Leave of Absence
Resolution for the overall recognition of a legal basis for the parents as representative
- Pointing out the obligation to the States to guarantee the respect of the educative activities and tasks of families and recognising that this obligation is leading to an approach of sharing education that requires to keep and to reinforce the partnership necessary between the institution school and the parents of the pupils, who are legally responsible for the education of their children,
- Highlighting that parents help their children in showing that they appreciate and are interested in what they are learning at school. By giving support to their children parents can exercise a real and positive influence on their performance in school and in fact on their future. For this reason parents are often considered as important partners for the school success and the school policy,
- Underlining that many European countries have parent representatives as stakeholders, partners and experts on school, regional and national level, who work in engaging themselves actively in the education of their children and cooperate together with the other school partners (international institutions, governments, representations of teachers and pupils) to obtain a better quality in schools, long life learning, more democracy in schools and in society, a better welfare of children, a social and emotional development and a training of parents in a common public interest,
- Welcoming those European countries, who stimulate and promote the effective partnership with parents and recognising parents as partners for educative policies on national, regional and school level, but often lacking legal structures and resources of the parents’ representatives being not able to fulfil these tasks and duties.
EPA appeals to all stakeholders and political decision makers on European and national level to recognise local, regional, national and international parents’ associations and their representatives on school, regional, national and international level as legal stakeholders by:
- Implementing legal structures and resources for their tasks and duties.
- Guaranteeing that parents can fulfil their volunteer activities during working hours.
- Promoting and supporting their engagement in cooperation with their partners.
- Identifying effective strategies to encourage the participation of parents in school.
- Providing evidence based support for empowerment trainings of parents’ representatives.
- Fostering the professionalisation of parents’ associations by affirming them a legal status, appropriate infrastructure and financial means.
The European Union and its member countries benefit in numerous respects by volunteering parents’ representatives:
- Parents’ representatives sustain social inclusion and integration. They contribute to a cohesive society creating bonds of trust and solidarity and, thus, social capital.
- Parents’ representatives facilitate the implementation of EU policies on educational matters top down to school and family level.
- Parents’ representatives gain and exercise skills and competences in leadership, communication and organisation strategies and extend and strengthen social networks. They benefit by informal and non-formal learning opportunities, which are crucial parts of the LLL strategy within the European Union.
- Volunteering activities – like parents’ engagements – are therefore important components of the strategic of the European Union of becoming “… the most competitive and dynamic, knowledge-based economy in the world …” as adopted by the member states at the European Council in Lisbon in March 2000. (Further details on the added value of volunteers see in the “Manifesto for Volunteering in Europe” of the CEV.)
The members of the European Parents Association “EPA” hereby are instructing their board to present and defend this resolution in the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and their member states.