We delivered one of our last sessions in Fife (for the moment- we’re hoping to get more dates for further training soon) at Rimbleton Primary in Glenrothes. At the start we always ask parents what they are already doing to get parents involved and were utterly amazed with how much the schools and parent councils were already doing. As well as the school concerts, coffee mornings and fundraising events there were schools running bike courses for parents and children, craft evenings before Christmas (when families could come in and make Christmas cards together) and pre-school Fair Trade breakfasts for parents and children.
One of my favourite ideas to come out of the session was a survey for parents to find out about what they know about the Parent Council and how they could get involved. This is incredibly helpful for the Parent Council to find out how aware parents are about their work, skills that parents might have and particular people who could use their skills to help the school. The problem with most surveys is that parents don’t answer them- it’s very easy to put off more paperwork from the school or another survey monkey email. But some schools have learnt to use children- the children create the survey in class then ask their parents the questions as homework. This means that about 98% of the parents actually respond.
Please try this at your school and let us know how it goes- good luck!