Dear ESB Community,
Last month the Parents’ Association (PA) was approached by the school’s management with a request to take over responsibility for the school canteen, starting in the 2021/22 school year. We were asked to make our decision about this by February 2021 so that the current canteen service providers can plan for the future.
The school’s management has been informed, by the Office of the Secretary General of European Schools (OSGES), that the school should not manage the relationship with its canteen service provider and that, at each European School, this should be undertaken by the PA. Whilst the Parents’ Associations of some of the European Schools have previously taken on this responsibility, ours is far from the only school where PA is currently having this discussion.
Given that the PA Committee is comprised of 9 volunteers, we do not feel that we are currently in a position to consider taking over this responsibility, nor do we feel it very fair for the school to have to push this onto a group of parental volunteers. Whilst InterParents are looking to discuss this with the OSGES, we have set up a Working Group to help look into exactly what would be required should the canteen service provider’s management be taken on by the Parents’ Association. If this sounds like something about which you may be able to advise us, or if it’s something that you would like to become involved with, please send us an email at ESBPAcontact@gmail.com.
To begin with we would like to ask for help in two areas: firstly to identify the legal requirements and liabilities that the PA would need to consider, and secondly to identify other service providers that may be interested in taking on the role. This is not to say that the current canteen service provider won’t be invited to tender but we do feel it in the best interest of the customer to explore several options where there is the chance to do so.
Please forgive us for adding to those winter lockdown woes but we hope that, one way or another, a positive solution will be found: we’d love you to help us find it!
ESB Parents’ Association