How can I be involved?
Your child will do better in their education if there are strong connections between home and school or kura. As a parent, you can provide that connection by being actively involved in your child's school or kura.
Ways to get involved
New Zealand schools and kura are set up to give the community a say in deciding how they work. Here are some ways you can get involved in your child’s school—but also talk to other parents, the teachers and principal about other ways to take part.
Let your child know you’re interested and involved
Being interested in your child's education and involved in their school or kura shows them that their education is important to you, and it becomes more important to them as well.
- ask what your child is learning at school or kura and what they’re finding easy or hard. Knowing what they’re learning will give you clues about extending their learning beyond school or kura
- ask about homework set by the teacher, what you can do to help and support them in doing it.
Know what’s going on
- get to know the teachers and principal, and talk to them regularly about how your child is doing both at home and school or kura
- go to parent-teacher meetings to get feedback
- read the school newsletters and go to school events, such as information evenings and assemblies
- know who’s on the board of trustees, find out about attending meetings, get your concerns on the agenda, and keep up to date with what the board are doing
Have your say
- have your say in any topics up for parent consultation
- complete any school or kura surveys so that your views are taken into account
- get to know who is on your school’s board of trustees (they have regular meetings and must listen to what parents want)
- make sure you vote in the three-yearly elections of the board of trustees
- be the voice for your child. Ask for the support and services you think your child needs at any time.
- you can volunteer to help in the classroom, at events, with sports, or on school trips and camps
- share a talent or some knowledge you have. It can be anything – sports, culture, cooking, crafts, language. Talk to your child's teacher about taking a session.
Join or set up a PTA group
Most schools and kura have a parent group or parent teacher association (PTA) you can join. These are groups of parents just like yourself who want to support the running of school in practical ways. They co-ordinate parent helpers, organise school events, fundraise and help create a strong school community.
The New Zealand Parent Teacher Association (NZPTA) is the national body that supports individual parent groups. NZPTA aims to build closer relationships between parents, teachers, homes and schools so they can work together effectively to support students.
If there isn't a parent, or home and school group at your school or kura, you could talk with other parents and set one up yourself. The NZPTA has information about setting up a group. Get their booklet for parents.
Think about standing for election on your school's board of trustees
All state and state-integrated schools and kura are governed by a board of trustees. Standing for election to the board of trustees is a great way to be involved in your child's education, share your skills with the school or kura and have your say in it's running.
You could consider attending a board meeting to see how they work, and if you are interested you could stand for election at the next trustees election.
Talk with your school about other ideas
Your child's education is a real partnership between your school or kura and yourself. You might be able to think of other ways you and other parents could be involved. Your school or kura might also have some ideas. Talk together about how else you might be able to be involved.
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