Role and Rights of Parents in their child’s education

The Irish Constitution. BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN, was enacted by the People on the 1st July 1937 and has been in operation since the 29th December 1937. Article 42.1 states:

The State acknowledges that the primary and natural educator of the child is the Family and guarantees to respect the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according to their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children.

The Constitution defines clearly the rights of the family to educate their children. Not only do parents have the right to provide for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children but they also have a duty to do so. The right of a parent to be the primary educator of the child cannot be removed or surrendered.

Parent-Teacher Partnership

International research has shown that when parents are involved in their child’s educational life, their children achieve better outcomes through their school years. Unity of approach between parents and the teachers is considered vital in John Scottus School. The importance of this relationship is expressed in frequent meetings between parents and teachers in both formal and informal settings.

There are annual Parent / Subject Teacher meetings and Parent/ Class Teacher meetings arranged each year. Parents are encouraged to contact Class or subject teachers if there are concerns about their child’s performance or to discuss their aspirations for or needs of their child.

Parents and their relationship to the school

Unity of approach between parents and the teachers is considered vital. The importance of this relationship is expressed in frequent meetings between parents and teachers in both formal and informal settings. Parents need to know the ethos of the School. With their full support, this education can really blossom and it will give security and strength to the child.

Formal parent/ subject teacher meetings and parent/ class teacher meetings are held annually. The Class Teacher is the primary contact person for parents, in raising issues or discussing goals or needs of their child.

Parent Bodies

There are two parent bodies in the Senior School – the Parents’ Association (PA) and the Parent (Class) Representatives Group.

The Parents’ Association (PA)

The Parents’ Association is a statutory body, and has representation from all Years of the Secondary School. The representatives are elected at at the Annual General Meeting each year in October. Meetings are held monthly.

The PA is affiliated to the National Association of Compass, which is the statutory body representing Parents’ Associations in Protestant and Minority Religion schools. Compass, in turn, is one of five national parent bodies, which are all encompassed in NPCpp – National Parents’ Council Postprimary.

The Parent (Class) Representatives Group

The Parent (Class) Representatives Group has representation from 1st through 6th Year classes. Monthly meetings are held with the Headmaster, Dr Kelly. The purpose of this forum is to help parents and students familiarise with and get responses to queries regarding the day-to-day experiences of the students in the school. Parent Representatives compile a list of issues, ranging from uniform, food, Sport and educational policy queries, homework and other items. Responses are given and meeting minutes distributed to all parents by email.

Parents are strongly encouraged to put their names forward for either or both parent bodies. These fora offer the opportunity to make friends with other parents, share concerns and ideas for the school. International research has shown that when parents are involved in their child’s educational life, their children achieve better outcomes through their school years. So, go for it!

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