Parents, let’s play together

Message and call for action on World Play Day (28 May) and International Children’s Day (29 May) 2016

Did you know that playing a lot as a child also helps you to have a better job when you are an adult? Play helps children to have higher IQ, to have better self-control and also to relax, thus play is essential for all children and they should not be deprived of it at any circumstances, it doesn't matter if they are refugees or attending expensive private schools.

If you remember the last time you engaged in a good game of Activity or Scrabble, you will agree with the opinion that it is very similar in the case of adults. This is why European parents applaud the choice of topic for World Play Day 2016, 'Play for all ages'.  Playing definitely is not only for children, and we are doing our best to encourage parents and grandparents to play. As WPD is the day before International Children’s Day, this weekend should all be about children and playing. We are calling parents and guardians to share what they are playing to celebrate the day with the #WorldPlayDay and #ParentsPlay hashtags this weekend. (Please protect the privacy of your children and do not post photos with their faces in it.)


The Year of the Dad and new membership framework

Newsflash from Scotland - May 2016

Scottish Parent Teacher Council has published the latest issue of their termly publication, Backchat. Inside they announce that they are introducing a new membership framework for 2016-2017 which is based on a 1 to 4 star model and allows parent councils more freedom in deciding which benefits and services they require. Furthermore, the pricing structure is being changed in order to make things fairer for parent councils of smaller schools.

The issue also contains news on The Year of the Dad, which aims to make 2016 a year of celebration, insight and collaboration to promote the importance of fathers in child development. The campaign will not only be holding events across Scotland based around fatherhood but will be calling on employers and services to update their practices in order to reflect this importance.

You can learn more about Year of the Dad on their website: http://www.yearofthedad.org/ or on Twitter https://twitter.com/yearofthedad

The full issue of SPTC’s Backchat is available to read here: http://www.sptc.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Backchat-May-Online.pdf


European Pillar of Social Rights - learn the basics and participate in the public consultation

On 8 March 2016, the European Commission launched its new key initiative in the social field: the European Pillar of Social Rights. Now that Europe2020 seems to be fading more and more into the background, the Pillar represents one of civil society’s best hopes of restoring the balance between social and economic goals on the EU agenda. However, at the same time, a lot remains unclear about the Pillar. What will be its legal nature? How many Member States will actually accept and implement it? What will its relation be to the European Semester? And what will it actually say?
The Commission has published a preliminary outline of the Pillar, outlining 20 key principles or ‘rights’ which should be promoted and upheld, including adequate minimum income, adequate access to essential services, and adequate long-term care. Citizens, civil society organisations and trade unions will have until the end of the year to respond to the outline and to share their perspective on what a Pillar of Social Rights should look like.


School as the training ground of active citizenship for parents and children

Report of the EPA Conference 29/30 April 2016, Dubrovnik, Croatia

EPA has started its second 30 years with a very successful conference on parental involvement and child participation as an important means of learning and practising active citizenship. The conference has proven to be very timely. The original idea behind our choice of topic was to give a parents’ answer to the challenges put forward in the 2015 Paris Declaration, focusing on active citizenship and inclusion for all. While we were preparing for the event, the European Commission published a new set of policy recommendations on Transforming Schools, mainly to offer a solution for countries to achieve the EU2020 headline target on early school leaving. The new policy recommendations are based on parental involvement and child participation, so it was evident we will link the two initiatives together. Our guest speakers set the scene for a day of discussions where EPA members and guests could elaborate on the topics of the conference, make their own advocacy plan for implementing the new recommendations, and also formulate their wishes towards EPA to support their work on national level.


Improving the Public School - reform of standards in the Danish public school (primary and lower secondary education)

In 2013 the public primary schools underwent the largest reform in many decades. The aim of the reform was to tackle some of the biggest challenges in primary education, such as too many students leaving school with poor academic results, especially children of parents with lower education. 
The three goals of the public school are:
  • to challenge all students, so that they realise their full potential; 
  • to reduce the influence of social background on academic results; 
  • to ensure that trust in the school and student well-being are enhanced through respect for professional knowledge and practice. 
The role of parents in schools is emphasised in the reform giving the school board the task to make principles for involving parents more in the home-school cooperation. 

The reform is still being implemented, and the implementation is difficult due to challenges with financing, inclusion, changes in school structures in many municipalities, and the after waves of the lock out of teachers in 2013.

More information about the reform here