At Furzedown Primary School, we are committed to working closely with parents and carers. We value the partnership which exists between school, parents and the community and the part it plays in school improvement.
Research has shown that children behave better and achieve more when their parents are involved in their education. Concerns can be resolved more quickly when parents have a good relationship with the school.
The Governing body at Furzedown Primary School have a very specific strategic role to play in the running of the school and have both legal and statutory responsibilities.
Generally, the day-to-day leadership and management of the school is the responsibility of the Headteacher and other senior leaders employed by the school.
We feel that it is important that parents have a forum where they can express their views, know that they can make a difference, and learn more about how the school operates. The Parents Forum will be a place for parents to learn more about the school and a place for the school to learn more about different ways parents can contribute to their child’s learning journey.
Membership of the Parent Forum
All parents and carers of pupils of our school are automatically members of the parent forum.
What is a Parent Forum?
A Parent Forum is a body of parents which represents parents and provides a forum for them to put forward their views to the head teacher and the governing body of their children’s school. Parent Forums are a more accessible way to involve more parents in decisions about the school. A Parent Forum is less formal and requires a lesser commitment than being a member of the governing body. It also enables more parents to make a real contribution to their child’s school.
The Governing body remains the decision-making body and provides the strategic leadership of the school. Parent Forums have a consultative and advisory role. They are not a fund-raising body. They are a means of expanding the communications between parents and the school, strengthening the voice of parents and enabling more parents to express their opinions and influence decisions.
The Ofsted self-assessment and inspection arrangements require schools to assess and demonstrate how well they listen to, and act on, parents’ views. Parent Forums and councils are seen as an excellent way to do this.
The Aims of the Parent Forum will be to:
- Work together to improve the education provided for our children
- To learn about the school community and parental perspectives, context and history
- Consult on changes, such as projects, policy proposals and local issues in the school community
- Explore views on specific concerns or issues
- Triangulate governor, parent and staff viewpoints
- Share information, knowledge and skills
- Meet in a mutually supportive environment
What will our Parent Forum do?
The Furzedown Parent Forum will focus initially on three key roles:
- Providing a route through which parents as a group advise the governing body, the elected parent governors and school leadership of their views and for the governing body and school leadership to consult and discuss issues with parents
- Reaching out to parents and bringing parents together
- Enabling parents to get involved in the life of the school, including supporting learning activities inside and outside of school hours
Terms of Reference/Core Purpose the Parent Forum will be to:
- Give notice of meetings and where possible an agenda in advance
- Minute all meetings and make them available to all parents/carers
- Report back to the Governing body of the school
- Be involved in identifying priorities for the school improvement plan
- Advise the school on parental views
- Be the forum through which the school consults parents
- Make recommendations (this may be in relation to developing policies, procedures, protocols etc.) to the Governing body and the Senior Leadership Team
- Complement the Governing body (not be a replacement for them)
- Not be the forum for discussing individual circumstances or grievances about individual teachers, pupils, parents or matters,these issues will be directed via the school’s complaint’s procedure instead
- Be positive, constructive and solution focused
- To follow Furzedown Primary Schools ‘Code of conduct’ Parent, Carer and Visitor Code of Conduct
- Have an open invitation to the meetings for the Chair of Governors
- Invite other members of staff to the meetings either as an observer or to contribute something specifically requested
- Meet at least half termly
- Help ensure communication between parents and the school is the best it can be
- Review the impact of its work annually
- Review terms of reference annually
‘Golden Rules’ to observe during meetings:
- Respect confidentiality and never name individual teachers, pupils, members of staff or other parents.
- Support and be guided by the person chairing the meeting
- Keep to time and the agreed agenda
- Attempt to keep individual contributions brief, respect others’ opinions and ideas by letting them finish without interruption