An essential guide has been launched to help parents navigate their way through their child’s education.
The booklet, which is designed to ensure every child gets the best start on the education path, offers vital support to parents in the South Belfast area.
Launched at Stranmillis College on Monday, June 23, by the South Belfast Partnership Board, it signposts parents to services which will support them in all aspects of their child’s learning from choosing a school to information on help with homework, communicating with a school or financial support.
Emma Campbell, education officer for the South Belfast Partnership Board, said the guide would allow families to enjoy learning together by supporting parents to support their children.
“Whether it’s finding the nursery or school that is best for you and for your child or ensuring your child is ready for their first days in education the most important thing is to know what the options are and what’s required. This booklet sets out to do that by offering a parents’ guide to helping their child do well at school,” she said.
“It also recognises and celebrates the diversity which defines south Belfast by providing the information in English, Romanian, Somali, Irish, Chinese and Polish so that parents can be fully included in supporting their child and that they feel supported also.”
The guide, which it is hoped will be a resource for all those who seek to strengthen educational outcomes, is the result of a parents and youth project facilitated by the East Belfast Partnership Board and funded by the Integrated Education Fund.
As part of that project the South Belfast Partnership Board consulted with primary schools, community education workers and organisations in a bid to strengthen the interface between schools and communities.
Briege Arthurs, chief executive at the South Belfast Partnership, said: “The concept of better linkage, support and information emerged as a priority from that consultation - particularly in relation to parents and support organisations.
“This booklet, which would not have been created without funding from the Department of Education’s Community Education Initiative Programme, aims to meet that demand.
“We also hope that with the department’s continued support this will be the start of a bigger piece of work on collaborative practice.”
The booklet is available now from local community centres, schools and online at the Department of Education website, Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), Belfast Education & Library Board, and Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Community, or by visiting the South Belfast Partnership Board’s website www.southbelfast.org