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Welcome to Compass Parents

The National Association of Compass is a Constituent body of the National Parents Council (Post Primary) representing all parents who choose to educate their children in schools or colleges which promote a Protestant or a minority ethos.

There are 27 such affiliated schools in the Republic of Ireland. Most schools have elected parent representatives on their Boards of Management.

Compass Parents

If you have any questions or would like any further information about COMPASS, then please feel free to contact info@compassparents.org 

Compass Parents Committee

President               Patrick Empey (Kilkenny College)   

Deputy President  Paul Rolston  (Kings Hospital school)

Hon.Sec.                Julie Carr (Dundalk GS)

Hon. Treasurer      Nigel Bannister (Wilson's Hospital School)   

P.R.O.                     Shane Bennett  (Dundalk GS)

Mary Lillis (Wilson's Hospital School)  

Nita Misra (Wesley College)

Claire Cox (Dundalk GS)  

Alyson Findlay (East Glendalough)

Clive Jones (Wesley College)

Eoin Murphy (Midleton College)

Hilary Rabbette (St. Andrew's College)

History of Compass

In the early 1980s Gemma Hussey, the then Minister for Education created the National Parents Council (Post Primary). The purpose of this council was to be a conduit between parents and the Department of Education and Science. There were several constituent bodies, representing all the types of schools in the Secondary Level. The schools, which had been founded by Protestant Boards of Governors (although now inter-denominational), were in the body known as N.P.S.S.P.A.-National Protestant Secondary Parents Association. In 1999 this name was changed to Compass – Co-operation of Minority Religions and Protestant Parents Associations (post primary).

Ms Hussey’s plan was that all Second level schools would have a Parent/Teacher Association or a Parent Association. One or Two parents from the association in each school would represent their constituent body, and if voted onto the committee of that body report back to the parents in all their schools. Compass Committee is the conduit for Compass schools to the National Parents Council (post primary) and thence to the Department of Education and Science.

In the 1980s N.P.S.S.P.A. met once a term. Although the D.E.S. involved parents with many discussion papers then, the recognition of parents as the Primary educators has become stronger, and now in the 2000s the Compass committee needs to meet more often, usually every month. 4 Compass committee members are on the Board of the National Parents Council and they are often required to represent the parents on other committees i.e. the N.C.C.A. (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment), N.E.P.S. (the National Educational Psychological Service )H.E.A. (Higher Education Authority ) to name a few. We are asked to represent parents at meetings with the J.M.B.(Joint Managerial Body ),I.S.A. (Irish Head Teachers Association ),The Child Welfare Association, The Child Health Development Association, again to name a few.

In the Twenty First Century Compass is very strong in its role of representing the parents of our schools, through the N.P.C.p.p. to the D.E.S. The role of the parent as the prime partner in Education is now recognised without question.

COMPASS Parents' Constitution

 

1. Name:

The name of the Association shall be the National Association of Compass - Co-operation of Minority Religion and Protestant Parent Associations (Post Primary).

 

2. Objectives:

The objectives of the Association are:

2.1   To provide a national forum for all Parents/Guardians, Parents Associations and Parent members of Parent/Teacher Associations in Protestant or Minority Religion post primary schools in the Republic of Ireland.

2.2   To nominate representatives of COMPASS for appointment as Directors to the board of the National Parents Council post primary CLG (Company Limited by Guarantee - NPCpp).

2.3   To represent the parents and guardians of children attending Protestant and Minority Religion post primary schools on any National Parents Organizations in areas of unique concern.

2.4   To consult with the Protestant churches involved in Education, the Jewish Community Leaders, and other Minority Religious Group Leaders who might wish to join Compass.

2.5   To elect delegates to represent Compass in discussions or negotiations with any other National bodies.

 

3. Membership:

 

3.1   All parents/guardians of students attending Compass schools shall be members of the Association.

3.2   Each school shall have a minimum of one, or a maximum of two Compass Liaison Members.

3.3   The Parents Association/Parent Teacher Association shall elect these Liaison Members in the first term of each school year, and their names notified to the Hon. Secretary of Compass by the 31st October each year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. General Meeting:

The Parents/Guardians from each school shall be invited to attend all interactive meetings, in addition to the Annual General Meeting.

 

5. Annual General Meeting:

The A.G.M. of the Association shall be held before the 30th April each year of which 14 days written notice of the meeting shall be given to all member schools.

 

 

 

6. Extraordinary General Meeting:

An E.G.M. may be called by the Executive Committee, or by 6 fully paid up schools, by giving 14 days written notice to all Parents Associations Parent Teachers Associations member schools. 

 

7. Election of National Executive Committee:

 

7.1   The A.G.M. will elect an Executive Committee each year. A member elected to the Executive should have a child in the secondary education system and or have relevant experience of skills as may from time to time be required by the Executive.

