Your role as a parent
Whatever your child’s age, you know them best and are by far the biggest influence on their life. That’s why, whatever their age it’s your role to support and challenge their school to make sure they get the very best education for them.
How can I help my child?
You can help by getting involved with their school:
Just as important is supporting their learning at home, your attitude to learning can inspire them, help their development and support their achievement at school. You can do this by:
As a working parent it can seem that there’s not enough time to get involved in school.
If you have children in primary school and aren't able to be at school very often, this can make staying in touch harder. Speak to your school about how you can make this work for you.
In secondary school it is different because you are rarely at the school so use other forms of communication such as email.
The PTA UK has good advice for working parents:
Don’t sweat the small stuff and keep positive. Get into the routine of helping your child with key bits of homework or reading on your days off or weekend. Don’t worry about doing everything perfectly and keep up a confident front.
Pledge to get involved in school life however small or large your contribution may be. Could you spare a couple of hours a year volunteering in school or would your professional skills make you a great school governor or trustee?
Be active online
Get to know your school – online. Read and respond to emails, school website, consultations and surveys. Whether it's a simple email or a communications system: texts, posters, letters in school bags or updated website pages, keep your eyes open, and take note of important dates!
Speak up and encourage change to help working parents. Could you and a group of like-minded parents come up with some suggestions and engage the school team or governors on the matter?
Schools generally welcome constructive suggestions on how to improve the ways they communicate. It makes their lives easier too!
Connect with the school
Getting involved with a PTA, parent body or other parent body may help you feel more connected to school life and has other rewards.
Book an appointment
Do not hesitate to book an appointment with your child’s teacher as you need. Teachers or other staff may be able to talk over the phone if getting into school is difficult.
Consider flexible working
Have you considered and explored flexible working with your employer? What about working from home one day a week or working a nine day fortnight?
The Working Families web site has some useful pages for parents that want to make a flexible working request: