School councils, not legislation

17th July 1998 at 01:00
DURING the report stage of the School Standards and Framework Bill last week an amendment that would enable governing bodies to "facilitate and give reasonable assistance to parents who wish to establish an organisation within the school to represent parents" was rejected by the Government on the grounds that there is no need "to formalise the school-parent relationship through legislation" because "legislation is not the best way to deal with that kind of relationship".

This is a point many of us have been making in relation to home-school agreements. Baroness Blackstone said that the Government does not "believe that this is the appropriate time to place an additional statutory requirement on governing bodies". It would be far less onerous and more likely to achieve the Government's stated commitment "to working with parents and to improving parental participation in their children's schools" to enable governing bodies to help parents set up an association than requiring them to draw up home-school agreements and ensure parents sign them.

In schools where such an association exists it makes it far easier for the governing body to consult with parents and for parents to work together. If we are to have real partnerships, which are a key feature of successful schools then each school needs to have a school council as well so that children and young people can also be consulted and express their views.

Melian Mansfield. Campaign for State Education. Weston Park. London N8

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


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