From the Family and Childcare Trust newsletter , Champion Chatter Issue 5.
Two schools in Sheffield, Whiteways and Owler Brook, have been leading the way with involving parents as volunteers. The Council's Parental Engagement team run this project, which is aimed at encouraging learning in the home and reaching parents and families who may not have been in contact with local services.
Three Roma parents have been recruited and trained as Parent Champions at Owler Brook, helping other families to access services and contribute to community discussions and school meetings, and supporting them to engage in activities such as ESOL classes.
"The Parent Champions at Owler Brook have been instrumental in developing links with our Slovak Roma community. They have received high quality training which has greatly increased their confidence to support others in a very positive and proactive way. They have encouraged other parnets to engage in school activities and supported them to do so. We are very proud of the work they are doing in our school community." Sue Bridges, Head, Owler Brook Primary School.
At Whiteways, the Family Development Worker Usha has made valuable links between the Yemeni Community Association and the school, identifying a parent who is now training as a Parent Champion. As several of the parents are involved in community groups, they have made strong links between the school and the wider community.
Parent Champions have reported increased feelings of confidence, of being recognised within the schools as people to go to for information and for helping to break down barriers to families accessing support.
To read more about the Sheffield model, see the Parents' Assembly on social media: