Increasing parents’ involvement in the governance of state schools is crucial to their children’s education, and a new law will set out to do just that, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo announced this afternoon.
The minister said that his aim was to introduce new legislation by the end of next year, after a period of public consultation, in time for next January’s school council elections.
Mr Bartolo noted that while parents already involve themselves in the running of schools, mainly through school councils, the level of involvement left much to be desired. Presently, school councils are made up of a president nominated by the education minister, the head of school, three teachers and three parents.
But last January, elections took place in just 17 of the 102 state primary or secondary schools. No elections were needed in another 83 schools, since the number of nominations was not high enough. A further two schools ended up without a school council this year, due to a lack of nominations.
Mr Bartolo, however, remarked that he was also dissatisfied with the extent of parents’ involvement.
He noted that while the issues school councils are involved in – including fundraising activities, school outings and maintenance work – are important in their own right, he believed that parents’ involvement should be more substantial.
The minister pointed out that research showed that what happened outside classrooms had a far more significant impact on children’s education that what happened within it.
As a result, he said, increasing the involvement of parents in the governance of schools “is not just desirable, it is crucial.”