Motto: Contributing to the total child and school growth
A considerable amount of research has been carried out in recent years in the field of parental involvement in education. This research has yielded significant and wide-ranging findings which have drawn attention to the importance of involving parents in their children’s learning.
Most of the research that has been carried out has been focused on the impact of involving parents in supporting their child’s learning rather than on the benefits accruing from their wider involvement in school life.
Often times, parents have complained about their ward’s performance academically, their social behaviour and poor moral life style. Some others have blamed it on the home, others the school and some to peer influence. Which ever, research has shown that the only solution to these problems is Quality Assurance.
Quality assurance encompasses a series of planned steps necessary to provide institutions and organisations with confirmation of expected quality from products or services. Quality is properly defined as getting things right the very first time. It aptly describes the goal of quality guarantee to help organisations and schools grow effectively.
Quality assurance in the nutshell depict standard and quintessence.
Legislation and Government Policy on Quality Assurance
A major thrust of education policy over the past decade has been to broaden the remit of schools and children’s services through the Every Child Matters framework. This (quality assurance) was introduced as a programme of change to improve outcomes for all children and young people and it underpins the reform of services of children, young people and families.
The aim of this programme is to give children the support they need to be healty, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution to society and achieve economic wellbeing. It recognised the crucial role of parents, carers and families in improving outcomes for children and young people and recognised the need to provide them with support in order for them to be able to bring out their best.
It is important to note that governments all over the world and Nigeria in particular have embraced the concept of quality assurance. This is because it is the only way through which parents can be involved and properly informed about their children’s performance. Often times, a lot of parents listen to rumours and try to blame their children’s performance on the school, peer influence but most times these parents are not fully involved in the academic life of their wards. Thus, we have a decaying society where we have half-baked graduates and those who have gone through the four walls of the university but cannot really write.
It is on this premise that quality assurance have become important in our today’s education system.
Please note that research have also shown that modern day life brings with it many competing demands. The pressures of work such a long hours, anti-social hours and inflexible work patterns, as well as the need to earn money to support a family, leave many parents with little time or energy to spare for their children.
Also, many parents lack the confidence to talk to teachers about their child for a variety of reasons. They may feel, for instance, that their own level of education makes it difficult for them to converse about their child. Those parents who had a negative experience of school themselves often find it hard to go back into a school situation to meet their child’s teachers.
Language is also a barrier for a significant number of parents for whom English is not their first language. But these barriers can be surmounted by the overwhelming importance and benefits of quality assurance. Some of these benefits are listed below.
- Parental involvement will improve students’ performance academically, morally and spiritually
- Parental involvement will play a key role in helping the school to move forward in terms of its aims and objectives
- Tremendous results in terms of the child’s life is achieved
- It helps to dispel rumours and help parents to have a clear picture of the standard achieved in a school.
- It helps to bring out an excellent and total child that can face 21st century challenges
- It helps the school, an organisation and the government to have a clearer picture of the standard obtained in a particular school system
Thus the school have introduced parents’ council. Parents are encouraged to please participate actively in this council or seek to know the matron or patron of their wards class to be able to relate with and find out how their wards are doing. Parents are also encouraged to volunteer to be members of the parents’ council of the school an off shoot of quality assurance.
It is important to note that when parents are involved in their children’s education, children do better on a range of measures. Their all round attainment is higher; behaviour is better, they have higher self-esteem and improved self-confidence; they have more positive attitudes, there is lower risk of exclusion from school and they are more successful in tests and exams. This is true regardless of social background. Children with interested and involved parents do better than their peers whatever their starting point.
Parents play a key role in help the school to move forward in terms of its aims and objectives. In cases where schools work together with parents, teachers and parents alike have reported a change in the culture of the school positively. These are the reasons why a parents’ council in our school is eminent.
The vision of the school is High Achievement for All. As a school, our aim is to take everyone that comes in contact with the school to the utmost height he/she can ever think or dream of.
Aims and Objectives
Parents’ council exist to represent parents and carers of children at Danbo International School, Kaduna.
Our aims and objectives are:
- To work with the school to create a welcoming and inclusive environment.
- To gather the views of parents and carers on issue which affect them and their children and to communicate their views to the school leadership.
- To promote partnership between parents and staff at the school
- To work with parents and school staff to support the education and welfare of the students
- To ensure a stable, uniform and high standard of discipline both at home, at school and other places.
- To enable the teaching staff have a greater insight into the home background of their students so that the students’ difficulties, problems and emotional disturbance could be understood with a high degree of consideration, sympathy and love;
- To assist materially, morally, financially and otherwise in providing the schools with such additional requirements that will enable them carry out their educational functions adequately.
