Parents’ role put under spotlight

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A PIONEERING report has emphasised parents’ roles in boosting their children’s educational performance.

Forest Heath District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee produced the report and has been given the go-ahead to approach businesses, lift aspirations and provide learning activities to build greater skills.

At a full meeting of the council on Wednesday night, Cllr Robin Millar said: “The world around is changing fast and if we want our children to have the best place in the world we need them to have the best start in life.”

He added that he believed it was the first time a report of this kind had been carried out by an authority which is not the primary education provider.

The report found that with children only spending 20 per cent of their waking life in school, there needed to be more emphasis on learning in the wider community and parent engagement.

Findings were influenced by evidence from statistics, policy, visiting schools and exploring other schemes that are currently working.

Cllr Rona Burt said: “Our schools do a tremendous job, but the wider community also has a role in ensuring that our young people get the most out of their education to help themselves get fit for their future.

“I think our scrutiny exercise has shown that we need to encourage people to value learning, through all ages and wherever it happens.”

Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for children, schools and young people’s services, praised the committee for its work and echoed the sentiments of the report.

Councillors voted to approve a proposal for the committee to meet members of the county council’s education team and establish where they can work most effectively.