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Where is the parents' voice?

Joe Saxton, the new PTA UK chair, calls for parents to have more of a say in education

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 07, 2015 | People, policy, politics

PTA UK, the national charity for parent teacher associations in the UK, today announces Joe Saxton as the new chair of the board for trustees.

Following his appointment, Joe Saxton, made his stance on the parent’s position in education clear: “We hear from teachers on their challenges, we hear from the Government about education policy – but where is the parents’ voice? It is unacceptable that the views of parents remain largely absent from the national debate.”

The charity, which has supported parent teacher associations (PTAs) nationwide for almost 60 years, is advocating for parents to be more involved in education both locally and nationally. And that a parent body in every school is a key way to achieve this.

Joe adds: “PTA UK’s research tell us that parents want to have a say in education. We are calling on school leaders and local and national governments to work with PTA UK to engage parents better and earlier to avoid unnecessary conflict, confusion and even obstruction down the line.

 “As a society we are not going to able to give our children the best start in life unless we strengthen the bond between home and school. Parents need to be visible in school life, active in helping inform changes in our schools and work in partnership with teachers to help our children develop character and life skills as well as academically.”

Mr Saxton has a background in charity research consultancy, having founded nfpSynergy in 2003, and brings expertise in fundraising, communications and governance to PTA UK as well as past experience in chairing a PTA. He continues: “Parent Teacher Associations and equivalent parent bodies are tried and tested vehicles for positive change in schools. Their success in fundraising should not mask their potential to help engage parents to improve schools in other ways.”

Mr Saxton was appointed by the current Trustees and Executive Director Emma Williams.

Emma adds: “We are excited that Joe joins us at this time of growth and change at PTA UK. We have around 14,000 member schools currently and reach many thousands of parents directly.

“As well as continuing to grow and support our membership, we are also keen to work with policy makers to have a positive and ongoing dialogue with a broad range of parents for the benefit of all.”

Joe Saxton is founder and driver of ideas at nfpSynergy, a research consultancy for charities. 

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