We hold regular Parent Forums at Winterbourne Academy to encourage greater representation and influence from those who have children at the School.
What a Parent Forum is:
A Parent Forum is a body of parents and carers, which represents parents and carers and provides a forum for them to put forward their views to the Headteacher and Governors. The Parent Forum is representative of all parents and carers in the school community and is an inclusive and accessible way to involve parents and carers in decisions about the School. It is a forum through which parents and carers can be consulted, learn more about the School and how they can be involved in it, be provided with information and encouraged to network with others parents and carers. Involvement in the Parent Forum is less formal and requires a lesser commitment than being a member of the School Improvement Committee (governors), whilst enabling parents and carers to make a real contribution to the School.
Functions of the Parent Forum:
The School Improvement Committee remains the decision-maker and provides the strategic leadership for the School. The Parent Forum has a consultative and advisory role; it is a means to strengthen the voice of parents and carers and to enable them to express their opinions and influence decisions. Parents and carers are a driving force behind their children’s achievements, but also for improving the School system as a whole. The Parent Forum gives parents and carers a route to express their opinions and ideas and the School and Governors a means to sound out parents’ and carers’ views on decisions about the strategic direction of the School. The Parent Forum also supports the School Improvement Committee in promoting the well-being of students. Parents and carers value not only educational achievement at the School, but a commitment to a positive ethos and a range of activities and opportunities beyond the formal curriculum. Involvement in the Parent Forum is an opportunity to generate a culture of genuine participation and to attempt to reach those disengaged parents and carers and parents and carers of particular groups of students who may face significant barriers to their inclusion such as language, literacy or culture.
The Benefits of a Parent Forum
The following benefits of having a Parent Forum have been identified:
- The School draws new and different parents and carers into active involvement
- The school gains an understanding of parents’ and carers’ views and experiences
- The school demonstrates that the School is engaging with parents and carers
- The school works with parents and carers to find solutions