to the General Assembly and International Conference
Supporting parents
to become the best primary educators
April 24th and 25th, 2015 in Prague/Czech Republic
Hosted by
EDUin and Fórum rodičů
Dear ladies and gentlemen, partners in European education, friends and members,
It is a pleasure to formally invite you to the forthcoming GA and conference of EPA in Prague, the Czech Republic.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the most widely ratified human rights document in the world, states that parents have the sole responsibility, basic rights and duties in giving directions and guidance to their children (Article 5). It is a big job and in most cases you are required to be ready for this job just by giving birth to or fathering a child. Of course this is an exaggeration but most parents do not get enough help and support to become real good parents although Article 18 of UNCRC obliges the states to give all support necessary to parents.
Supporting and training parents, more precisely two aspects, the substance of such training and the methods to involve as many parents as possible is a reoccurring topic. It is still not common practice that the communication between home and school, professional and parent is based on mutual needs. Timing is also often very crucial as parents work schedules tend to overlap with the schedule of events schools expect parents to be present at. There is a cultural aspect, too. Most parents replicate the role model of their own parents when communicating with the school or kindergarten – and they do not expect real involvement or to be treated as equal educators.
In the case of parents with low socio-economic status or parents of children with special needs there are more aspects to be taken into consideration. There are good practices on involving them as early on as possible to build trust and cooperation that EPA is trying to spread.
Parental involvement at school, if managed carefully by professionals, can help the parents and children alike. For many parents it has similar educational value to the education of their children to get to know people who are very different from them, to learn cooperation and thus build tolerance. EPA shares the view of many other experts and NGO’s that schools have to change to become community learning spaces, open 365 days, 6-22, that welcome all members of the community to be and learn together. In a rapidly changing world openness to learning and new things is crucial to achieve well-being for children and adults alike. Parenting is a period when you have to learn a large number of new skills to raise your children well. There is an added value of it, especially for parents from disadvantaged backgrounds, namely that these skills can become marketable, they raise employability, too. Learning together can also lead to a tolerant, open society.
EPA decided to take this topic as the focus of its first conference in the year of the 30th anniversary, a topic that has been important since EPA was funded and will remain so in the next decades.
We are looking forward to meeting you in Prague and hope to proceed on our personal way in Lifelong Learning.

Eszter Salamon EPA President
Preliminary Programme
The conference is held in English. Simultaneous translation to Czech is to be confirmed.
Friday, April 24th, 2015
9:30 School visit
12:30 Lunch, registration and market place
14:00 Opening session
14:30-15:30 Plenary session I – Good practices from the Czech Republic
by Nikola Kristek
Shared responsibilities of family and child-care institutions: Can they all succeed without shared learning process?
by Rut Kolinska:
Training offered by motherhood centres in the Czech Republic
by Lenka Fecmanova
Parents for Inclusion
by Magdalena Marešová
Broadening Horizons of Understanding: Family-school Partnerships in Learning in Czech Schools
Coffee break
Plenary session II – International good practices
by Aija Tuna from the Education Development Centre, Latvia
From Schools to Multifunctional Community Centres
by Miguel Angel Esomba Gelabert from the Autonomous University of Barcelona
Making the Xarxa Clau project European
followed by a round table with Montse Daviu (FAPAC), Elizbieta Piotrowska-Gromniak (PiE) and Herminio José Corréa (CONFAP)

19:00 Conference dinner at Hlavkúv Dvúr restaurant with a traditional Czech menu

Saturday, April 25th, 2015
9:00-9:30 Plenary session III – International good practices
by Casper Rongsted and Rasmus Schiellerup
The World’s Best Nordic Schools – How home-school partnerships make children, parents and teachers happy in Denmark
9:45-11:15 Workshop sessions – round 1
11:15 Coffee break
11:30-13:00 Workshop sessions – round 2
The workshop sessions will follow up the topics of the keynotes and will be organised so that everybody can participate at two different workshops, meaning that in round 2 the workshops of round 1 will be repeated. 1-2 workshops in Czech foreseen
13:00 Lunch break – with thematic discussion tables (topics to be announced on the spot)
14:00-16:00 EPA General Assembly
Proposed agenda:
1. Opening and confirmation of quorum
2. Approval of the agenda
3. Acceptance of new members
4. Approval of minutes (GA in Bucharest 29th November 2014)
5. Financial report 2014
6. Activity report 2014
7. Report on the financial situation mid-year for acknowledgement
8. Activity report 2015 for acknowledgement
9. Miscellaneous
10. Announcement of the next GA
16:30 free optional walking tour of Prague, dinner individually

Sunday, April 26th, 2015
8:00-16:00 optional tour to Plzen, European Capital of Culture (tour stopping at airport on the way back – 35 Euros

The conference and accommodation will be organised at Parkhotel Prague.
Single rooms cost EUR 55 per night, double rooms EUR 65 per night including breakfast.
Participation fee, including dinner on Friday, coffee breaks and lunches, is EUR 120 per person for a maximum of 3 representatives of full members, 2 representatives of associate members and 1 representative of affiliate members. Participation fee for non-members and additional participants of members is EUR 140. Partners not participating at the conference but joining for meals are to pay half fee.
You can register at this link by midnight on 15th March.
In all organisational questions please contact Brigitte Haider
e-mail: Tel. no: +43-664 562 4043