Parental involvement: the legal framework and school culture in Europe

In all participating countries there are laws and regulations that refer to the representation of parents in school. Any description here can only be a rundown at a given moment, not really focussed, as so much is in a state of flux.
Thus, e. g. in Lower Saxony, provision has been made since August 2007 - within the framework of the independent school concept - for a school executive committee, in which parents and pupils have been given much stronger powers of participation  regarding essential decisions.

Representation of Parents
As we may assume that there is a rising tendency in all EU countries to successively involve parents in school governance, it will be all the more important to look for ways of approaching educationally disadvantaged parents and especially those with a background of migration. Appropriate representation of the groups to be approached in school governance would be an important signal for the mutual readiness to be open with one another.
To persuade parents from these groups to participate in school governance can only succeed if successful parental involvement can be achieved at class level. That is why it is especially important to develop modules for school-specific programmes from pre-school to school-leaving age, regarding the representation of parents in school governance.

School Programmes
Taking in the situation in the individual countries, as seen in the synopsis, it is clear that the increased involvement of educationally disadvantaged families in school affairs cannot be achieved through single measures, but rather only via a systematic course of action. One central element of such concepts is the systematic inclusion of parental involvement into the individual school programmes.
In order to achieve this aim, it will be necessary to upgrade the as yet insufficient range of offers in Teacher Education and In-Service Education through practice-based materials for the setting up of school-specific programmes. The synopsis, with its pointers towards the appropriate measures and programmes in the different European countries, provides the initial launching pad for this project work.