Bad communications

1st July 2005 at 01:00
The recent consultation on parental involvement with schools, Making the Difference, seems to have generated some heat from the "minority of parents" who "reflect parent interest in school management rather than parent involvement in their children's education" ("Rethink Parent Forums", June 10).

The consultation was not just about school boards versus forums. Views were also sought on general communication between schools and parents, and a proposed obligation on education authorities to set up conciliation departments to deal with breakdowns in communication. The media seem to have overlooked these questions tucked away at the end of the questionnaire, which was predominantly about the proposed forums.

Many parents would have strong views on school communication for a variety of reasons. Yet their concerns will not appear in the results of the consultation because their children's schools did not communicate the fact it was taking place.

Leaflets were sent out to schools for dissemination to parents. I do not know how many were sent out - or to whom they were addressed - but, from asking friends and colleagues informally and at meetings, only two out of about 80 people in all, parents and teachers, were aware of the consultation.

Could the 95 per cent support for the retention of school boards be a reflection of how the leaflets were distributed?

Ian Findlay ("Why throw out the good with the bad?" TESS, June 17) is concerned that these expressed views might not be taken into account. "How will most of us know whether they have listened," he asks, "if the results are available only in the Scottish Executive library and on the website on July 5, after school holidays have begun?"

The vast majority of parents did not even know they had been asked in the first place.

Alison Waugh Development officer ICT and additional support needs City of Edinburgh Council

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now