Parent participation is actively encouraged within schools. There are a large number of activities outside of the standard educational curriculum which require adult supervision or assistance which teachers are unable to provide.
Parent Teacher Meetings
Schools have scheduled parent/teacher meetings each term. This is traditionally set over a one week period where parents and teachers get together to discuss a child’s progress. If at any time during the school year the parent feels there may be an issue or they just want a more detailed update, they are encouraged to contact the school to discuss. Similarly, teachers will contact parents if they are concerned about a student’s progress.
Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
All schools will have a group of people made up of parents and at least one staff member. This group’s purpose is to support the school and its activities, with a strong focus on fundraising. Areas of support are across a wide variety of projects such as coordinating the school uniform and tuck shops, organizing maintenance events (gardening and painting etc…), organizing school fairs and other family orientated events (movie nights, picnics, discos etc..).
The Board of Trustees (BOT)
This is a group of elected people who are responsible for the governance, control and management of the school. Trustees do not have to have children attending the school but are usually people who have some connection to the school in some way, for example, they may be a past pupil.
After School Activities
Some schools provide after school care and activities such as sports, arts and drama clubs, however the majority of these are run by external providers who are completely separate from the school and deal directly with the parents. Schools that have school sports teams may practice before or after school hours and are often keen to involve parents as coaches, managers or general assistants to the team.
Class Helper Volunteering
Voluntary assistance in classrooms is greatly appreciated by schools especially in the primary years. Teachers often have a number of tasks which they need assistance with such as stapling work on the walls, sticking sheets in books, ticking off homework, helping with spelling tests and reading groups. No qualifications are required to be a classroom helper.