7.2    The Officers and members of the Compass Executive Committee shall be:

(i)    President (the President will chair all meetings of the Executive).

(ii)   Deputy President (The outgoing President to be ratified at the A.G.M.).

(iii)  Vice-President (The President elect).

(iv)  Hon. Secretary

(v)   Hon. Treasurer

(vi)  Public Relations Officer

7.3   In addition five ordinary members shall be elected, at least one of whom but preferably two or more will be parents/guardians of boarder pupils, and at least one but preferably two or more will be parents/guardians of day pupils.

7.4   The President shall serve for a maximum of 3 consecutive years.

7.5   The Vice-President will be elected from the Executive Committee at a meeting following the A.G.M.

7.6   At least three members of the Executive must represent a school located outside the greater Dublin area, and at least three members represent a school located inside the greater Dublin area.

7.7   An Assistant Secretary and an Assistant Treasurer may be elected from the ordinary members of the Executive.

7.8   As our role is that of representing members of the Protestant tradition and members of Minority Religions, the President and the Honorary Secretary and at least 4 other parents on the National Executive, must be members of a Protestant denomination or Minority religion.

7.9   Should two or more persons be proposed for an officer position, or more than 5 Ordinary members be proposed, then election shall be by ballot.

7.10   The members of the Executive Committee may offer themselves for re-election each year and shall not hold office for more than 6 consecutive years, in the event that we do not have eleven members going forward for election to the Executive at the A.G.M., members may serve a further year.

7.11   The Executive will have the power to invite persons with expertise in relevant areas to serve on the Executive as ex-officio in an advisory, non-voting capacity.

 

 

8. Subscriptions:

 

8.1   An affiliation subscription will be payable by all Parents Associations or Parent/Teacher Associations represented by Compass to National Parents Council post primary CLG. Where schools are jointly represented by Compass and the Parents Association of Comprehensive Colleges (PACCs) they may affiliate to both Associations on payment of the affiliation subscription.

8.2   The amount of the subscription for each calendar year will be determined by National Parents Council post primary CLG and will be payable before the end of December of the academic year.

 

 

9. Motions for the Annual General Meeting:

 

9.1   The Agenda for the A.G.M. will be issued with the Notice of the Meeting.

9.2   Notice of any motion for discussion at the A.G.M. should be submitted to the Honorary Secretary no less than 21 days prior to the date of the A.G.M.

9.3   A 2/3rd majority will be required for any motion to be carried at any A.G.M. or E.G.M. other than a motion related to article 18.1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Annual report

The President and the Hon Secretary will report to the A.G.M.

 

11. Accounts/Auditor:

 

11.1   The Hon Treasurer will present a certified copy of the annual accounts at the A.G.M.

11.2   A qualified Accountant must have audited the Accounts presented at the A.G.M.

12. Executive Committee Meetings:

The Executive Committee of the Association shall meet at least once in a school term. Further meetings of the Executive Committee may be held as the Executive Committee deems necessary, or at the request of any 3 members of the Executive Committee. Seven clear days’ notice shall be given to members of the Executive Committee.

13. Quorum for Executive Committee Meetings:

The quorum shall be 5 for a meeting of the Executive Committee. Resolutions shall be approved by a simple majority and, in the event of a tie; the President shall have a casting vote.

14. Quorum for Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings:

There must be a minimum of 9 members representing a minimum of 6 Compass schools present.

16. Directors to the National Parents Council post primary CLG:

 

16.1   The Directors to the National Parents Council post primary CLG shall be nominated each year at the A.G.M. from the members of the Association. Co-opted delegates, and must be members of a Protestant or Minority Religion.

16.2   The delegates elected at the A.G.M. to the National Parents Council CLG shall be ex-officio members of the Executive Committee.

16.3   In accordance with the Constitution of National Parents Council post primary CLG directors will hold the post for 3 years. Upon completion of the three-year term they may stand for re-election for a second and final three year term.  If, during this second period the Director no longer has a child in the post primary system, s/he shall resign their post at the time the child leaves the system. An election will take place to replace that person to cover the period remaining of out-going director’s  term.

 

17. Account:

 

17.1   A Bank Account shall be kept in the name of Compass under the supervision of the Honorary Treasurer.

17.2   Cheques drawn on this account will require the signature of any two of the Officers of Compass.

18. Amendment to the Constitution:

 

18.1   Amendments to this Constitution may only be made by way of a motion carried by a 75% majority vote at an AGM or EGM.

