Classlist School

Attention Head Teachers – Class Rep worth $100k

With ever increasing budget cuts, Head Teachers depend more and more on the input from parents to fill the gap financially and even in some cases help out with teaching and administration on a voluntary basis.

Here at Classlist we have even heard of situations where parents have had to step in and act as full-time interim teachers, as academic staff get priced out of expensive neighbourhoods. In line with these trends the role of parents and in particular Class Rep has been redefined to a new level of professionalism: –

to be less about coffee mornings and more about communicating school messages to parents; membership management (classlists in compliance with Data Protection); fundraising for school equipment; and money collection for school excursions and activities, just to name a few duties.

It is not surprising that many PTAs and PTOs are struggling to find parents willing to volunteer for the role of Class Rep. At Classlist our goal is to make life of parents and in particular, Class Reps easier. Another important aim of ours is to raise the skills and professionalism of Class Reps and highlight the value that they clearly contribute to the school community. One way is to measure their value is to compare their skills to the open job market. From our observations of Class Reps who use Classlist, the skill set of a fantastic Class Rep is very similiar to that of a Community Manager (see table below). With over 500,000 Community Manager jobs currently advertised on Linkedin, salaries ranging up to $500k, with the norm around $100k. Whilst these figures reflect full-time positions, the table below indicates how Head Teachers can gain enormous value for money from their Class Reps and PTA members.

Comparison of Skills and Characteristics of Community Managers and Class Reps

Summary of Core Skills Community Manager Class Rep
Brand evangelist Yes Yes, school advocates across local community
Schedules community related events Yes Yes
Moderation Yes Yes
Posting and distributing information to the community Yes Yes
Member to member interactions Yes Yes
Monitor health of the community – giving feedback to organisation Yes Yes, feedback to school any parent concerns
Create events and personal introductions Yes Yes
Send out group emails, newsletters Yes Yes
Review level of engagement of community Yes, using Google Analytics Yes, manually
Sales targets Sometimes Fundraising
Natural leader Yes Yes
Enjoys creating meaningful relationships with others Yes Yes
Strong in influencing and persuasion and relationship development Yes Yes
Discourages and redirects negativity with a firm friendly style Yes Yes

Source: Analysis of jobs currently advertised on Linkedin, April 2015

Parent proficiency at using social networks and online tools is rising rapidly and Class Reps/PTA Members (via Classlist) are developing these skills to create stronger, healthier school communities. Those School Heads that consider Class Reps as community managers will find it easier to identify and attract high calibre PTA and Class Rep candidates. Away from those parents that shout the loudest and where in the past a strong personality was the core requirement, towards those that have valuable skills and a professional approach to offer.

About the author

Susan Burton

Susan Burton

Susan is the CEO and founder of Classlist.