In order for any school to function effectively for the benefit of its students it needs to work in partnership with parents. Research has shown that if students are to achieve their potential in school there needs to be a team-based approach towards their education. Thus it is important that schools recognise the important input that parents can make. Parental involvement in the school benefits students, parents and the school itself:
- Pupils behave better and achieve more when their parents are involved in their education.Their concerns can be resolved more quickly when their parents have a positive relationship with the school.
- Parents benefit from being able to express their views and knowing that they are able to make a difference. They also benefit from meeting and working with others in a setting in which they feel comfortable and from the advice and guidance the school and other parents are able to give them in supporting their children with their learning.
- Schools gain a better understanding of the views and needs of parents and how they might be able to address them.They are better able to take advantage of the time, ideas and skills which parents have to offer.
The Blessington Community College Parents' Council is a very active body that provides a high level of support to the school. Some of the activities carried out by the Parents' Council include:
- Fund raising - this is vital in providing the much needed support to the school. This year alone the Parents' Council has made significant contributions towards the introduction of the book-rental scheme and the learning resource department.
- School policies - school policies specify how the school will operate in a variety of areas. Currently a number of school policies are under review. The Parents' Council has an input into these policies and thus how the school will operate for the benefit of their children.
- Board of Management - the Parents' Council is represented by two members on the Board of Management of the College.
- Bi-monthly meetings - during which any parental issues or concerns can be discussed with the school management and at which the Principal will give the parents a report on the running of the school.
- Supporting activities - the members of the council provide valuable back-up for the school by carrying out tasks such as providing refreshments at school events.
- Careers evening - for the past number of years the council has organised and run the very successful careers evening within the college.
- Volunteer award - the council sponsors the annual volunteer award through which the contribution of students to the wider community is recognised.
An indication of the quality of the parents on our council is that one of its members, Ger Cleary, is the overall parents' representative on Wicklow VEC.
We would encourage as many parents to become involved in the Parents' Council as possible - it is for the benefit of your children and it sends a signal to them that their education is important to you. Please contact the school for more information.