Welcome to our new blog! In this edition, recipe Eleanor and Aileen, here the new representatives from Moray, introduce themselves and tell us why they decided to get involved in the National Parent Forum.
I’m Eleanor Symon, a mum of two children aged 7 and 5, and am the joint representative for Moray on the NPFS. I joined the Parent Council as soon as my eldest started school as I thought it would be a great way to meet other parents and find out more about today’s education system. My husband is also part of the school’s Parent Association and we feel that actively being involved in the school helps us to be part of our children’s education the local community. Over the last 3 years I’ve attended numerous events held in Moray, participating in the local Council led Sustainable Education Review as well as events run by the SPTC and have greatly enjoyed meeting other parents from across the area.
Joining the Parent Council has met my expectations and I’ve really enjoyed the experience, so jumped at the chance of becoming involved with the National Parent Forum. I’m keen to learn and be involved in any way I can.
My name is Aileen Sutherland and I am a mum of 3 children aged 7, 9 and 11 currently in primaries 3, 5 & 7. We live in Elgin in Moray and our children attend their local primary school in the area. I have always been interested in the education of our children. I started off on the Parent Council in our previous much smaller school in Islay on the west coast of Scotland, quickly being voted on as chair, where I got my first exposure to Curriculum for Excellence and what the school was working on in improvement plans. I also realised my lack of knowledge about the education system and that to be of most benefit as a parent, I would have to learn more about it. We then moved to Elgin and I was interested to be part of the Parent Teacher Forum again. We initially had a group with more of a fundraising bias before forming a more formal Parent Council 2 years ago. Having attended a few meetings in school and realising that my knowledge required to be broadened, I attended events to help make our council more effective. At these meetings I realised that a national group was in existence and that they were looking for representation from our area. I chose to apply, mainly to help me understand the bigger picture of education and to bring ideas and experience from a wider group back to the grass roots of our primary. Also our eldest will be moving on to secondary in August 2015, so I am interested to have more knowledge of what schools should be achieving at that level too. Being new to an education group at a strategic level, I am relieved to be sharing the representative role with Eleanor. This allows us to discuss what the best way forward to promote the group is within our area, especially given our geographical location making us a long way from other representatives.
I hope being on the National Parent Forum will provide me with more knowledge about the education system and roll out of new policies, about what way we can influence what schools achieve, how we as parents can help them achieve goals and how we as parents can help make a difference to our children’s education.
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