Our class representatives undertake a very important role. There are usually two representatives per class who provide a link between individual classes and parents and the MSA committee. The support from class representatives is vital when it comes to organising our main events from selling tickets to organising rotas of help. We really could not manage without them.
Purpose of a Class Rep is to support the MSA in fostering a vibrant culture for children and parents as well as fund raise for the Mall School. A Class Rep does this by taking an active part in socialising with or encouraging socials among parents and children at designated MSA events. This is done in the spirit of generosity and kindness.
Give generously. Have fun. Communicate little and often.
There are some key activities each year, which require the support of Class Reps. In particular, the Christmas and Summer fairs are the two biggest events in scale and MSA funds.
In addition, the MSA organises other fundraising activities at events that require promoting to classes, volunteering to support activities such as running a bar at concerts and drama events plus other ad hoc events that are organised such as quiz night, pampering night and comedy night.
From mid to late spring term and around special events like Halloween, each year takes it in turn to put on cake sales. Sales of tickets and products like personalized mugs, tea towels, Christmas cards and wrapping paper also help raise funds.
Your role as a Class Rep is to promote, volunteer and attend these events as much as possible. The MSA appreciates all parent support so Class Reps play a vital role in stimulating the presence and participation of parents.
Remember that first and foremost the purpose of events is to foster a vibrant culture. We want children and parents to socialise and have fun at events. A second motive is for fundraising but we do this with a spirit of generosity and kindness.
Another role for the Class Rep is to give thanks to teachers and staff and at times students such as those leaving the school.
The form teachers, subject teachers, heads, caretakers, kitchen staff, reception staff, office staff and extra curricular staff are all groups that we can give thanks to. It’s important to recognise them as well as form teachers. So please think broadly and give generously.
Organising Class socials
Each class is different and each year is different. For instance, sometimes one class is very social and others less so.
Each Class Rep and each year can decide to work together. We encourage working together as much as possible. In doing so, it provides more opportunity to get to know parents across classes and bodes well for working parents, as they too can get involved. It also helps when creating rotas for key fundraising events.
However, there are some activities that should be done by each class separately. For example, organising a class contact list, communicating to parents via email and collecting a kitty.
The app Classlist is a communication tool available to all parents and is a channel to share school-wide or class specific information. However, it should not be relied on solely as not all parents choose to download the app. It is therefore used in addition to directly emailing parents and talking to them personally.
Organise leaver gifts and final year
In senior years, or throughout the years there may be a child that leaves the school. Give some consideration about leaver mementos.
However, in final year, consider organising leaver mementos and activities early.
Sometimes, the final year hosts a gathering with all parents and teachers. This has been a successful event in the past and generally requires more financial contribution from parents and collaboration with the school itself.
Some mementos that have been successful are: photo books or year books, end-of-year picnics, hoodies and signature books.
End-of-year picnics tend to happen sporadically across the school years and is generally organised by parents not necessarily Class Reps although Class Reps communicate the event to everyone. Good location is Bushy Park by the Pheasantry Cafe.
Where to begin?
- Identify two or more Class Reps per class
- Speak to previous reps for a brief handover re: contact lists and kitty
- Notify the MSA Secretary in writing, email@example.com
- Send a welcome email to parents and ask for contribution to kitty. It is recommended to use Classlist as well to encourage new users of the app. Make sure all parents in your class are signed-up to Classlist.
- Ask parents to leave £20 in an envelope marked for your attention in reception. Or use online banking. One Class Rep should hold the funds. Aim to have all funds before Xmas.
How and what to use funds for?
Collecting a minimum £20 per child from parents is a good benchmark. It provides enough funds for gifts of meaning.
Collecting money can be difficult and sometimes awkward as parents often forget but be persistent and ask parents in a nice way. It is otherwise unfair and reduces the amount of kitty money if some parent does not contribute.
Class collections are mainly there for the teachers/staff and to buy gifts for boys who leave but also to cover small expenses under £15 for the fairs (e.g. milk, decorations for your stall, extra sweets, tablecloths). Any pre-approved big-ticket item purchased for the fair is reimbursed by the MSA with receipt.
Plan (estimate) your budget. Each year is different and Senior years have many more teachers to thank as well. The idea is to spend all the money. There is no need to save money for the next year’s class.
How much you spend on each occasion and what you spend the money on is up to each class or year.
Here are some thoughts about gifts for teachers at Christmas and end of year.
Junior school - think about gifts for teachers, teaching assistants, teaching support, admin staff, extra curricular teachers and school management. However, if you have a small year, a nice gift like a hamper or gift card to each form tutor is fine.
Senior school - think about gifts for form and all subject teachers (on average about 16 teachers not including music and sports). However, if you have a small year, a nice gift like a hamper or gift card for each form tutor is fine.
In general, gift cards, flowers/ potted plants, wine/ champagne and chocolates go down well. And, do remember to buy thank you or seasonal cards as well for each form teacher, have each boy in the form sign the card and then have 1-2 boys present the card/gift to the teacher.
Staff room goodies such as biscuit tins and nice toiletries for the staff loos also work well.
- Give generously.
- Have fun.
- Communicate little and often.
Enjoy your time as Class Rep!