’s COVID-19 ‘What you can and cannot do under the rules’ page.

If none of the three options are possible, we suggest not holding the meeting, as it would be unconstitutional to exclude any financial members.

Useful Tips

P&C Federation has a list of comprehensive information on our website to support you in coordinating your meetings.

If your P&C Association is unincorporated and is interested in becoming incorporated or requires further information, please do not hesitate to contact the team by email at mail@pandc.org.au or phone: at 1300 885 982.

For more information, please visit the Department of Education’s Advice for familes

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As of Friday 22 May 2020, amendments to the (Model) Prescribed Constitution were published by the Minister in the Education Gazette as 1 of 2020. The prescribed constitution is in reference to:

Section 117 of the Education Act 1990 requires that the model constitution for Parents and Citizens’ associations incorporated under the Federation of Parents and Citizens’ Associations of New South Wales Incorporation Act 1976

The changes to the prescribed constitution refers only to P&C Associations Incorporated under this act. Note: P&C Associations that are not incorporated remain under the unchanged Standard Constitution. For more information about becoming an incorporated P&C Association. Click Here

Click here to view the Standard and newly amended (Model) Prescribed Constitutions.

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Operational P&C Meetings

There is also number of operational meetings that occur outside of the general meetings of the P&C Association. Office Bearers, Executive Committee and subcommittee meetings are about the operations of the P&C Association. These should all adhere to the general practice of the P&C Association for the conduct of meetings.

Running a Meeting

How should a P&C Association meeting run?

It is important that P&C Association meetings be conducted in an orderly manner. This can be gained by following a set of meeting rules consistently. P&C Federation encourages all P&C Associations to follow a consistent order of business that is decided upon by the P&C Association members. Here is a guide to how your P&C Association may choose to set their meeting agenda.

Meeting open – Firstly the chair needs to establish that quorum has been met. This is where the chair calls the meeting to order or opens the meeting, welcomes current members and introduces new members. Any Guest speakers or visitors to the meeting are acknowledged and introduced. Observers can be noted, and the meeting asked if they are happy for the observers to be present and they can then be introduced and informed of how they can participate. The meeting may have an acknowledgement of country.

Attendance and Apologies – those in attendance are noted and apologies are notified by the Secretary and recorded in the minutes.  Please note: the only apologies that should be noted are those supplied by the person, who is making the apology, to the secretary by phone, email etc.

Sample: Motion to accept the apologies moved by: xxx seconded by: xxx Vote outcome: carried/lost

Minutes – this is where the members are invited to confirm the minutes from the previous meeting are an accurate record.

Sample: Motion to receive the minutes moved by: xxx seconded by: xxx Vote Outcome: carried /lost

This is where any amendments should be proposed by motion that is moved seconded and voted upon. Motion: xxx moved by: xxx seconded by: xxx vote outcome carried/lost

Once the minutes are confirmed as a true and correct record, then the President and Secretary will sign a copy of the minutes to be placed in the minute book.

Business Arising – this is where members complete unfinished business from the previous meeting and any motions on notice from the previous meeting are to be first items in general business.

Record any motions along with who moved, who seconded and the outcome of the vote carried/lost.

Correspondence – this is where the secretary tables the correspondence report, reads any letters of interest and the members discuss correspondence, in and out.

Sample: Motion to receive the correspondence in and confirm the correspondence out.  Moved by: xxx seconded by: xxx Vote outcome: carried/lost

Reports:

Treasurer – this is where the Treasurer gives an overview of the finances, presents a profit and loss and the reconciled bank statements for the month to the members.

Sample: Motion to accept the Treasurer’s report moved by xxx seconded by: xxx Vote outcome: carried/lost

Canteen Subcommittee – report on what is happening in the canteen – can be given from the convenor

Any recommendations noted and to be included for motion and vote in general business.

Representation – including school council and any other committees e.g. finance committee.

Fundraising committees – how fundraising has gone and what is planned for the future.

