School PartnerShips

School partnerships really emerged. In the late 1980s, with the publication of the 1988 Education Act, the role of parents shifted again, with the emphasis now being placed on parental choice. This notion of parental choice is a key theme underpinning much of current government legislation— as you will realise when you consider relatively recent legislation regarding nursery education. It is exemplified in the Parent’s Charter (1994). This document suggests that parents can influence schools significantly through their right to choose schools for their children. It also suggests that parents become ‘active partners with the school and its teachers’. This approach shifts education to a new arena— that of the marketplace— and places responsibilities on parents to exercise their rights as consumers. Other laws have been touched on throughout this book and earlier in this chapter.
You might like to consider this in depth and decide whether you feel that education is best situated in the marketplace and whether the concept of parents as consumers is the best way forward in establishing good relationships. You can see how parents, over the past thirty years, have been given some rights individually to be involved with the education of their children and some collective rights in terms of serving on governing bodies, which now have increased powers.
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