National Parents Council Primary examined the status of parents and parental involvement in the Irish Primary Education System and found a significant amount of policy supporting parental involvement, ranging from the recent “Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life” strategy to school inspection procedures and many other occurrences.
Despite the range of policies and procedures that have been developed that reinforce parental involvement in schools, parents report consistently to NPC that they do not feel supported to be involved in the key partnership role they have in their children’s education. NPC examined the legislation regarding parental involvement and further examined directives to schools in this regard in the form of circulars issued. NPC prepared a survey on parental involvement in schools in order to find out the extent to which the Department of Education and Skills Circular 24/91 is being implemented. We made the survey available to all parents on our website and also circulated it to our members via email. To read the full report see the link on the right hand side.
This report was presented to the Minister in advance of the NPC Education Conference in June 2013. Following this the Minister for Education and Skills announced at this conference a Parents Charter in Legislation.
The Minister and his department were subsequently in dialogue with NPC regarding the content of this Charter.
The current Minister in a written answer to a parliamentary question on the 20.11.2014 noted that changes to the Education Act, 1998 would be necessary to provide for and support the introduction of a Parent and Student Charter. She stated that "With this in mind, a set of principles will be required to act as a charter to strengthen the relationship between parents, students and schools, and the position of parents and students generally within the school system.
I plan to include legislative amendments to support a Charter in the Admissions Bill. The aim is that the legislative amendments will foster a culture change in how schools engage with students and parents on a daily basis.
It is my intention to publish guidelines for the development of a Charter before the end of the current school year".
The Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill 2015 was published in April 2015 and at the INTO congress on the 7.4.2015 the Minister stated that she would bring an "amendment to committee stage – to insert a new section 28 of the education act that will underpin a Parents and Students Charter".