Any recommendation to be noted and to be included for motion and vote in general business. This would include motions to have an event, date and any expenditure around the event.

Principals report– this is where the Principal reports on what is happening in the school and sometimes within  the Department of Education, especially if it will affect the school. e.g. LMBR

The Chair can ask if there are any questions of the Principal’s report.

Sample: Motion to receive the principals report moved by xxx seconded by: xxx Vote outcome: carried/lost

Any other reports.

General business – this is where the agenda items on notice are dealt with. These motions should be on notice to all members as per the by-laws of the P&C Association.

Discuss suggestions, ideas referred to and from Committees, ensure the recommendations of the subcommittees are brought forward as a motion

Sample: Moved by xxx Seconded by: xxx Vote outcome: carried/lost

Provide talks and presentations on particular subjects of interest.

Deal with any new business items – these maybe dealt with as the members see fit. They can deal with them at this meeting or ask that they be taken as a motion on notice for the next meeting.

Note: Best Practice maybe to have a By-law which states any motions raise will be placed on notice for the next meeting to enable further investigation or research etc.

Membership Fee: This must be paid before the close of the meeting in order for the member register to be updated. Those who pay membership following the close of the meeting will have to wait until the close of the next general or annual general meeting for the register to be updated before they become a financial member. Membership cannot be taken or the member register updated at a special meeting.

Guest speakers may have their time allocated to any part of the meeting as decided by the members.

Closing

Confirm the date and time of the next meeting

Close meeting indicating the time.

Member register to be updated. Kept by secretary

Virtual Meetings Considerations

When investigating the various platforms for online meetings and voting there are some consideration you may have to take into account such as some providers of video conferencing software offer free versions with limited functionality and capabilities. This may be suitable for your P&C Association.

However, it may be that your P&C Association needs to spend some money for an effective option. As there may be technology-related costs that may come with a remote meeting – for example, a voting platform for anonymity.

When P&C Associations are discussing the options available for virtual meetings, a decision of the members must be passed in a motion regarding the platforms to use and the costs involved.

In this document you will note that meeting processes remain the same as face to face meetings except for some additional considerations when hosting a virtual meeting or a mixture of both virtual meeting and face to face that must happen.

  1. Virtual meeting by definition: A virtual meeting is when people in multiple physical locations use video, audio, or text to link up. Virtual meetings allow people to share information and data in real-time when it is not be possible for all to meet physically together.

Additional considerations may need to be made to allow for various meeting platforms e.g. face to face, via video conferencing, by phone conference a mixture of all platforms or total virtual meetings

2. Consultations with member re: remote meetings – Decisions by the members re how remote meeting will would look – as a meeting place and additional remote members

Note: If the initial virtual meeting  the members  would discuss what procedures and platforms would be used and a motion would need to be passed alternatively if further investigation was required a special meeting could be set so all the relevant information can be gathered and shared with members before a decision is made by the members regarding expenditure and any ongoing costs.

3.  Selecting a platform – looking and researching platforms – asking where the information will be stored – as data needs to be stored in Australia to adhere to Australian privacy laws – other countries have different privacy laws.

4. Equity – there is a requirement to ensure that all people wishing to participate are able to do so in an equitable manner, this includes internet connections and ability to be active in the meeting.

  • if  someone has issues with the internet and cannot be heard or drops out how is the P&C going to ensure equity.
  • Where they cannot be heard but are still connected look at maybe chat capability, where they can enter text etc.
  • Where there is a drop out of a number of participants it may be prudent to defer the rest of the meeting until a time all can participate. Think about who will monitor this.

5. Security: re participants information, that no one else other than invitees attend, that there is no recording of the meeting,

6. Meetings cannot be recorded, email addresses and phone numbers should not be shared

7. Quorum: There needs to be a measurement of the people in attendance and a mechanism for knowing when the meeting has fell below quorum. What if there is still quorum but a number of participants that were keen suddenly dropout due to internet issues. P&C Associations need to consider how they will deal with quorum issues:

  • Who is going to monitor the number of participants that responded with their attendance to ensure that quorum is always maintained during the meeting?
  • What happens if several participants drop out due to internet failure? If quorum is not met then you may want to consider a procedure to reconvene at another time.

