Reinvigorating the school with the help of the parents

19 September, 2018
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Key summary

The head teacher reviewed the school's mission statement, but brought parents into the process. 


Parent Council & Parent Representatives

When the head teacher at Dartington Primary school in Devon re-invigorated the school by reviewing its mission statement, she invited a group of parents, governors and staff to work with her to reflect on the school’s aims and what they wanted for their children. These joint discussions were extremely valuable in identifying a shared vision and way forward. A Parent Council emerged and has played a significant role in contributing to school decision-making.

How did the Parent Council work?

Each year Parent Representatives were randomly selected for each class and acted as a go-between for communications between the class teacher and parents. Parent Class Meetings involving the teacher and all parents in each class took place termly. Issues were raised and discussed in a proactive way which ensured that parents were well-informed and gave ample opportunities for discussion and relationship building. Whole-school issues were then referred to the Parent Council.

Making Links

Twelve years on the Parent Council has developed into a Parent Forum whereby parent representatives meet with staff each half term to discuss a wide range of issues around the curriculum, teaching and learning and more general issues affecting parents. The meeting is run by parents and is usually attended by a parent governor which helps drive any necessary changes. Minutes are posted on the school website for parents who can't attend. Most recently the Parent Forum and PTFA have linked to hold their AGM.

"This structure enables dialogue between staff and parents which has transformed the home school relationship." Dartington Primary School head teacher.
  • Parent Council now plays significant role in contributing to school decision-making.

Fact File
  • PTA name: Dartington Primary School Parent Forum
  • School name: Dartington Primary School, Dartington, Devon
  • Age range: 4 - 11
  • Country: England
  • School type: Primary
  • Size: 295

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