2.2.2 Parents and carers give ‘background’ support to practitioners
Many parents and carers take on an educating role by talking, playing, reading and singing with their children. For many parents and carers, their liaison with practitioners and other child-focused agencies forms only a part of the educational experience they seek to provide for their children.
Parents and carers are, in effect, a child’s first teachers – but not all parents and carers are able to become involved when a child goes into a school environment. Whilst many parents and carers will become involved in partnership working and their child’s education, there may also be reasons why a parent or carer is unable (or chooses) to not be involved. It is therefore important to be careful when drawing conclusions and consider the reasons why parents and carers may not appear to do what a setting asks of them, or not be fully involved in their child’s education.
The Llywodraeth Cymru/Welsh Government has actively encouraged a ‘background’ parental and carers role at all stages of a child’s education. Ideas and information have been developed and made widely available: the ‘Education Begins at Home’ campaign, for example, had both a Facebook page to encourage parental and carer involvement.and
Government-led initiatives are significant in helping parents and carers feel that they can be involved in their child’s formal learning. The resources provided also provide information, ideas and encouragement to enable parents and carers to be less dependent on early years and school settings.
You should now attempt Activity 5, which provides an opportunity to explore and reflect upon the role parents and carers have as ‘educators’.
Activity 5: Parents and carers as educators
Take a few moments to read an article by Owen Hathway (you will need to scroll down after clicking on the link) and then reflect on its relevance to you as a governor. You may choose to make a few notes of the key points made.
This activity is an opportunity for you to reflect on the role that a parent/carer plays in a child’s education. Owen Hathway is a policy officer and the article represents his views. His employer is the National Union of Teachers.
The author notes the need to involve parents, carers and the wider community to ensure that each child can achieve their full potential. This reflects the idea that ensuring each individual child achieves their potential involves not only ‘formal’ but also ‘informal’ schooling. Schools, parents, carers and their community all play a role. The task is achieved through team working and partnership. Those teams and partnerships will vary in size and duration, but each governing body plays a role as a part of them.