Alex Jones, Assistant Director – School
Standards, introduced the report and gave an overview of the
programme to engage with new community groups in Wolverhampton.
The Assistant Director commented that the
programme has successful in engaging parents, the majority of whom
have been employed as ambassadors in the schools. The programme is
funded and supported by a number of different organisations. The
Assistant Director commented that five women from the first wave,
who were previously unemployed, are now working part time. In the
second wave, 10 parents have been successful in getting part-time
employment in schools as community ambassadors.
The panel queried the areas where the scheme
is operating. The Assistant Director agreed to send the panel
The Assistant Director explained the process
for allocating parents to a school. The panel discussed the role of
school teaching assistants and the potential for them to do a
similar role as the parent ambassador, in view of the language
skills that some may already have. The Assistant Director explained
that the parent ambassadors have a different role and the need has
been identified by the school. The scheme is also partly funded by
Big Lottery which has specific criteria about how the money should
The panel queried the time-limited nature of
the programme and concern about its long term future. The Assistant
Director explained that the programme is managed by the local
authority but supported by schools and different local agencies
such as Adult Education Service and the Refugee and Migrant
The panel queried the support given to parents
of white British boys who are not performing well, compared to
other groups. The Assistant Director accepted that this was an
issue but explained that there are already a number of existing
programmes aimed at engaging parents in this group to support
schools to improve educational performance.
The panel queried the source of the reference
in the report that 70% of community parents were unaware of their
rights and responsibilities of parents in a UK setting. The
Assistant Director agreed to provide more detailed breakdown of the
background to this statement and share it with the panel.
The panel commented on the financial
implications section of the report which does not make reference to
the programme being funded by the Big Lottery. The Assistant
Director explained that Council support for the programme is
provided by funding from the Dedicated Schools Grant. The Assistant
Director explained that the programme is being delivered at no cost
to the Council.
The panel welcomed the report and thanked
employees and parents involved in the programme for their
The panel requested details of any future
celebration events of the ambassador programme. The Assistant
Director agreed to advise the panel.
The panel recommended that the report be
presented to the Equalities Advisory Group. The Assistant Director
agreed to share a copy of the report with the group.
The panel requested a progress report on the
programme in July 2017.
The panel to ...
view the full minutes text for item 5.