IPPN's response to the publication of the Student and Parent Charter

DES

IPPN acknowledges the publication of the draft Charter by the Department of Education and Skills.


It is clear to IPPN that the Department has taken a legislative approach to the development of this Charter, which will influence how schools will interact with parents and pupils. Relationships are central to the work of schools and a positive school culture is paramount. It is the view of IPPN that this Charter largely ignores this reality. The Charter was an opportunity to promote the sharing of responsibility between schools, parents and pupils.  The way the press release and draft charter are framed makes it clear this is not the Department's preferred approach.


Greater consultation before the publication of the Charter would have been welcomed.

IPPN is concerned about the language used and the tone of the proposed Charter. As the Department’s press release states, most schools are already working positively with parents and pupils in relation to the aspects covered by the Charter. The Charter itself, however, does not appear to reflect this. The vast majority of schools already fulfil all of their obligations to pupils, parents, Boards of Management, Patrons and the State. Schools have also worked extremely hard to adapt to new legislation to meet the requirements around child protection and GDPR, to name just two recent developments. Many schools are Partnership Schools, leading the way in terms of engagement with the school community.


Crucially, it is the view of IPPN that the Charter is lacking in terms of proper balance. The draft Charter puts all of the onus on schools. There is no corresponding requirement or clear expectation of parents and pupils in terms of their interaction with schools, school staff and Boards of Management.


IPPN urges the Department to engage in meaningful consultation with education partners around the drafting and publication of the guidelines.


DES Press Release

ENDS

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