The Bryanston Parents’ Association (BPA) works to enhance links between parents during the school year and also provides grants for extraordinary projects and ECAs. It is a parents’, not a parent-teacher association, and all parents are members.
The BPA termly subscription of £15 per family goes towards grants for a wide range of adventurous, social and creative projects to benefit pupils. At the beginning of each term, members of staff and hsms apply to the BPA for grants and parents are also welcome to suggest projects the BPA could support. The allocation of grants is decided by the BPA committee, with guidance from the Bursar, to ensure that grants are fairly distributed and have the greatest impact on pupils’ enjoyment of school life.
Recent BPA grant support has included kayaks for use in ECAs and adventure training; part funding of the indoor bouldering wall; ECA sports club equipment, for example electronic fencing foils and constructing a skateboard park; accessories for ECAs, including bee keeping, photography and cooking; and recreational items for houses such as beanbags, table tennis tables and picture frames to display pupils’ artwork.
The BPA organises events to enable parents to get to know other Bryanston parents from their children’s year groups and to build a network of contacts and friends, just as the pupils do at school.
At the start of each school year, the BPA is on hand to meet new parents and distribute copies of their booklet, ABC for Parents, which provides a useful insight into Bryanston for parents. Later in the autumn term the BPA committee are involved in the D Parents’ Afternoon to meet parents, explain their role in more detail and answer questions from a different perspective.
The BPA Facebook group is an easy way for parents to keep in touch with each other. This is a closed group, open only to current Bryanston parents, and offers parents the opportunity to arrange informal get-togethers before school events and BPA-organised events are also listed.
There are two open meetings each year to which all Bryanston parents are welcome. The autumn meeting includes the AGM, which outlines the BPA’s activities and grant allocations and is an opportunity to question the committee. The meeting usually includes a presentation about some aspect of school life. The spring meeting takes the form of a presentation, usually on a disciplinary topic relating to adolescence such as internet and social media safety issues, the teenage brain, or drugs and alcohol.
The BPA also offers an inspiring and popular workshop on parenting teens, which gives advice on the challenges faced whilst raising teenagers.
The meetings and talks are timed to coincide with weekends when parents are more likely to be coming to school and take place on the Saturday morning. All parents are welcome at these events and details are published in the school calendar.
The BPA Committee
The BPA is headed by a committee of parents, with representatives from across the year groups and houses. The committee meets at the start of each term to allocate grants and organise social and information events for parents.
Committee meetings take place on the second Saturday of each term and the Head and/or the Bursar often attend for an exchange of views and information. This is an important part of the BPA’s role as parents’ representatives. A significant part of every meeting is set aside to allocate grants to the various houses, clubs and departments who have applied.
How to get involved
The easiest way to get involved is with the BPA is by joining the Facebook group or attending one of the many events organised throughout the year, There is a natural turnover as committee members’ children leave the school. If you would like to join the committee or have any other questions for the committee, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, and a member of the committee will get back to you as soon as possible.