4: Parents

4.01 Parental Involvement.

Each school:


  • Will have a parent-teacher association with a constitution and clear terms of reference. The form of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) can be decided at a local level, but WCL can provide advice. Members of the PTA can have representation on the School board.


  • A guide for establishing a PTA which is based on the Dutch model is found in Appendix 16. The PTA has fewer responsibilities than the MR council for schools in the Netherlands. 


  • Will produce a school brochure which includes, as a minimum, information about the school’s aims, policies, curriculum, organisation, and admission procedures, and about ways in which parents can be involved in their children’s learning. A school might choose to have a web-based brochure.


  • Will provide parents with written reports on their children’s learning. Reports will also include an indication of future action to improve learning.


  • Will have a consistent system for providing regular opportunities for parents to talk to teachers about evidence relating to their children’s learning.


  • Will provide regular opportunities for parents to look at their children’s work.


  • Will have a policy on homework which acknowledges the importance of involving parents in their children’s learning.


  • Will have a website that provides parents and others with information about the school, its provision and its activities.


4.02 School Brochures.

Each school is expected to produce a brochure (‘prospectus’ or ‘schoolgids’) for all parents each year. This will include, as a minimum, information about:


  • The school’s aims.


  • Policies.


  • Curriculum.


  • Organisation.


  • School hours.


  • Holiday dates.


  • Complaints procedure.


  • Admission procedures.


  • Special Educational Needs policy.


  • Reporting to parents.


  • Ways in which parents can be involved in their children’s learning.


Where there are no separate streams the brochure should be written entirely in English.

Where there are separate streams the normal procedure is for the parts of the brochure that apply to the whole school to be written in English and for the stream-specific sections would be written in the language of that stream.

Shell Education Services Department therefore recommends that each school has a brochure containing items that apply to the school as a whole and items that apply to the individual streams. n.

Where possible, school brochures should be available online. It is for the school to decide whether to have a printed version as well as the online version

Copies of school brochures should be sent each year to the Shell Education Services Department and ImED.

4.03 General Communications.

Schools should provide parents with regular written communications about their work. Such communications are probably best made through newsletters which might be published each half term. Where possible, newsletters should be sent by email and be available online. The newsletters should reflect the school’s focus on children’s learning.

Written communication should include information about children’s learning and such things as:


  • Holiday dates.


  • Special events.


  • Extracurricular activities.


  • Curriculum issues.


In addition, schools should hold regular meetings for parents. Such meetings might include:


  • Parents evenings when parents are invited to discuss their children’s learning.


  • Open days when parents are invited to see the school at work.


  • Curriculum evenings when parents are invited to learn about the way the school teaches their children.


4.04 Reporting to Parents.


Parents have an important contribution to make to the process of enabling children to achieve high social, personal and academic standards. One way in which schools can help parents to make this contribution is to keep them well informed about their children’s learning and what action needs to be taken to develop it further.

Four ways in which parents receive and share information are:

Information events

In the first term there is typically an opportunity for teachers to explain school and class routines and to tell parents about what and how children will be learning.

Consultation events

Each school is expected to hold consultation events at least three times a year. In the first term, parents should be given an opportunity to tell teachers about their children and together they can begin to formulate targets for the school year. In the second and third terms, the consultation is usually an opportunity to review progress towards targets and to discuss written reports.

Each school will have a consistent procedure for providing regular opportunities for parents to talk with teachers about their children’s learning and for them to look at their children’s work. It is good practice for this procedure to include something about recording the outcome of discussions.

Written reports

The minimum requirements for written reports are:


  • Towards the end of the school year: a written report on children’s learning in all subjects and their personal and international development. For children in P2 - P8 these reports should include prose comments on all subjects. These reports should indicate areas for future action by the child, the parents and/or the school.


  • At some time during the course of the school year: for children in P2 - P8, at least one additional report on learning in language and mathematics. (This could consist entirely of tick boxes with no prose comment).


  • Reports should include information about the child’s attainment in relation to defined norms for language and mathematics and the IPC Learning Goals for all other subjects.


  • When schools use a key for the quality of children’s learning this key should - for all subjects other than language and mathematics - use the terms ‘beginning’, ‘developing’ and ‘mastering’ in relation to the IPC Learning Goals.


  • All reports should include spaces for children and parents to comment. Some children - particularly the youngest ones - will be able to make their comments through their parents, teacher or another adult. Guidance on report writing is in Appendix 17.

Informal contact

Teachers are expected to make themselves available to parents at reasonable times and on reasonable occasions. Because of the nature of expatriate communities, schools should also expect parents to respect teachers’ privacy and entitlement to free time away from school.

Communicating policies

Each school is expected to communicate this central policy to existing and arriving parents, along with an explanation of how it is implemented in that particular school.

4.05 Complaints Procedure.

Each school must have a set procedure to be used by parents who wish to make a formal complaint about any aspect of its work. Such a procedure should be brought to the attention of parents through the school brochure.


  • Every attempt should be made to resolve any difficulties informally at local level. The stages - dependent on the size of the school and the nature of the complaint - might be:


  • Oral complaint to the teacher or other member of staff concerned.


  • If the situation is not resolved, oral complaint to the head of stream.


  • If the situation is still not resolved, oral complaint to the head teacher.


  • Followed, if necessary, by a written complaint to the head teacher.


  • If the situation cannot be resolved at school level, a written complaint can be made to the operating unit’s HR Manager.

  In addition, parents can make representations to the head of Shell Education Services at any time.