The governors of The Vine Schools Trust South Essex Hub believe that every school needs to understand it’s parents for many reasons. Here at Bulphan/St Margaret’s, parents and families have an enormous influence on their child’s learning. Professor John Hattie’s study in 2008 found that the,
“effect of parental engagement over a student’s school career is equivalent to adding two or three years to that student’s education.”
At Bulphan/St Margaret’s C of E Academy we have an active Parent Council group. This group meet with the Head of School and Executive Head each term to discuss relevant topics and to share their views and feedback. This group enables the leadership of the school and the parent body to meaningfully engage with each other giving our parents and children a ‘voice’.
Parent Council Groups of The Vine Schools Trust South Essex Hub
Terms of Reference
The governors of The Vine Schools Trust South Essex Hub board value the views and feedback from the parents in each of our schools. They take the opportunity to engage with parents in a range of different opportunities. These include:
- Coffee mornings,
- School events,
- Parent perception surveys,
- Parent Council meetings.
Our Parent Council usually consists of one parent representative from each class who attends the meetings for one year but is not restricted to this. Where possible, we like to involve members of the local church and community to take part in this group. We also like to invite a member of the governing board once a year.
The Parent Council work in partnership with the school leadership team to:
- create a welcoming school which is inclusive for all parents promoting partnership between the school, it’s children and all it’s parents
- develop and engage in activities which support the education and welfare of the children
- identify and represent the views of parents on matters affecting the education and welfare of the children
- support the leadership of the school
Our Parent Council group meet at least once a term with the Head and/or the Executive Head Teacher. The Head/ExHT will chair the meetings and provide an agenda. If any parent council members wish to for an item to be included in the agenda then they can propose this to the Head/ExHT at least 10 days in advance.
The governing board of The Vine Schools Trust South Essex Hub remains the decision making body and provides the strategic leadership of the school whilst the Parent Council has a consultative and advisory role. The following is a non-exhaustive list of matters on which the Parent Council will provide a forum for a consultation and advice:
- policies, procedures and protocols which affect the day to day operation for the school eg start and finish times, after school provision, uniform etc
- systems of communication between the school and parents on matters concerning the operations of the school.
- matters designed to foster greater parental participation and engagement in the education of pupils by parents eg family learning sessions
Some topics cannot be addressed by the Parent Council and should be referred to the class teacher in the first instance or Head. This includes matters associated with:
- school policies and procedures relating to general curriculum issues
- issues relating to individual children or staff
- individual complaints or grievances
Rules for all members to observe during meetings:
- respect confidentiality and never name individual teachers, children, members of staff or parents
- support and be guided by the Chair of 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