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Month: May 2022

School leaders’ conference in Cyprus

One of our most important partners, the European School Heads Association has held its – postponed – biennial conference in Limassol, Cyprus on 18-21 May 2022 “School Leadership 2020+: Trends & Challenges”, for quality in education and for inclusive schools. The event gathered hundreds of school leaders from all over Europe and beyond. We could contribute by a very successful workshop on Leveraging parents’ experiences during school closures for renewing education, based on our #NewEducationDeal – #ParentsFirst initiative.

A period that exposed families to a more in-depth look into their children’s schooling and teachers to a reality where learning is happening in a very different way provides a great opportunity for the so much necessary rethinking and renewing of education. UNESCO published their vision of education that can lead to delivering on SDG4: quality, inclusive education for all back in 2015, demanding a shift towards tackling education as a common good with shared responsibility for educating and learning. In 2018 the World Bank published research data showing that this is a very timely demand as school systems fail to provide children with basic skills, knowledge and competences. These can be used as an overall starting point to deliver on SDG 4 using the experiences of parents, families and professionals as leverage.

The past two years have proven that parents, families and schools can share the responsibility for schooling needs – with some families in need of more external support – but they do not necessarily wish to do so, and they have every right to leave this with schools. Parents and families have also had the opportunity to experience more closely what the problems of schooling are.

Recent global research clearly shows that there is a need to rethink the relationship between families and institutionalised services to ensure the rights of the child. Parents International has carried out additional research and created a global, forward-looking, evidence-based initiative #NewEducationDeal-#ParentsFirstNew. This workshop introduced our initiative, its background and achievements so far, and also offered the possibility for a lot of discussion around parental engagement and school rejuvenation.

Collaboration of parents and school heads

IPA over the years has worked very closely together with the European School Heads Association. It is vital to make school heads realize the importance of successful parental engagement in schools and we are proud to have developed many tools to support them during the process. Now there is a new collaboration opportunity about to start. In the new ESHA magazine, parents have a chance to have their questions published and get them answered by school leaders and leadership experts. We think it is an excellent way to start conversations on a European level between major stakeholders around children. Please find below the message of the magazine´s editor.

Dear Parent!

The European School Heads Association (ESHA)  intends to start a new column in the ESHA magazine. The column, entitled ‘Across borders’ will include European parents’ questions to European schoolheads and their short answers. 

If you have a question you would like to ask from a school head working in another European country, please send it to the magazine’s editor, Judit Horgas, horgas

If your question is selected to be published, only your first name and country of residence will be visible in the magazine, and you will be informed about the publication.

The deadline for sending your short question is 3rd June, 2022.

Thank you for your help!

Collaboration with Vytautas Magnus University

Our team was invited by the Institute for Professional Development of Vytautas Magnus University Academy of Education for a teaching visit that tool place on 27-29 April 2022. Luca László, our Project Manager and Eszter Salamon, our Director had the opportunity to meet colleagues from Lithuania and other countries as well as students of the University. We have also concluded an agreement on Parents International contributing to the regular teaching programme of the University from September 2022.

The starting point of the visit was an invitation for Parents International to present the Parenting Together and ELPIDA projects at the conference Social Emotional Learning to Empower Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD held at the magnificent conference room of the Lithuanian Parliament. The event also offered a possibility for us to initiate a collaboration with Nitzan, the Israeli Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities, the co-organiser of the conference.

The visit coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the University, thus we were also invited to participate at the celebratory meeting of the University Senate followed by a wonderful concert at Kaunas Philharmonia, to meet its leaders as well as students and teachers. We could also listen to presentations of student research projects and contribute to their further development at a Student Conference “Freedom to Create”.

According to our hosts, we have reached a wide range of people during these few days, hopefully with a lasting impact. In our audience we had students of the teacher re-requalification study programmes Social Education and Special Education, participants of in-service teacher training programmes – both teachers and school leaders -, Master’s degree students of the Social Education study programme, Doctoral students in Special Education, and members of the international academic community in the form of peer learning.

To support this lasting impact, we have agreed to collaborate on the translation of relevant tools developed in various Parents International projects to Lithuanian. From September 2022 onwards, we will also contribute regularly to the Institute’s trainings as guest lecturers.