18.2   The Executive Committee shall review the Constitution of Compass at least every five years.

 

 

Compass Parents Management of Schools 

Compass Parents Management of Schools

 Minutes of 2019 Compass A.G.M. held Wesley College on 9th November, 2019

 

Present: Executive Committee Members –Patrick Empey (President),  Paul Rolston (Deputy-President),  Julie Carr (Secretary), Nigel Bannister (Treasurer) Shane Bennett (P.R.O.), Richard Brickenden, Alan Mulligan, Nita Mishra and Mary Lillis.

 

Parent Representatives from: Wesley College, Rathdown School, St. Columba’s College, The King’s Hospital, Wilson’s Hospital School, Villiers School, East Glendalough School, Kilkenny College, Dundalk Grammar School, Bandon Grammar School, St. Andrew’s College, Stratford College, Temple Carrig School, Midleton College and Sandford Park. 

 

Apologies: Claire Cox and Geraldine Neill

 

Dr Siobhan O’Higgins – Active & SMART Consent Programme N.U.I.G.:  Dr O’Higgins gave a great talk on the whole area of sexuality and consent.  This is not an easy topic and one that is rarely spoken about but the response from parents to this talk shows what an important issue it is.  She said it is so important to talk to our children from a very early age to inform and equip them to deal with situations in the future.  Advertising has played a huge area in sexualising things by showing inappropriate images that can only be indirectly related to the product being advertised.  The more informed children are will reduce the risks of misinterpretation in situations.  It should always be assumed that consent is not given in any situation unless there has been a discussion and clarification on what is agreed.  This applies to all sexual orientations/genders.  Obviously certain situations can affect discussions like alcohol and peer pressure.  The whole area of social media e.g. posting sexually explicit things needs to be addressed.  Another area that needs improvement is the area of sex education in schools which at the moment is inappropriate.  This is a huge role parents need to play in keeping their children educated. Dr O’Higgins backed up her talk with some very interesting statistics. 

 

A.G.M. Business:  The minutes of the 2018 A.G.M. and Secretary’s Report had been circulated prior to the meeting and are also available on the new website.  They were proposed by: Richard Brickenden and Seconded by: Alan Mulligan.  

 

The President spoke of how most of the Compass Executive’s work was concerned with changes in Npcpp.  The Department of Education & Skills (DES) required Npcpp’s corporate structure to be addressed so a new constitution was adopted and Npcpp subsequently restructured.  There were originally twenty Directors and this was reduced to twelve i.e. three directors from each constituent body.  The Compass Directors appointed to Npcpp are Paul Rolston, Nita Mishra and Nigel Bannister.  The President thanked the outgoing Directors – Alan Mulligan, Julie Carr and Shane Bennett.  Obviously the changes in the Npcpp Constitution has had a knock on affect the Compass Constitution which has also had to be amended accordingly. With regards to funding – Npcpp receive some from the DES and also through the €1 per student Affiliation fee requested from the schools.

 

Compass have had a lot of discussion regarding outreaching to parents and are trying to hold Interactives around the country to interact with as many parents as possible.  Our AGM usually scheduled in May was replaced by an EGM because of changes in Npcpp and to engage with parent contacts to update them.  Obviously with the regular changes in parents’ representatives this can affect communication channels.  

 

The Treasurer provided the accounts to the meeting. One of our main costs was the revamp of the website.  There was a question as to why our Affiliations were at zero.  It was mentioned that this is because Schools have been asked to pay Npcpp directly now. Schools are encouraged to affiliate as funding then comes back to Compass which will enable them to do more for parents.  It also shows commitment of Compass within Npcpp.  Affiliation to NPCPP is also a requirement to fully complete a Whole School Evaluation that schools are affiliated to a National Parent Organisation.   The accounts have been approved and the auditor will sign them prior to posting on the Compass Website.  Accounts were proposed by: Julie Carr and Seconded by:  Paul Rolston

 

The new Constitution of Compass was discussed.  It was mentioned that Directors are nominated by Compass and then elected by Npcpp.  Item 16 in the Constitution was amended from Directors to Members.  Changes to the Constitution were agreed and approved. Proposed by: Richard Heywood Jones and Seconded by Shane Bennett.

 

There were four places now available on the Executive due to the retirement of Alan Mulligan, Richard Brickenden, Shane Bennett and Geraldine Neill.  All the remaining Executive Members are available to remain on the Committee and with no objection from the meeting they were elected.

 

The following were also elected onto the committee:

 

Clive Jones – Wesley College

Eoin Murphy – Midleton College

Hilary Rabbette – St. Andrew’s College

Alyson Findlay – East Glendalough School

 

Proposed by: Julie Carr and Seconded by Nigel Bannister

 

A.O.B: It was proposed to hold Interactives regionally – Proposed by: Patrick Empey and Seconded by: Nigel Bannister

 

A further discussion took place in relation to Npcpp and engagement of parents.  It was mentioned that Npcpp is the point of contact for parents looking for advice.  They represent parents on various national bodies, committees and organisations. Npcpp were also the parents’ voice behind having the Parent Student Charter made a reality and this will have a huge effect on Parents having their voices heard. This has now reached publication stage in the Oireacthas.   Affiliation notices will issue shortly from Npcpp and again schools are encouraged to pay these fees to support NPCPP as it advocates for and represents post primary parents in the national education system.  

