Parent’s Parliament gives Newry mums and dads a voice

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Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

National charity Parentkind hosted the third of its regional “Parent’s Parliaments” recently at Rathore School, Newry, where parents, politicians and education stakeholders came together to discuss school policies that impact families directly. 

Parentkind enables parents to take an active role in their child’s education.



It has been running a series of Parent’s Parliaments across Northern Ireland, in partnership with the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessments (CCEA), Queens University Belfast – The Graduate School, and with the support of the Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI).

At the event, parents were asked to consider and discuss the following four topics: Should there be a parent body in every school and what functions should it have?; How can CCEA communicate more effectively with parents?; How can schools better support parental engagement in their child’s learning?; and What do parents understand about the school inspection process, their role in this and how can the Education Training Inspectorate share information more effectively?



Jayne Thompson, Northern Ireland Programme Manager at Parentkind, said, “Often when you organise campaigns, no matter how much you passionately believe in the purpose of them, it takes partnership working to make a difference. 

“In our case a number of educational statutory bodies are involved, but the participation of parents and their feedback has been invaluable. 

“At Rathore School we 100% received affirmation from parents that Parents’ Parliaments are so much needed and that parents want to engage more meaningfully with their children’s education and schools. They see the Parents’ Parliaments as one means of doing this.



“The Parents’ Parliaments give parents a voice on an array of education topics that can be translated into policy and/or practice. Parents shared their many positive experiences but also took the time to highlight where and how schools could do more to engage parents; how CCEA and ETI could communicate more effectively with them and the value of having a parent body in every school,” she added.



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