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When parents and carers are involved in their children’s education, children do better. This is evidenced by a growing body of research. Parental involvement is thus a lever for raising pupil achievement. The research to date has, however, focused on how parents can support their children’s learning. Very little work has been done in the UK to explore the role of parents (other than as members of governing bodies) in school decision making and how this might benefit school communities.
To explore how parents might become more involved in the life of the school and in the education their child receives there, Human Scale Education worked with four schools in England to set up parents’ class committees, parents’ councils and parents’ forums. In June 2004, schools were invited to submit applications for funding and in July, four schools – two primary and two secondary - were selected to receive a grant of £5000 each to develop ways of involving parents more democratically in their children’s education. Human Scale Education received funding to support these schools in their work.