As a parent, you can make an enormous difference to your child's chances of success in school, at home and in their later life. Working in partnership with your child's school can help them to succeed
Pupil reports and parents' evenings
Pupil reports and parents' consultation evenings help to make sure you are kept up-to-date on your child's progress.
Parents' evenings are a chance to discuss how your children are doing in class and in school generally with their teachers. They can help decide how best to work together to support your children's achievement.
Your child's latest report should help you to spot issues you want to discuss. It will tell you about your child's progress and levels of achievement, together with details of their attendance, behaviour and - where relevant - special needs.
This isn't the only way to be kept informed. Remember that talking to your children about school can benefit them. If there is anything you want to discuss with your child's teacher, most will be happy to arrange a time to do so.
Home-school agreements can form the basis of the partnership between you and your child's school. They help to make clear what you and your child's school can expect from each other.
They set out:
- the school's responsibilities, aims and values
- parents' and carers' responsibilities in supporting the school
- what the school expects of its pupils
Helping out at school
Some schools offer parents the opportunity to help in the classroom, with after-school activities and with school events or trips.
Pupils can benefit from the support offered by an extra adult and this can be a good way to find out more about what your child is doing at school.
Depending on what you will be doing and how often, the school may ask for your permission to arrange a check on your police records.
Parent-teacher associations (PTAs) are made up of parents, teachers and sometimes others within the school community. They provide opportunities for you to get involved in school life, many of which don't take up too much of your time.
- fundraising for extra items or services to provide additional opportunities for pupils
- social events which allow parents to get to know each other
- meetings to tell parents about issues in education
Ask your child's teacher about getting involved in your local PTA.
Governors and parent governors
All schools have a board of governors working with the principal and senior management team to make sure pupils get a good education. With more than 10,000 governor places in Northern Ireland, governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country.
Parent governors are elected by parents at the school and form part of the board.
Becoming a governor can be an excellent way to find out more about education in your child's school.
Make your views known
You can contact your child's school for an informal discussion about any aspect of their education. Schools are expected to seek the views of parents as part of their self-evaluation process.