8.Membership: Consideration must be taken into account how new membership or membership renewal will be collected if not able to physically collect it for e.g. a membership form (sample) is completed and emailed to the secretary or treasurer with a place on the form for a reference word to inserted, this reference word would then also be used to match up with the reference word given when making a direct deposit. It is a decision of the members what process will work best for them so as not to exclude anyone wishing to join.

Considerations For:

  • Notification of a meeting, when, where, date and time as well as details to join by technology – amended secretary role to include confirming attendance if members participating virtually web or phone (Prior registration of attendance to meeting and via which platform- web, phone or face to face)
  • Monitoring quorum – Quorum (delegating to a VP)
  • Voting platforms (anonymity, silent vote) Options and Pros and Cons – Voting can take place depending on whether it is required to be anonymous or not
  • Taking membership – P&C Association Membership/ Membership Interest Form
  • Agenda item (motions in advance, motions raised during meeting)
  • What happens if connectivity is lost during the meeting – ability to verify whether connection was lost or they left the meeting
  • No Proxy voting no exceptions

Some meeting platforms have limitations on time e.g. 40 mins only, P&C Associations must be aware of this if using these free platforms.

Quorum

 

What is a quorum?
Quorum is a term that simply means the number of members of a group that must be present at any meeting to make the proceedings of the meeting valid.

Does a quorum apply to our P&C Association?
Yes.

What is the quorum for our meetings?
This is found in your Constitution. The rule is as follows; Where the association has a current membership of 50 or more, the quorum at all meetings of that association shall be 10 members. Where the association has a current membership of less than 50, the quorum shall be set according to the rules of the association but shall not be less than five.

Note: Regardless of the your P&C meeting being face to face, using technology or a mixture of both, quorum must be met to proceed and be maintained during the entire meeting. If quorum is lost during the meeting, the meeting shall be closed. No motions can be voted on without quorum.

Do all P&C meetings have to meet quorum in regard to the number of financial members?
All meetings must meet the required quorum for all meetings except for Office Bearer meetings where not all office bearer positions have been filled (casual vacancy).

We cannot achieve quorum at our meeting. What do we do?
If after 15 minutes of the advertised start time you do not have quorum then you cannot meet.  At the next meeting if you don’t realise quorum again contact P&C Federation and have a discussion about increasing parent engagement.

If we don’t have five members in total are we still a P&C Association?
No. The Constitution your P&C Association operates under states; your association shall be dissolved if the number of members falls below the quorum or the school to which the association is attached is closed. Keep in mind closure or dissolution is the last resort! Please exhaust every strategy available to you before taking this dramatic course of action. Please note the principal as ex-officio also counts as one towards the quorum.

What can we do to get quorum?
Promote the benefits of the P&C Association. Try an open letter to the school community highlighting the need for members and meeting attendance. The letter should be a positive and proud statement about the leadership parents can exercise as partners with teachers in the schooling process. It should also identify the benefits that children directly receive by their parents and greater school community being involved in the P&C Association.

It is important that school communities are reminded of the contribution that P&C Associations make. People are always pleased to provide assistance where they can so keep the meetings to a reasonable amount and don’t commit to more than what can be successfully managed by your volunteers at any one time.  Be sure to also look at different mediums to engage potential members such as newsletters, social media, e-bulletins and the like.

Promote the benefits of volunteering to potential volunteers e.g. learning skills to add to a resume, making new friends.

