The Parents and Friends (P&F) group, sometimes known as Parents and Citizens (P&C), is more than just another parent support group. The role of P&F in schools is vital to your school community.
The P&F first and foremost gives you, as a parent, another avenue to be a part of your child’s education. Establishing and maintaining strong partnerships between the school and community ensures that the student feels nurtured and supported and provides them with the confidence and security essential for them to flourish.
So, what is the role of P&F in schools? The beginnings of Parents and Friends groups in NSW schools date back to 1848, with groups really beginning to take shape in 1908. According to the NSW Department of Education, the key drivers in the inception of parent organisations were to:
- raise funds for educational needs
- bring the school and parents into closer contact
- consider issues relating to the school’s welfare.
These key drivers form the basis of the role of P&F in schools. Essentially, these organisations can help to:
1. Provide a forum where parents can interact positively with the School
The P&F brings parents in closer contact with the School’s staff and leadership team. This means you can have a positive influence in your child’s school experience. It follows the biblical concept found in Proverbs 22:6, “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Studies have shown that when parents are involved in school communities, their children advance farther in their schooling and the schools themselves benefit. This means that schools succeed when parents are invested in their P&F.
2. Encourage a greater spirit of community and service
The encouragement of school spirit and creating a sense of community is crucial for schools. A school’s culture requires careful nurturing and the P&F can play a vital role in driving a positive cultural environment.
The P&F exists to help parents find practical ways to get involved in school life. This can include:
- organising school functions and fund raisers
- assisting with the school canteen
- organising seminars and workshops to enable parents to better support their children.
These areas of service foster an environment where parents and teachers can work together to help children feel part of a ‘family’ that allows them to thrive.
3. Secure additional amenities for students to help them achieve their full potential
The P&F also plays a pivotal role in fundraising for additional school amenities. Additional amenities and facilities enrich the school experience for all students.
The selection process of additional amenities is often a joint effort between the School’s leadership team and the P&F. At Trinity, the Parents’ and Friends’ Association has provided outstanding assets including the Compass Court, the organ in The Roderick West School of Music, multimedia and air-conditioning in The James Wilson Hogg Assembly Hall, and a bus shelter on Chapel Way.
All in all, the P&F association at your school can help bring about the best educational environment for your child. Your involvement will not only impact the school community but also your own child’s education journey.
At Trinity, we celebrate the importance of families and all they do for their children and the community. Our Pastoral Care guidelines focus on the fundamentals of good parenting — providing both care and discipline — enabling boys to grow into self-confident, trustworthy and resilient young men. We believe in working collaboratively with parents and students in a supportive Christian environment to ensure our boys realise their full potential, embrace their passions and find their life’s purpose.
For over a century, Trinity has been nurturing and encouraging boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 to grow in mind, body and spirit. To discover the Trinity difference, and how we help boys to realise their potential, passion and purpose, register for our Open Day.