A guide to class reps

Class representatives play an essential role in connecting the school, parents, and PTA committee. They communicate important information, recruit volunteers for events and encourage support

How do class reps describe their role? Some say it’s simply about passing on information from the committee, but their work is far more valuable than this. PTAs rely on people power, but whether you need to secure and maintain support for fundraising projects, broadcast your messages or recruit a new chair, finding volunteers is one of the biggest challenges of PTA life. Class reps are an excellent example of micro-volunteering, where people give small amounts of time and energy to support a charity. What’s more, they often take on more demanding PTA positions as their children get older. A lot of PTA events wouldn’t happen without the gentle encouragement of the class reps. If your committee is engaged in succession planning, where you look to identify the elected officers of the future, class reps are a great place to start.

Lines of communication

With the transition to digital communications, the role of class representative has changed, and it’s no longer strictly necessary for reps to attend every meeting. It’s helpful if they can come occasionally and make up numbers at the AGM. Knowing their way around WhatsApp is now an essential skill! At some schools, the PTA runs a WhatsApp group for each class but others are more informal. It’s useful for the committee to be able to contact all the reps at once, and as a result, many PTAs set up a dedicated class reps group too.

Committee members often don’t have time to manage detailed communications and marketing. In addition to sharing information about upcoming events and fundraisers, class reps can answer questions and provide feedback.

It is nearly impossible for elected officers to know every parent personally. Class reps provide parents with a point of contact that’s also a familiar face, making them feel more connected to the PTA and its goals. By liaising with the reps, the committee can better understand each year group, leading to more thorough and well-rounded decisions.

What does a class rep do?

Create a job description that will make it easy for potential volunteers to understand the role. Specify the duration of the position (eg, one academic year) and outline what you expect them to do in that time.

Class reps may be responsible for some of the following:

  • Passing on information from the PTA to other parents in their child’s class
  • Publicising PTA fundraising events and making it clear how people can get involved
  • Organising class stalls at summer and Christmas fairs and leading the drive for volunteers at class level
  • Coordinating volunteers to help with fundraising activities
  • Attending the AGM and PTA committee meetings
  • Organising informal social activities for parents and families in their child’s class, ranging from coffee mornings to end-of-year parties
  • Seeking feedback from parents on PTA events or school funding requests
  • Collating the results of parent surveys
  • Encouraging parents to support the PTA
  • Recruiting a new class rep towards the end of the summer term to take over in the next academic year

Recruitment drive

Use your communication channels to invite parents to take on the role of class representative. Emphasise the benefits of volunteering. Welcome them to meetings and encourage them to sign up in pairs with friends if they don’t want to go it alone. Designate a more experienced contact if they need support and guidance. If no parents step forward, ask class teachers for recommendations and approach people directly. It’s hard to resist the flattery of being told, ‘Ms. Smith suggested you’d make a great class rep’.

Explain that becoming a class rep is a small commitment, with duties usually taking an hour or so a week, and that it’s a good way to get to know other parents in their child’s class.

Depending on the size of your school and the number of volunteers, you may decide to appoint a representative for each year instead. While you don’t need to recruit so many year reps, it does mean a heavier workload.

Retaining your reps

Getting reps up and running takes time and effort, so you’ll want to keep them on your team for as long as possible. Create opportunities, such as rep meetings, where they can voice concerns and make suggestions. Listen to what they say and give constructive feedback. Make sure they know who to go to if they have any issues or worries. If you can, offer perks such as volunteer raffles and discounted event tickets. Always take the time to say thank you – if your reps enjoy the job, they may stay for many years.


Being a class rep would suit:

  • Busy people able to volunteer in short bursts
  • Sociable types who are often in the playground
  • Good communicators
  • Smartphone addicts!