Annual General Meeting Checklist

BEFORE THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)

  • Check the time and date of AGM in the P&C Association by-laws.
  • Is the membership list correct and current? Financial members are those people who have paid the annual subscription since the last AGM. Members names are recorded in the register (membership list) by the Secretary and the Treasurer will have given them a receipt for their membership payment.
  • Advertise the AGM to the whole school community and all P&C Association members at least 14 days prior to the meeting being held. This notice will include a list of representative positions to be elected at the meeting.
  • Remind members that if they are not able to attend the AGM, they must submit apologies to the Secretary and indicate in writing if they are happy to accept nomination to a position or wish to nominate to a position.
  • Ensure all reports required from office-bearers are completed, for example a report from the President, Treasurer’s Report including t h e Audit Report.
  • Check the by-laws to see if there is a limited tenure on any office-bearer or representative positions and inform the Returning Officer.
  • Distribute the Minutes of the previous AGM as well as a copy of the Constitution and by-laws to all members.
  • Ensure that the Treasurer has presented all the records of the P&C Association for auditing to the auditor appointed by the P&C Association at the last AGM? The records consist of:    Minute book / Cash book / Deposit book / Cheque book / Receipt book / Invoices / Bank statements
  • Ensure that reports that have been submitted to the AGM are strictly relevant to the AGM? If not, they should be tabled to the General Meeting that is convened following the AGM.

DURING THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

  • The AGM is chaired by the President with required reports and Minutes being tabled and adopted as per P&C Association practice.
  • Once the business of the meeting is resolved the Returning Officer (usually the Principal) is invited to host the elections. The Returning Officer declares all positions vacant. Returning Office is supplied with list of current financial members.
  • The ballot is conducted by the Returning Officer. Where the Principal is not available the Returning Officer position is determined by the meeting and must be someone who plays no part in the election. (i.e. Does not stand for a position or cast a vote).
  • The Secretary should give all written nominations to the Returning Officer.
  • The office-bearer positions determined by the AGM, according to both the Standard and Prescribed Constitution are declared vacant and are then elected. The positions are as described in the Constitution:  President / Two Vice- Presidents / Secretary / Treasurer and up to six Executive members.
  • Other representative positions held by the P&C Association members are elected at the AGM. These positions may include: School Finance Committee / Merit Panels / Feeder school committee / School Welfare Committee /Uniform sub-committee / Fundraising sub-committee / OOSH sub-committee / Canteen sub-committee
  • On completion of the elections the office-bearers and all other elected positions commence. The President may commence their duties by thanking the Returning Officer for completing the tasks.
  • The auditor for the following year is determined (by resolution) at the AGM.
  • Membership fee is set for the year(by resolution).
  • The AGM is closed, and the General Meeting can be convened.

AFTER THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

  • Is your organisation incorporated? If yes, you must send a copy of the audited financial statements to P&C Federation within one month of the AGM. If not contact P&C Federation and get more information.
  • Complete P&C Federation’s Member Register Update; www.pandc.org.au under ‘Members’- this will ensure that all of the office-bearer information is up to date.
  • Ensure that the President and Secretaries have access to the passwords for the P&C Association’s email address as provided by P&C Federation. http://webmail.pandcaffiliate.org.au
  • Update the Australian Business Number (ABN) register. P&C Associations are required by law to tell the Registrar of the Australian Business Register within 28 days of any changes in your registered business   details, including changes to the authorised contact person. www.abr.business.gov.au/
  •  Update the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Registration – P&C Associations will need to update the responsible person information and contact details within 60 days of any change.P&C Associations are also required to meet compliance and dependent on their size (Small) charity, must complete an Annual Income Statement (AIS) and (medium or large) charities are to complete an Annual Income Statement (AIS) and upload their audit report.P&C Associations must also check they have the most current governing document uploaded, for incorporated P&C Associations this is the prescribed constitution.(As updated May 2020)  www.acnc.gov.au
  • Note: The Prescribed Constitution for Incorporated P&C Associations (Incorporated under the Parents & Citizens Associations Act 1976 No 50) was amended May 2020 to allow Incorporated P&C Associations to also be able to host virtual meetings. The latest versions of the Standard and Prescribed constitution can be downloaded from P&C Federation website: pandc.org.au

Office Bearer Meetings

 

Who are the office bearers?

