The incremental increases in compliance laws and regulations has meant that we (as in any other P&C) have incrementally progressed into a position that is essentially unsustainable without a strategic approach.
The THS P&C approach is to broadly divide the P&C into two parts based on the source of the funds and type of activity, and thus related compliance laws/regulations.
This allows us to manage each of the parts with different types of resources and professional experience; as to rely on volunteers for all these parts runs the risk of disengaging volunteers due to the stress of the professional load and/or risk compliance issues with Australian & NSW law.
Our structure allows the volunteers (as in us) to focus on the community activities and engaging with our students and school staff – contributing to the wellbeing of our school while having fun!
The two parts ...
This part of the organisation is entrusted to manage parent & community contributions of approximately $130,000 per year. The investment of these funds is managed by volunteer committee members in collaboration with the school leadership group and the environment committee via projects. It uses a number of programs to guide investment; "improve-a-space", 'by-your-side" for student leadership group support and the "together" program for support of the expert educators (teachers, support groups, leadership group ...).
Ths part of the organisation covers the running of trading units (businesses) via sub-committees as part of the THS P&C Inc. organisation.
They operate under delegated authority and are managed on behalf of the P&C members; with feedback via periodic reporting and the use of online internal information systems.
NSW State Law;
and then P&C Prescribed Constitution;
and then THS P&C Sub-committee rules.
2. Management of business units
Community-owned, student-driven, professionally supported...
This part of the of the organisation acts as a business and is based primarily on professional paid staff or contractor activities (the what/how); with volunteers acting in oversight roles (the why).
It works within these laws and regulations;
To ensure compliance with laws and regulations the THS P&C employs professionals to manage the business affairs, the operations, the financial accounting. These professionals report to the appropriate committee.
We use online internet based financial accounting and information systems.
The results of this hybrid approach (the two parts) allows us to create an environment that is more engaging for volunteers (parents & citizens) of the THS community, with the knowledge that they are professionally supported.
This approach also aims to reduce any community level issues based on volunteers being assigned roles (which have obligations in Australian law) for which they don't have the experience or time.