Well, there's a short answer: a Class Rep is something every class should have!
And there’s the longer answer: Class Reps are parents who liaise between their child’s class and the school PTA. They organise social events for the parents and carers of children in the class; keep parents informed about fundraising events and ask for volunteers to help with those events.
- Can't find volunteers? Download this free wish list of easy volunteer tasks people will agree to help with.
Why have a Class Rep?
Having a Class Rep in every class in a school comes with a bucketful of benefits:
- Class Reps help to spread the PTA load. Class Reps are committed to helping the PTA. With them on board, there are instantly more people to do PTA work and make the committee a success.
- Class Reps are brilliant at building a school community. When one parent in every class takes on responsibility for bringing parents in that class together, parental engagement with the school rises.
- Class Reps help to find volunteers. Class Reps know the skills and abilities of parents in their class, so they can help find the right volunteers for different fundraising events.
- Class Reps help stop the PTA from seeming cliquey. If people know (and like) a Class Rep, that makes the PTA seem instantly more accessible. The more accessible the PTA is, the more people want to get involved.
- Class Reps improve communication. Class Reps are a simple way of helping get PTA messages out to the school – and a good way of keeping the PTA in touch with parental views.
How do people become Class Reps?
Parents volunteer to be Class Reps for their child’s class. But if you want volunteers, people need to know that the PTA is looking for helpers. The classic PTA method is to publish a list of roles you need to fill early in the autumn term and to wait for people to sign up. But a more proactive approach can draw in parents who might feel initially that it’s not for them. Here are some approaches to try…
1. Make parents laugh
Making people laugh is a great way to get them talking about the PTA (and thinking about signing up). Try posting up mock Jobs ads for the role:
Community Liaison Officer
The PTA is seeking to recruit fourteen motivated, talkative and friendly parents to join our well-established and exciting team. The successful candidates will be expected to develop and provide positive links between parents and the PTA to develop the home/ school partnership. You also need to enjoy nights out in the pub and social gatherings.
Anyone can apply – no prior experience required!
For more information please visit the School Office.
2. Reveal their Class Rep Superpower
Some parents will feel they don’t have the skills to be a Class Rep. Ask them to take our quiz to discover their hidden Class Rep superpower:
Who’s your Class Rep alter ego?
Q1. People describe you as…
Q2. You’re happiest…
a. Listening to other people
b. Making other people laugh
c. Exploring new ideas
d. Getting things done
Q3. When you’re faced with a problem, you…
a. Stop and think
b. Shrug it off
c. Discuss different ways to approach it
d. Sort it
Q4. The quality you value most is…
b. Sense of humour
Q5. Your favourite fundraiser is…
a. A cake sale
b. A dance night
c. A quiz night
d. The big summer fair
Your alter-ego is…Gromit
Your Class Rep superpower is…Finding solutions
When it comes to sorting problems and solving sticky situations, people turn to you. Just like Wallace’s trusty canine sidekick, you’re level-headed, clear-sighted and come up with practical solutions that work. People like and trust you, so they’re willing to pitch in when you need their help.
Your alter-ego is…Bart Simpson
Your Class Rep superpower is…Having fun
You know the secret of fundraising – the more fun you create, the more money you raise. Just like your little yellow alter ego, you’re great at getting people to join in and have a laugh, so you can persuade even hard-to-reach parents that the PTA is worth supporting.
Your alter-ego is…Roald Dahl’s Matilda
Your Class Rep superpower is…Creativity
Smart, creative and persuasive, you make a great Class Rep. Your sparky imagination means you come up with interesting ways to raise money and clever tricks for advertising your events. Plus, your listening skills put people at ease, helping you to build a strong community of parents around you.
Your alter-ego is…Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Your Class Rep superpower is…Dynamism
Your energy and determination mean that you’re a natural leader. You’re great at delegation, understand what other people can bring to a project and know how to motivate them. People admire you, so they want to help you out.
3. Make a personal approach
It’s worth approaching parents on an individual basis and asking them if they’d be interested in taking on the role. You want to look out for people with the following attributes:-
- They want to do the role. As with any position on the PTA, being a Class Rep means contributing (unpaid) time and energy to the role. You need to have people who would be willing to give that time and energy to the school.
- They’re friendly. Some people are born to network – they can talk to anyone and they like talking to everyone. That friendliness creates a warmth that knits a class together and helps bring all the parents into the school community (meaning they’re much more willing to contribute to school activities).
- They’re persuasive. The perfect Class Rep is someone who can persuade/ cajole/ flatter other parents into contributing to PTA fundraisers – whether that’s baking a cake for the cake sale, or agreeing to run a quiz night. It’s about having the right mix of communication skills and empathy to help them nudge other parents to help out.
4. Show them the benefits
Explain the benefits parents reap from becoming Class Reps:
- They’ll get to know all the parents in their child’s class, so they’ll gain a strong network of friends.
- They’ll be a key part of helping their school access resources that will help their children to flourish.
- They’ll get a unique insight into how the school works and how they can support their children.
- It will improve their CV. Working as a Class Rep is a valuable way of demonstrating key workplace skills: from time management to communication skills, plus project management and diplomacy.
- They’ll get to use Classlist! The app is designed to make communication amongst parents super-easy (and secure), so Class Reps can use it to chat; start class discussions; send out coffee morning/ pub night invites; discuss end-of-year teachers’ presents; ask for volunteers for fundraisers…
Are you on Classlist yet?
Classlist's award-winning parent communications app is the safer alternative to public social networks. It's easy to set up! Be amongst more than 350,000 parents using Classlist in 25+ countries. Get started today!