14 SES 9.5 PE/PS, Poster Exhibition / Poster Session
The research presented here is being undertaken by the City of Vitoria-Gasteiz Council (in the Basque Country, north of Spain) within the remit of the project known as “The Development of Vitoria-Gasteiz as an Educating City.
One of the basic principals of a school is participation by the families, both on an individual basis as well as in groups (embodied in Parents’ Associations). This is undoubtedly because, in education, participation by the school community, especially by the family, is a factor of guarantee for school success. Nonetheless, the world of education is not unaffected by the lack of participation that we currently find in other aspects of public life.
In government ambits, including at a municipal level, there is a certain tendency to identify participation with management, generating a progressive increase in the bureaucratic work that Parents’ Associations have to undertake, this being more notorious in public sector schools, not having the expert management that is often required for the activities they carry out.
This dynamic, characterised by the decrease in participation and increase in management work, is giving rise to a difficult situation which is affecting all schools and, very critically, those whose intake has significant percentages of recent incorporation. In this context, the priority of the study is to boost the actions of the City Council’s Department of Education in collaboration with the Parents’ Associations, to provide the latter with a response to their requirements, both as regards their own needs as well as in promoting participation.
In collaboration with the Department of Education of the City Council a study of the functioning of the Parents’ Association is being undertaken and its participation in extramural activities and educational services in the schools in the city. By means of this study the goal is to have better knowledge about the situation of such areas. With the results thereof, the Department of Education aims to provide a response to the needs detected and to contribute to Vitoria-Gasteiz increasingly becoming an Educating City. The most important variables analysed in this study are the following: relation between the Parents’ Association plan of activities and the Annual School Plan; the coordination between the Association and the school management team; the management and organisation of extramural activities; educational services; activities for parents; the relation between organised activities and work/family factors, teaching of pupils, development of educational values, coexisting in the school; difficulties and participation in relation to local authority administration.
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