Office bearers are the duly elected officers of the P&C Association consisting of a President, 2 (two) x Vice Presidents, a Treasurer and a Secretary.

What is an Office Bearer meeting?

An office bearer meeting can be called to discuss the moving forward of actions required by the resolutions of the general meetings. Also, it can be used for team building to ensure the office bearers work as team.

Are minutes to be tabled for ratification at the next general meeting?

Minutes are not required to be tabled at the next general meeting for ratification as the meeting is a discussion on how to move actions forward, not making decisions.

What if a decision is made?

Should a decision be made for any reason this will need to be taken back to the next general meeting to be ratified. Office bearers need to be mindful that the members may decide not to ratify the decision made.

Who deals with employment matters?

Employment matters need to be dealt with by the office bearers as they are the duly elected responsible persons of the P&C Association.  There is also a privacy and confidentiality between employer and employee that must be adhered to.

Executive Committee Meetings

 

What is an executive committee?

An executive committee is made up of 5 (five) office bearers, President, 2 (two) x Vice Presidents, Treasurer and Secretary and up to 6 (six) financial members elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Why have an Executive committee?

An executive committee is formed to carry out the decisions of the P&C Association.

Are the minutes to be tabled for ratification at the next general meeting?

Minutes are to be taken at all executive committee meetings and are to be table at the next general meeting to be ratified by the members.

What if a decision is made?

Should a decision be made for any reason this will need to be taken back to the next general meeting to be ratified. The executive committee needs to be mindful that the members may decide not to ratify the decision made.

Sub - Committee Meetings

 

Who makes up the Sub-committee?

Membership will consist of: a Canteen Convenor, a Canteen Minute Taker, a representative of the Treasurer (this can be the P&C Association Treasurer. Where there is a bookkeeper employed by the P&C Association it shall be this person) and at least two (2) other financial members of the P&C Association. The President and Principal shall be ex-officio members of the sub-committee.

What is the relationship between sub-committees and the P&C Association?

Sub-committee have delegated authority as outlined in the rules put in place by the P&C Association and are fully accountable to the P&C Association. Each sub-committee must operate within the rules set by the P&C Association.

What rules do a Sub-committee operate under?

The sub-committee operates under the same constitution and by-laws as the P&C Association. The P&C Association also needs to adopt specific rules for the sub-committees. Sample Sub-committee rules. (to add link)

Meeting of the sub-committee
  • The sub-committee shall meet at least once a school term.
  • The quorum for all meetings shall be five (5) members
  • A special meeting may be summoned by the Canteen Convenor on a written request signed by at least three (3) members of the sub-committee. Seven (7) days notice of any such meeting, stating the business of the meeting, shall be given to all members of the sub-committee including ex-officio members.

Are the minutes to be tabled for ratification at the next general meeting?

Minutes are to be taken at all sub-committee meetings and a written report is to be tabled at the next general meeting. This should include and recommendations.

What if a decision is made?

A sub-committee can discuss and make recommendations in their report to the next general meeting where the members will vote on their recommendations. A sub-committee is unable to make decisions and must refer to the P&C Association.

Virtual Meeting and Voting Options

There are many platforms available for hosting virtual meetings and/voting with some being free and others having an ongoing cost or pay as you go type system.

  • P&C Federation uses Zoom for meetings and webinars and is currently in consultation with Zoom to see if we can negotiate a special deal with them for P&C Federation members, so P&C Association members that are interested maybe be able to purchase a Zoom licence at a reduced cost for a period of 12mths. 
  • Keep checking our website for updates

It is important however, that when P&C Association members are making a decision that have the relevent information and do their homework to make sure it is the best fit for their P&C Association as well as the cost, if any. This enables members to make informed decisions. To assist P&C Federation has gather some information on some of the platforms available for meetings and voting.

 Note: P&C Federation does not endorse any platforms as it is the decision of members individual P&C Associations  to decide on the platform and processes that are best for their P&C Association