PTA UK, the largest membership organisation for parent teacher associations in England and champion for parents in education, is today calling for all parties to put parents and pupils truly at the heart of England's education policies.
In the light of the snap General Election that is due to take place on 8th June, PTA UK calls on all political parties and interested groups to do more to engage parents in education, locally and nationally, and recognise them as genuine partners in their children's education.
In recent weeks we have seen parents stand together with schools to voice their concerns about school funding. Our Chief Executive Emma Williams raised important points on the subject during her appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live's Breakfast show:
"School funding is something that we're very concerned about. We as an organisation are promoting schools and government to be much more open and transparent with parents generally, and bring them in much earlier to the conversations before crisis point. Parents generally want to help and be supportive of their children’s school. Not being brought in earlier in the conversation can be incredibly damaging. As all headteachers know, the strength of the relationship between parents and schools affects children's attainment."
For this reason, PTA UK is calling for political parties, schools, unions and other interested groups to work together with us to raise children's attainment by building flourishing school communities that recognise parents as genuine partners in education.
In order to achieve this, PTA UK has today (21st April 2017) set out its four key recommendations to make sure parents have a genuine voice in education at national, regional and local levels:
- We call for all schools to benefit from a parent group such as a PTA or Parent Council with clear pathways to the senior leadership team, governors and trustees. PTA UK already supports a network of parent bodies across half of all schools in England and 85% of parents tell us they want to do more to support their child’s school and have a say in how their child is educated.
- We want parents to be properly represented on any local advisory bodies, governing bodies and multi-academy trust (MAT) governing boards too. Pathways to senior leadership teams need to be clear, as well as links to local parent groups at individual schools.
- We’d like to ensure parental participation forms an integral part of initial teacher and leadership training and CPD, including development of a method for schools to exchange and share best practice on parent engagement through involving institutions such as the National College of Teaching and Leadership or the Chartered College of Teaching.
- We encourage revision of the guidance prepared by the DfE and The National Schools Commissioner; as well as in the inspection and assessment criteria of our schools by Ofsted, to recognise the importance of ensuring our schools are parent-friendly and fully harness the power of parents to support learning.
PTA UK will continue to communicate what these changes mean for parents, flag opportunities for parents to have a say and provide tools for this to happen successfully.
Read our manifesto for England in full.
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