 

The President then closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending and to Wesley College for hosting the event.

 

Secretary’s Report for Academic Year 2019-2020

 

 

Executive Committee

 

There were changes made at the last AGM to personnel on the Executive Committee.  This was primarily due to changes in the Npcpp Constitution whereby any Directors nominated by Compass were required to have a child/children in the secondary school system.   Therefore it was with regret we said goodbye and a huge thank you to Alan Mulligan, Richard Brickenden, Shane Bennett and Geraldine Neill for all the hard work and dedication to Compass over many years.  Indeed Alan, Richard and Shane had also served as Directors of Npcpp.  We gladly welcomed Clive Jones (Wesley College), Eoin Murphy (Midleton College), Hilary Rabbette (St Andrews College) and Alyson Findlay (East Glendalough School) onto the Executive.  

 

It goes without saying this was one of the most difficult years in our history and Education was a real concern. The New Executive held its first meeting in February and then when is normally a quiet time in Summer for the Executive turned out to be one of the busiest.  From the end of April to date there were eight Zoom Meetings not to mention meetings of certain sub-committees i.e. Education and Outreach.  Our Npcpp Directors were extremely busy and our Compass Directors were very involved in various Npcpp Working Groups including Planning & Development, Education and attended various meetings with the Department of Education and Skills and also Oireachtas meetings.  

 

The President had written to  PTA/PA Chairs and Compass Representatives in March to advise of various means of support for them during the difficult times and also advise that our planned AGM in April would not be taking place.  

 

A Sub Group on Outreaching was formed at the end of April and they contacted the contacts we had for each School to ascertain 

 

  • that they were receiving emails from Compass particularly those ones with updates/surveys from Npcpp
  • that this information was being distributed to parents
  • are they able to hold meetings in the present climate
  • what concerns parents have relating to Covid-19

 

This Sub-Committee received response from all but five of our schools.

 

 

Unfortunately due Covid-19 only one Interactive was held which took place on the 7th  March in East Glendalough.  We were fortunate to be able to have Dr Siobhan O’Higgins, Research Fellow, Active and SMART Consent Programme, N.U.I.G. speak to us again.  Many thanks to her for giving up of her time again and to Craig Petrie, Principal E.G.S. and the school’s PTA for hosting the event. 

 

 

National Parents Council Post Primary

 

Not only was there changes in our Executive but there was also changes in Directors representing us on Npcpp.  With all Constituent Bodies now having three Directors -  Nigel Bannister and Nita Mishra were nominated by the Executive with Paul Rolston remaining as the other Director.  Alan Mulligan, Shane Bennett and Julie Carr stepped down as previous Directors and again a word of thanks to them for their hard work and particularly to Alan Mulligan who served as Company Secretary for Npcpp.  

 

At the beginning of the year a very detailed Planned Development and Progress Report was produced which included goals, plans, finance and corporate image and delivery.  

 

Engagement with Schools has also been a main concern for Npcpp.  The planned introduction of the Parent Student Charter should hopefully help.   

 

Compass was very lucky to have Nita Mishra on the Npcpp Education Group and she was the main driving force behind this group.  Eoin Murphy was brought onto the Group for his expertise in the area so Compass was very well represented and was therefore able to raise our concerns from practicalities of holding exams, grading, university entrance to very importantly mental health.  

 

Npcpp were able to obtain an additional €10m for funding **for IT equipment **to assist towards providing devices for students without access to IT equipment for remote learning during school closures.**

 

Paul Rolston was also in attendance at various Stakeholders meetings with the Department of Education and Skills and also Oireachtas meetings.  

 

Npcpp worked **closing with **closely with NPC Primary and** the Students Union while dealing with the fallout of Covid related issues to education and students’ welfare and this made for a strong voice.

 

Due to the unprecedented year the Department of Education and Skills were extremely involved in the Leaving Certificate Helpline.

 

This has not been an easy year for Npcpp by any means dealing with all the issues during a pandemic.  There has at times been a conflict of opinion from the Constituent Bodies on how the organization should be run.  This has caused concern again for Compass and these concerns have been raised with the President and Company Secretary of Npcpp.  

 

The pressure and workload our Directors have endured has been immense and thank you does not seem enough for all they have done.

 

Don’t forget our website is www.compassparents.org and email address is parentline365@gmail.com

 

 

 

Julie Carr

Secretary