As Chairperson of the National Executive I write to inform you of a number of developments involving COMPASS and National Parents Council pp. This note is a short summary for information but, as outlined below, there will be opportunities in the coming months for more informed discussion.
As you are aware the National Parents Council post primary works as an umbrella group for parent associations in the secondary section of the Irish education system. It is managed by a Board consisting of representatives from its four constituent members - COMPASS, the National Parents Association of ETB Schools; the Federation of Secondary Schools Parents Associations (the representative body for Parents with children in Catholic Voluntary Secondary schools); and the Parents Association representing the 95 Community and Comprehensive Schools.
The NPCpp has, over the last number of years, faced a number of challenges in addressing all its objectives. Consequently during the second half of 2017 the Board commenced work with an external facilitator to examine how the governance arrangements of the NCPpp could be reformed in order to better fulfil its mandate.
This process is progressing and a number of proposals are being discussed. A constitutional working group (comprising the of the Chairs / Presidents of each constituency) has been set up with a view to proposing changes and restructuring the NCPpp by the end of 2018. These changes could include transiting the organisation from its existing structure - in which it acts more like a Council - to a more streamlined formal company limited by guarantee. Such developments should lead to a more professional and ‘fit for purpose’ organisation with much greater transparency. This will also entail a some legal and administrative requirements including formal registration, filing of accounts etc.
While the purpose of the reorganisation is to improve governance structures. There are a number of points that need to be addressed in the next 2 to 3 months before constituent members (e.g. COMPASS and the aforementioned associated Parents Associations) can fully support the changes. For instance it still needs to be understood how the new structure will be able to deal with individual constituent body concerns; how the finance model would work and how constituent bodies would receive funding in the future, what the voting rights of each constituency etc. All of these may also have some implications for our organisation and our respective PAs.
I expect to be able to provide a thorough briefing on these developments at our next AGM with a view to going back to our membership at an Extraordinary General Meeting later in the year which would formally consider and either approve / reject the changes proposed. In the meantime I am, of course, available to provide clarification on or receive questions concerning the above.
Website and Communication
I am glad to confirm that we have launched a new and revamped website. The address remains the same www.compassparents.organd we hope to use it as one major tool in improvingcommunications between COMPASS and our parents in the coming years.
Interactive Session – 10th March at 10.30, The High School – Cyber Safety for Teenagers and Parents
Finally, I take this opportunity to remind you all of our next interactive session.
The topic is prompted by the current wave of concern around smart phones and internet use by teenagers.
The title for discussion and questions is :
Cyber Safety: How Can Parents Keep Their Children and Teenagers Safe
Guest speaker - Dr. Stephen Minton.
Stephen is a Doctor in Psychology of Education at the School of Education at Trinity College, Dublin where has extensive experience with Internet and Cyber dangers for Children.
We hope to see you there.