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Setting up a Parent Council

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1 Setting up a Parent Council
What it means for your school

2 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 Parent Councils are optional for most schools, including voluntary-aided schools designated with a religious character Only foundation schools with a trust which appoints the majority of governing body members must establish one

3 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

4 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 They gain practical and emotional support from other parents They can gain confidence and learn new skills

5 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 (SEF) 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

6 What a Parent Council is…..
a group led and run by parents, for parents 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 a place for parents to learn more about the school a place for the school to learn more about parents

7 … 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 or the School Council a forum for complaints about individual teachers, pupils or parents

8 Decisions for the governing body
Whether and how a Parent Council would benefit the school What the purpose of the Parent Council will be How to develop a dialogue between the school and the Parent Council What resources the school can commit to supporting it How much the governing body and staff will be involved How it will evaluate and support the Parent Council

9 Setting up the Parent Council
GB decides whether to set up a Parent Council and who will take the project forward Consultation – the Parent Council’s remit, purpose, aims, relationship to other school bodies, membership, publicity, practical arrangements etc. agreed First meeting publicised First meeting – goals, times and places for subsequent meetings etc. agreed Subsequent meetings Evaluation and adaptation

10 What has been said about Parent Councils
“We have come to trust the views of the Parent Council. Over the past 3 years we have asked their opinions before making decisions.” Secondary Deputy Headteacher “Forum meetings are well run and have a constructive ethos – it is not a place to air individual issues, and everyone is clear that these should be raised with the headteacher.” Primary Parent Governor “The role of the Council is evolving from problem-solving to taking the initiative; for example, the Parent Council has become proactive when tackling the issue of travel to and from school.” Primary Teacher

11 Some ways Parent Councils have contributed to their schools
Development of policies e.g. healthy eating, homework, school travel plans Development of websites Arranging workshops for parents on how to support their children Running parents’ evenings Consultation on school uniform Arranging welcome events and information packs for new pupils and their parents Provision of after-school clubs Setting up events to draw in more parents Setting up volunteer groups of parents to help with reading

12 The resource pack – for governors, parents, headteachers and staff
Helps you to decide whether or not you want to set up a Parent Council if it is optional Helps you to understand statutory requirements if a Parent Council is required Provides practical step-by-step guidance, ideas and resources Provides examples from different schools that have already set up Parent Councils Different sections will be relevant to different groups at different times

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