Using a 'parents champion'

You may wish to consider a Parents' Champion to support the development of your parental engagement strategy.

The title 'Parents' Champion' has been used in many settings. In this context, it means someone who can work with the school to help develop parental engagement in maths - it is not someone who is a champion in mathematics. However, schools may wish to use a different name, if that will work better for them.

Aims

  • To raise the profile of mathematics throughout the school.
  • To tackle negative attitudes towards mathematics.
  • To foster a 'can do' culture in relation to mathematics.

Who?

Anyone who has an interest in promoting mathematics – some schools prefer a parent while others choose a senior member of staff to show the value placed on parental engagement.

Others have an enthusiastic teaching assistant whilst in some, the parent governor takes on this role. It could also be a volunteer with existing links with the school who is keen to promote mathematics.

It is for schools to decide which approach would be most effective in their own context.

Essential skills/ experience

  • Passionate about promoting mathematics (not necessarily a maths specialist.)
  • Good interpersonal and organisational skills.
  • Ability to take initiative.
  • Ability to work with different groups – parents, teachers, children.
  • Familiarity with school, locality and community.

Support / Monitoring

The 'Parents' Champion' could work alongside the maths subject leader, a teacher or parent governor.

What would the 'Parents' Champion' do?

  • Encourage all parents to be actively involved in their child's mathematics learning.
  • Be involved in the development of strategies – with staff and parents – which will enable all parents/carers to access school events and activities relating to mathematics.
  • Help other parents/carers improve their maths skills through the National Numeracy Challenge.
  • Liaise with the school when maths related activities are being planned and organised.
  • Provide support for other parents/carers and encourage participation.
  • Be involved in gathering feedback from parents/carers; ensuring all parents/carers have a voice.
  • Be a positive ambassador for mathematics and promote enjoyment and fun!
  • Raise awareness among school staff and parents/carers about the potential damage of negative attitudes towards mathematics.
  • Help the school ensure the learning environment is positive, number rich and utilises all learning opportunities within the school day.
  • Promote and encourage opportunities for mathematics outside the classroom, within the local community and at home.
  • Network with other 'Parents' Champions' in pilot schools, share ideas and support.

What will they need?

  • Training.
  • Support and commitment from Senior Leadership Team.