Research suggests that the more that parents are engaged in a child’s education, the better that child will do in the long term. For many years PTAs have served a fundraising function in schools, but their input into the decision-making and leadership of the school has been limited.
In response to this, many schools have started Parent Councils as a way in which parents can have a voice and become more engaged in the life of the school. Although this takes a commitment in terms of time and management by the school, the benefits far outweigh this.
10 reasons why every school could benefit from a Parent Council:
- Parents who feel that they have been involved in the decision making process are less likely to be resistant to change.
- They can be used to support the school’s own self evaluation strategies.
- They can be used to ensure that the information that the school is offering about children’s learning and development is accessible to parents.
- Parents are less likely to make formal complaints if they feel that they have a forum in which they can put their views and ideas forward positively.
- Members of Parent Councils often have skills or areas of specialism that can be used to benefit the school.
- They can reach out to new parents who have been difficult to engage with in the past.
- A strong Parent Council can support the school’s development plan, taking responsibility for the delivery of actions and monitoring progress objectively.
- They can be used as a testing ground for new ideas and initiatives before these are launched – allowing any issues to be addressed early and increasing the chances of success.
- The school will not only have a clearer idea of the needs and views of parents, but will also have free advice on how to address these!
- A school’s most effective marketing strategy is a group of happy parents!