Parent Council

What is a Parent Council or Parent Forum?

A Parent Council or Forum is a body which:

  • enables parents to meet, share ideas and feed back to the school
  • gives parents a voice and enables them to contribute to school decision making
  • helps develop a partnership between parents and school
  • consults parents and advises the school leadership and/or governing body of parents’ views.


Key findings

  • Parental involvement has a significant effect on pupil achievement throughout the years of schooling
  • Educational failure is increased by lack of parental interest in schooling
  • Engaging hard to reach parents has a disproportionately positive effect on student learning and student achievement
  • A father’s interest in a child’s schooling is strongly linked to better educational outcomes for the child
  • In a recent study in England 72% of parents said that they wanted more involvement

Details of key research studies on parental involvement are included in a DCSF leaflet entitled The Impact of Parental Involvement on Children’s Education. This is available at

ISBN: 978-1-84775-252-9


Review of Best Practice in Parental Engagement – Department for Education Research Report RR156 is available from the Department for Education –

Bessacarr Primary School – Parent Network Meeting         30.01.17    Headlines from the Meeting… (Emma Fox).

Present- Jenny Jones, Jayne Hall, Claire Dennett, Bev Wiggett, Paul Bond, Dawn Norburn, Hannah Lissiak, Emma Fox (Federative Deputy Headteacher)

  • J Jones briefly reviewed last meeting from Nov. JJ had no minutes from previous meeting and it was noted that minutes do need to be sent to the new Chairperson ASAP so they can be shared out with parents and staff at the start of each meeting.
  • JJ mentioned that the position of chairperson for the next year is available. It was agreed that the position does require a lot of hard work, time and commitment. As it stands, there are no takers for the role, but JJ is to contact existing members of the network who weren’t here today to see if they want it.
  • JJ is to let Louise know to add new parents who were here today to the WhatsApp group so they can be informed of meeting notes etc.
  • It was mentioned that there was some confusion around the structure of the management in school. Some parents felt confused as to who is who and what their roles are. JJ suggested a flow chart. E Fox described the roles of the management as it stands now in both schools but mentioned that these will change when the school becomes an academy on the 1st
  • E Fox highlighted the following concerns and aims within school-
  • The school is working hard to ensure all children read for pleasure
  • Class stories are more widespread through school
  • We hope that this love of reading will follow the children home
  • It is the school’s responsibility to promote reading
  • Boys reading – esp. the reluctant ones need to be engaged
  • The gaps between girls and boys in reading needs to be closed
  • As a group the following ideas were suggested to help the school
  • A book swap – to be discussed at the next meeting in more detail
  • EF to look at books within school
  • Improvements to existing KS2 Library in an effort to hook boys.
  • Asking children what they would like to see in their library.
  • Are books available to read on the iPad in school?
  • A book request- ask other chn in school if they would be happy to swap/ sell / give a book on a topic that another child may be interested in.
  • EF mentioned the success of the Dads and Grandads read a book day. There will be a further push on dads etc. coming in to volunteer to help with reading on a voluntary basis. This has really taken off with several dads now volunteering in school and listening to readers.
  • EF went through what has already taken place to identify and help weaker readers- Salford reading tests (those underperforming will get support)
  • It was highlighted that some chn may be good at reading but comprehension skills may be lacking- parents felt that they would like some support with ideas of how to help develop this.
  • There has been a lot of positive things happening in school with reading. The group felt that the school website needs more relevant pictures of what has been happening.
  • Twitter was discussed as an excellent way of communicating to parents what is happening in their child’s class. Parents would like Twitter to be consistent in school so that all parents get to see what their child and class are doing as well as the rest of the school.
  • EF handed out the Parent Council Handout for all to read
  • Anti-bullying week was discussed. Ideas to be discussed for the next Anti-bullying week well in advance.
  • Lunch times were brought up as an area that the group would like to know more about.
  • JH mentioned having some different activities at lunchtime which may be inside as not all children want to play outside.

For the next meeting EF is to find out the following things and report back

  • What is happening at lunchtimes on the playground? Are there playground leaders? What activities are there available for the children to do
  • What resources are available
  • Is the trim trail available

The next meeting will be held on Monday 6th March at 8.45 – one of the areas will be able children and how are they being accommodated within school. The minutes taken and typed by J Hall.

Parent Council Meeting 23.2.2016

1. E.Fox – Introduced herself and discussed her role
2. R.Halifax and J Gunning – Talked about experiences of Parents Council:
Past Projects discussed:
Traffic survey, behaviour survey, reading guides, homelearning guides
Levels of support that were needed to set up the Parent Council
It was discussed that at times the head updated them about key issues
Parents’ suggestions forms
Social media – website, Facebook used for parents to voice views/issues
3. Suggestions from the group:
Ask children about what they would like Parent Council to work on
Attendance project
Work around the Ofsted points for improvement
Parents coming into school to volunteer and read, dentist, (Nicky Kilroy), police officers, art, creativity
How we can involve parents more – skills questionnaire to find out about strengths within the community of parents that could be used to enhance topics/learning
ILP focus on Website so parents know what the current learning is in each class so that they can offer relevant support

Other business:
E mail addresses were exchanged
E. Fox suggested that Mrs. Jones take on the role of chairperson and that other parents talk to Mrs. Jones before the next meeting if they would like to take on a role such as vice chair etc
Next meeting 15th March 2:15pm – Mrs. Burton to attend

Actions – J Burton and E Fox to draw up initial parental questionnaire to go out before the next meeting
E Fox to speak to Mr. Smeaton about creating a Parents Council section on social media

Parent Network Meeting – Monday 6th March 2017

Emma Fox (Federative Deputy Headteacher)

Dawn Norburn

Jane Hall

Jenny Jones

Nicola Smith


Points revisited from the previous meeting:

It was felt that inviting parents into school to read with their children as part of Book Week was very successful. Parent Network requested that this happen more frequently  – possibly every half-term. Emma Fox to confirm if this is possible at the next meeting.

Emma Fox discussed how following the last meeting, A. Turnbull has been given a list of the top 100 books that children should read at Primary Schools and that where there are gaps, copies will be ordered. This will ensure that all children continue to be exposed to quality texts, including the classics.

Book Drop/Book Swap idea discussed and this will be organised at the next idea. Also, parents  invited to donate old quality books to the school once they are no longer needed.


  1. Lunchtimes

Emma Fox – shared the findings from the meetings with Alison Ewan, Johnny Wood and Jo Howe about lunchtimes.

Accessed Money from friends of Bessacarr to purchase board games play. Current equipment ropes and hoops available summer parachute / games are set up. Mrs Ewan requests volunteers to repaint floor paint. Notebooks to all dinner ladies in use, to reflect incidents negative to Mrs Ewan. Going forward to use to promote “Good Behaviour”. She is keen to promote Playground Leaders. Certificate for Kindness & respect suggested , in advance of “Bullying week”. Doncaster Rovers   Programme, lunchtime play activities , pupils been chosen.

Going forward Sept 2017, peer mentoring for pupils.

  1. G and T Children

Emma Fox talked about approaches to Maths with the three layered approach  – Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving.  This ensures that all children, regardless of ability, are catered for and more able children are challenged within a Reasoning and Problem Solving context.

The Parent Network have requested a communication area to look at “What’s on this week!” type page on the website and on the board at the front of school. Emma Fox to look into how this could work.

Since no one has come forward as Chairperson, Emma Fox has agreed to take on this role for the time being.


Next meeting Monday 8th May 8:45 am – Emma Fox to report back on the following:

New material that has been added to the website

Lunchtime /kindness certificates

Bookdrop/swap event summer 2017