Parent bridge opened

15th March 1996 at 00:00
North Lanarkshire, seeking to establish a reputation as the "listening authority", held a parents' conference at Coatbridge High last weekend.

More than 120 parents joined teachers, church representatives and councillors to discuss involvement in their children's schooling. Their views will be presented to the council's education committee.

Michael O'Neill, North Lanarkshire's director of education, said: "Parents are keen to work with us."

The council is anxious to continue with the parents' consultative group on the curriculum pioneered by Strathclyde Region. A parents' officer has been appointed and a development officer will work on raising levels of achievement in 170 primary, secondary and special schools. Mr O'Neill said: "This is not about some mythical standards which if you don't reach means you are failing."

Cameron Munro, formerly parents' officer in Strathclyde and now a member of the Quality in Education Centre of Strathclyde University, told the conference that parental involvement should be measured by the "quality of the learning relationship the parent has with their child at home. If we can tap into what parents are doing at home, we can use that as the context for learning in school."

Tracy McLay and Rose Theresa Skillin, whose children attend Sacred Heart primary in Bellshill, praised the efforts of the school to welcome them. Under the urban aid programme, Sacred Heart has a parents' room and a home-links officer who encourages parental participation at every level from curriculum discussions to fund-raising and even adult education.

Mrs Skillin said: "I used to go to the school with my head bowed but now I have the confidence to attend teacher in-service days. I feel the school listens and values what I have to say."

Mrs McLay added: "If you have a happy parent, you have a happy child."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today