Working with your Parent Council
Working with your Parent Council is one of many Information & Training Sessions offered by Connect for school staff. The session has been developed in partnership with teachers and headteachers and has received very positive feedback from delegates and local authorities. All Connect sessions are run by our team of friendly and knowledgeable regional advisors, who have experience of working with parents, schools and local authorities
It is increasingly recognised that Parent Councils are a great resource for a school and can help Senior Management Teams in so many ways. This session works through the advantages to be gained from engaging with the Parent Forum through the Parent Council and offers advice on how to manage that relationship.
Senior Management Teams (SMTs) will find the session is run in an interactive and informal way with plenty of opportunities for discussion and questions. It’s a great chance to not only learn more about how you can work with your Parent Council to improve parental and family engagement but also to hear from other schools about what they are doing.
Section 1: Connect support for Parent Councils
Connect membership includes the following benefits:
- a telephone and email helpline
- a Members'-only section on our website
- eNewsletters and our Backchat newsletter
- the opportunity to join Parents' Voice
- the chance to join our Board of Directors
- the opportunity to attend our Annual Lecture and Regional Events
- free Information & Training Sessions and online meetings
- membership-linked public liability insurance
Section 2: Exploring Potential
In this interactive session, everyone is asked to think about what the Parent Council has been doing over the last year.
Everyone is encouraged to chat about their Parent Council’s work – what made an activity successful, any problems they came across and what they have planned for the future.
We then look at five themes in greater detail:
Campaigning - how Parent Councils can help make improvements to their school through lobbying and campaigning
Learning and Teaching - the different ways Parent Councils can help and encourage parents and carers to become involved in their child’s education
School Matters - advice on how Parent Councils could get involved in all aspects of school life
Social & Fundraising Events – a really important way for parents to contribute to the school community
Communications - how to improve communications between the school, Parent Council and the Parent Forum.
Section 3: The legislation and busting some myths
Our Mythbusters are fun as well as informative: it’s a great opportunity to chat with other others as you decide what’s true and what’s false.
Mythbusters is also a great way to cover some useful topics:
- the parental involvement legislation and how it impacts on the running of Parent Councils
- the different models of parental representation
- the role and responsibility of Parent Councils
- the role of the headteacher and the local authority
- child protection and PVG
- membership of the Parent Council
Section 4: Problem-solving
In this section we look at how the SMT can help a Parent Council work through problems. We identify issues that can sometimes occur and discuss these together.
Section 5 – Feedback and further information
Before we finish, everyone has a chance to give feedback and sign up for our eNewsletters. We give you details of the other free information sessions available to Connect Members.
Finally, no-one goes away empty handed as there are always plenty of leaflets and other information to take back to your Parent Council and to display in your school.
Some feedback from members of SMTs who have attended Working with your Parent Council:
'Really enjoyed the session – I learned a lot and lots of ideas were discussed that I feel I could take forward/suggest to my PC.' (Headteacher from Glasgow)
'Workshop was good for me as a new HT. No pressure to answer and lots to listen to and discuss with colleagues. Thank you!' (Headteacher from Inverclyde)
'Clear information delivered and lots of information to take away. Good to hear what other PCs/PSAs are doing.' (Headteacher from East Renfrewshire)
'Very informative. Good mixture of info and workshop style activities. Very good range of leaflets.' (Depute from Stirling)