In keeping with current educational thinking which recommends that pupils should have a forum to express their views, in January 2011 Bangor Grammar School began the process of setting up its own Parent Council by way of providing Parents with a similar forum. The council contains a small number of Parent representatives across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Meetings are held termly and it provides an effective forum in which members of the Senior Management Team can consult with representatives of the Parental body. It provides the opportunity for Parents to raise any concerns that they may have.
Why set up a Parent Council?
- Since May 2007 schools have been required to take account of parents’ views;
- They are encouraged to review existing arrangements;
- Parent Councils offer a new way of involving parents;
- Decision-makers can find out parents’ views more easily.
Benefits for children
- Children behave better and achieve more when their parents are involved in their education;
- Their parents receive advice about how to support their learning;
- Their concerns can be resolved more quickly when their parents have a good relationship with the school.
Benefits for parents
- Parents are able to express their views and know that they can make a difference;
- They develop a sense of ownership;
- They receive advice about how to support their children’s learning;
- They learn more about how the school operates.
Benefits for schools
- A better understanding of parents’ views and experiences;
- A way of drawing new and different parents into active involvement;
- A way of demonstrating that the school is engaging with parents;
- Improved pupil behaviour and results, as parents have the biggest influence on the success of their children;
- A chance to work with parents to find solutions to difficulties.
What a Parent Council is…..
- a group for parents to work in partnership with the school;
- a group which reports to the governing body;
- a group that is clear about its purpose and decides its own agenda;
- a group that can advise the school on parental views;
- a forum through which school can consult parents.
… and what it is not
- a body that makes decisions for the school;
- a replacement for the governing body;
- a replacement for other groups such as the Parent Teacher Association;
- a forum for complaints about individual teachers, pupils or parents.