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Parents as partners | Print |

Some opportunities for working together:

  • Drawing up a school vision or mission statement;

  • Code of Behaviour;

  • Homework Policy;

  • SPHE/RSE policy;

  • Special Needs Policy;

  • Learning Support Policy;

  • ICT Policy;

  • Home School Community Liaison;

  • Meetings: whole school, class, individual, sacraments;

  • Curriculum: paired reading, Mathematics, the arts, local history, local environment, projects, sports, ICT, gardening;

  • Helping the teacher in the classroom;

  • Pastoral Care;

  • Extra curricular activities;

  • Fundraising;

  • Social events;

  • Work of BoM;

  •  Work of Parents Association;

  • Major annual events;

  • Other ...

Some strategies for involving parents:

Obtaining the views of parents:

  • General meeting;

  • Class meeting;

  • Questionnaire;

  • Informal feedback;

  • Newsletter/letter/posters - seeking suggestions;

  • HSCL teacher ;

  • Discussion in the Parents' Room;

  • Representatives attending school based planning days;

  • Parents Association representatives;

  • Representatives on the Board of Management;

  • Other ...

Working party for drafting relevant school policies. This is particularly useful in relation to some policies such as the RSE policy, Code of Behaviour and so on:

  • Representatives nominated by parents and teachers to draft policy;

  • Draft policy devised by this group;

  • Draft distributed to parents and teachers seeking amendments;

  • On receipt of amendments, working party discuss and draw up final draft of policy;

  • Policy is communicated to BoM for ratification;

  • Policy is circulated to teachers and parents of children in the school;

  • On an agreed date representatives meet to review implementation of the policy;

  • The policy is amended if necessary and reissued to all.

School development planning is a collaborative process and preparation of the School Plan must therefore involve consultation with all the partners including parents. A factor which must be taken specifically into account is how the needs of parents in regard to information on their children's education might be more conveniently catered for.

Over the period of the Plan, it will be subject to ongoing review internally and at the end of the period it will be evaluated in relation to the extent to which the objectives it set out have been achieved.

School Development Planning, School Self Review and an assessment of the Plan's outcomes are designed to enhance school performance through the involvement of all the education partners. In summary these processes, working together, will provide that every school:

  • will assess its current strengths and weaknesses;

  • will set effective and realistic objectives for building on its strengths and addressing its weaknesses;

  • will monitor and review its objectives on an ongoing basis; and

  • will, at the end of the period of its plan, evaluate the extent to which it has achieved its objectives.


Stages

The following is a summary of the stages of School Development Planning:

School Review:

Enables a school community to identify its particular strengths and challenges. Typically, school review would address the following: climate / ethos (characteristic spirit of the school)

  • curriculum

  • organisation

  • staff development needs

  • the school in its community

  • resources (physical, human, financial, other)

  • national/local context factors

Vision:

Describes the ideal to which a school aspires with reference to past achievement, current success and future dreams. A vision statement would encapsulate what it is hoped the pupils will have achieved in these areas by the time they leave school :

  • academic

  • physical

  • moral

  • emotional

  • spiritual

  • aesthetic

  • cultural

  • social

  • personal

  • other...

Priorities:

Enable a school community to define areas for action and respond appropriately. "Prioritising is a process through which we identify which of the broad areas of concerns need tackling first. Prioritising accepts that not everything can be tackled at once." (Skelton, Reeves and Playfoot)

Priorities should be developed using the many types of evidence available to the school:

  • standardised tests e.g. Maths. Who uses the results of the tests? For what purposes? Is there evidence between test results and teachers planning? What do the results across the whole school tell us about the teaching and learning of Maths?
  • teacher-designed tests/tasks
  • teacher observation: Can teacher observation be done systematically across the whole school from time to time to gather particular information? Is teacher observation facilitated through the provision of recording templates?
  • other assessments, including attendance records, individual parental/pupil feedback, BoM/Parents' Association feedback, Tuairisc Scoile, homework journals, copybooks/portfolios/profiles, school environment...

Long term /Strategic Plan:

Enables a school community to manage, pace and build capacity for change

Policies:

Provide clear guidelines for the school community

Action Plans:

Respond to the present priorities of the school. Its purpose is to establish good practice where there was none or better practice where current practice was deficient.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

Enable a school community to assess the implementation and effectiveness of planned change.