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Why would you be so desperate to be a class rep in a prep school?

(16 Posts)
Stilllookingfor Mon 10-Sep-18 23:24:33

So my DD1 has started kindergarten in a private prep in West London. All is going alright so far and everyone is very friendly. Three of the mums have come forward as class reps and this is something I am grateful for. I work full time and the class rep job seems to be a full time affair which I could not possibly take at the moment on top of home duties.

Two of the class reps are new mums, the third mum has already a child at school. So the more (school) experienced mum has been taking the lead openly and although her emails have been very helpful indeed, she has also openly claimed she is the experienced one and "go to" person for the group.
There seems to be some internal discussions going on between them, in terms of who is taking the lead on what, but the experienced mum is very determined to keep the top dog post it seems.
Now I am very new to school politics and I wonder why this job would be so contested and what are the benefits?? as some of the emails have made me wonder. At least two of them have part time or almost full time jobs, so the commitment is remarkable. Is it the ambition to be well known in the school, any benefits for the kids, of being better known by the HM or teachers or PTA? this is a relatively small school. Or am I just being too practical or busier than other mums, or even a bit of a cynic as some mums may want to help the group more? I would welcome any enlightenment on how the school politics works and how to avoid politics if at all possible. I just want a nice and friendly environment for my kid and having to deal with taking sides is the last thing I want. Thanks in advance from an unexperienced school mum!

OP’s posts: |
AjasLipstick Tue 11-Sep-18 00:07:46

It's all social OP.

Some people feel the need to be at the helm of every single thing which might happen within the school community. It's a way of getting to know everyone and thereby sorting out who might be useful to you and your child's future in some way.

The more ambitious parent will always cultivate the parents who they see as having some sort of influence. By being class rep, they're someone that everyone will have contact with at some point.

They're getting themselves and their child known.

Don't worry about it. Let them go for it if it keeps them happy.

You just let your DC enjoy school and make their own friends.

Lokisglowstickofdestiny Tue 11-Sep-18 00:20:47

God knows why people covert these roles. I stayed well clear of school politics, like you I worked full time so very rarely had to interact with other parents at school, one or two were fine but there were a couple I would describe as bat shit crazy.

Stilllookingfor Tue 11-Sep-18 00:35:53

thx Ajas and Lokis, I wish you were in our class!

OP’s posts: |
WhitefriarsDillyDuck Tue 11-Sep-18 09:11:04

You get sherry with the head each term? You get to feel that you are special? An insider?

You have nothing in your life beyond your children and need to justify your existence?

You get to have an affair with the DHT, who then seemingly fathers one of your children and everyone pretends it isn't happening?

Take your pick

5000KallaxHoles Tue 11-Sep-18 09:22:21

Some people need to feel like they're indispensable or important. Some people desperately push to be class rep for things like that... others drift towards the PTA on a lower profile level just because they know that without people to do the stuff shit doesn't get done (I'm the latter one - I can't think of anything I'd rather do less than the social networking/armtwisting people stuff - but I'll make resources and man the tea urn and help with the planning/ideas side of things).

We get a tea party with the older kids once a year... I sent my apologies and avoided it!

Just sit back, watch it all and wait till the fireworks start when they all come to blows with each other by about December.

They're currently trying to get people to stand for the elected roles on the PTA for next year here and I am desperately trying to avoid having to go for one - doing stuff is my thing... being seen to do stuff and making a fuss about it is my idea of absolute hell.

Girlwhowearsglasses Tue 11-Sep-18 09:29:14

Just wondering if there’s maybe the child of a celeb/Royal —George— there that they are keen on interacting with the parent of? I’d imagine that would be a draw for some.

Haworthia Tue 11-Sep-18 09:33:18

It’s all to do with status - the class reps want to be the popular/Queen Bee/Alpha Mums.

In my child’s class - state not private - it’s no coincidence that the two mums who put themselves forward as class reps (and the third who tagged on later grin) ended up being the lynchpins of the class clique.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 11-Sep-18 09:41:57

Lol at the last of whitefriars reasons

Stilllookingfor Tue 11-Sep-18 10:27:16

Thank you ladies, good to hear the opinions and glad the advice is to just sit back. I have enough politics at work and with clients as it stands, and suffer dealing with it 24/7 as I see myself as a doer too like 5000k above. I will wait till December as you say and see how it pans out. I want to help in some way but I would rather make sandwiches at the back than be in the limelight, it would provide me with more sense of achievement honestly than to be flying around like a social butterfly. Also no little Georges here, as far as I am aware. We chose the school over another option which seemed more geared towards alpha mums so I guess it could be worse.

OP’s posts: |
CruCru Tue 11-Sep-18 13:24:10

I am a PTA person. I do it partly because I like meeting other parents and partly because I like organising things. It’s meant that I’ve got to know parents of older children who are further through the school.

The people on the PTA don’t get any fancy treatment from the school.

What the PTA is like will depend a lot on the school. I’ve heard of some which are run like businesses and have a massive income stream.

I don’t know why people would jostle for the role. It may just be that they are really keen.

CruCru Tue 11-Sep-18 13:27:58

I hope no one would see me as a Queen Bee. A good PTA rep will avoid cliques - the point is to include the whole class, not make people feel left out.

Chocolala Tue 11-Sep-18 13:35:47

It’s all to do with status - the class reps want to be the popular/Queen Bee/Alpha Mums.

Or, me being a case in point, they accidentally agreed to do T because they weren’t paying attention/failed to duck when someone pointed.

Not all class reps give a shit about status. Some do, but they’d be the insane ones in the playground anyway. OP seems to have a group of the latter on her hands.

Witchend Tue 11-Sep-18 14:13:52

I was class rep for dd2 simply because all the other 2nd time parents weren't at the meeting. I felt I had to do it but I really didn't want to.

At the beginning of year 1 one of the first time parents came to me and asked if I minded if she put herself forward... and I was absolutely delighted.

She had a very enthusiastic first term as rep, we had form newsletters and all! By the summer term she was as delighted as I was when someone else said they'd like a go. grin

NonaGrey Tue 11-Sep-18 14:20:18

Some people just like to help.

It’s not something I’d ever have time for so I’m very grateful to those who do contribute in this way.

It’s very easy to stay out of school politics:

Be nice to everyone.
Help where you can
Don’t listen to or participate in any bitching whatsoever.

Easy peasy.

Sammysquiz Tue 11-Sep-18 16:01:41

I volunteered to do it in Reception to get my turn over with, and so I had a legitimate excuse to get out of it in subsequent years. Also anything I arranged socially would be something I wanted to do, on a date that suited me!

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