- The parent council in Danbo will have a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 48 parents/carers of children attending the school. (i.e. the parents per class or one at the least)
- Members will be selected for a period of 12 months. At the end of this term, members may be re-selected if they so wish
- Any parent or carer of a child in the school can volunteer to be a member of the parent council if the member volunteers exceed the number of places set out in the handbook.
The members of the parents’ council also consist of parents (i.e. two, a male and a female) from each class. After a careful observation of the contribution of parents to the school’s development, these parents will be selected by the form tutors and approved by the school management.
As the parents’ council grows, the members will choose a chair, vice-chair and secretary of the council. These positions will be assigned by the parents’ council on an annual basis.
The parents’ council is accountable to the governing body of Danbo International School but deal professionally with staff and students of a particular assigned class.
Schedule of Meeting
- The parents’ council will meet at least once a term but members of the council could be called upon by the school/class should the need arise.
- The annual meeting will take place at the 3rd term of each academic year. All parents will be informed of the date, time and venue at least three weeks in advance.
The meeting will include:
- A report on the work of the parents’ council,
- Selection of the new parents’ council,
- Discussion of any other issues raised in advanced by parents/carers of children at the school
- Meetings of the parents’ council shall be open to all members at the end of their meetings with their respective classes unless the parents’ council is discussing a confidential issue; in which case only members of the parents’ council of that class can attend.
Roles and Responsibilities of Parent Council
Parents’ council will perform the following roles:
- Advisory Role: The parents’ council provides support to the school by advising the school in the following ways:
- Advice students towards the attainment of academic excellence
- Charge form tutors towards good parenting
- Advice the school towards strategies for whole school growth
- School Support: The parents’ council supports the school in the following ways:
- Sponsorship of school programmes such as picnics, concert etc.
- Provide counselling where necessary
- Help to maintain good class-climate
- Mentoring: Parents would serve as:
- Role models to the students
- Ensure that the final destination of the children are their priority and concern
- Support the school in mentoring the students to become responsible adults in the society
- Class Mediatory Role: The parents of a particular class would through their support and advice:
- Ensure that parents involvement in the academic life of their wards is high
- Ensure that through their support the school will achieve the objective behind its most enviable programmes
- Stand as the mediator between the home and the school
Other roles of the parents council includes:
- Class Welfare: Showing concern and support to the class they are representing and the school in general
- Represent the views of other parents
- Promote contact and communication between the school and other stake holders.
- Report to the overall parent forum (PTA)
- Provide training support for the school where necessary
- Promote academic programmes and encourage students’ aptitude to learn.
The Role of the School
The activities listed below are ways in which the school would work with parents to ensure greater understanding of their child’s school experience and how the school operates.
- Academic and Curriculum Issues: The school would like to involve parents in the academic and curriculum life of the school. A lot of parents don’t seem to care about this aspect of their children’s life. The school through the parent council will give a clearer picture of the expectation of each child.
- Parental Involvement: Through the parent council, we would be glad to see more commitment from the home front as this will in turn bring about greater result in the child’s life.
- Identify Individual Groups That Need Attention: The school through this medium will inform/enlighten parents about the special needs of the school especially children needing attention, Special Education Needs children (SENS) and those with others needs that hamper their academic progress in the school.
- Special School Programme: The school through various means such as our website, phone, newsletter, handbook or the use of the media will inform parents of the new development/programmes in the school. We will be glad if those in our parents’ council give their continuous support to ensure that these programmes whether curricular or extra-curricular succeeds.
- Parents Needs/Partnership: The school through the parents’ council ensure that parents/students needs are given utmost priority. We would partner with parents to ensure that a healthy school culture is encouraged and built. Every advice/recommendation from the council will be looked at promptly.
Difference Between Parents’ Council and the Parents Teachers Association
The parents’ council is not Parents’ Teachers’ Association while both are working towards the utmost progress of the school, it is important we clearly differentiate them.
The aim of the PTA is to look out for the welfare of staff, the school and parents. This can done by raising funds to support the school. But the parents’ council is concerned about the school and the child. The academic and social-cultural life of the child in the utmost concern of the parents’ council. Parents’ council will meet with the form tutor, the school and even the PTA to show concern about the academic and extra-curricular life of the students.
Members of parents’ council are still members of the PTA. While PTA looks at broader issues, the parents’ council will look at the least issue that bothers the child and the school. Issues ranging from non-collection of results, non-challant attitude of some parents towards the academics of their wards, show learners etc. will be looked at by the parents’ council.
We wish to thank you for taking time out to go through this handbook. We are optimistic that as we partner together, we would grow and be proud of what we shall achieve together.