3.8.5 How can the family participate at school?
The way the Spanish school system works allows and encourages the family to be part of the educational community through two main channels:
- School Councils
Participation groups in state and state financed schools that are made up of different members of the educational community:
- local authorities
- non-teaching staff
Their creation and functioning is regulated by the ORGANIC LAW 2/2006, May 3, on Education., and it allows the participation of the educational community in the decision making and management of the schools. Some of its functions are:
- choosing the director
- budget approval
- decisions about discipline
- school rules
- extra and after school activities
The School Councils are a true forum for reflection and debate, contributing to education and becoming an effective support for the management teams and teachers in schools.
If you live in Spain, remember that:
- Any family who enrols their children in a state or state financed school has the right to elect their representative in the School Council or to become a representative in it.
- Any student who is enrolled in a state or state financed school has the right to elect their representative in the School Council or to become a representative in it.
- Parents Associations (AMPAs)
They are legally constituted associations whose operation and regulation is specified in the ORGANIC LAW 2/2006, May 3, on Education.
An AMPA brings together the parents or legal guardians of students enrolled in non-university education who voluntarily choose to join the group with shared objectives and purposes. They will be considered AMPAs if they belong to Preschool, Primary Education, E.S.O., Bachillerato or Vocational Training centres.
The AMPAs are:
- The natural channel for collective participation of students’ parents and it ensures their involvement with regards to the education of their sons and daughters.
- A meeting place for parents who want to participate in their children’s education as more than just sending them to school.
- An institution within the school which should protect the rights of the pupils, the parents, the school and the staff.
- A bonding place for parents, which must contribute to their children’s education, and a means for them to participate in the educational community, as educators of their children.
Some of its functions are:
- To inform and advice parents about the AMPAs activities, both individually and collectively, in everything that concerns their children’s education and to promote the exercise of their rights and duties.
- To promote parent involvement in the running of the school and its governing bodies.
- To support students and families with special educational needs, or social needs.
- To promote educational quality.
- To collaborate with students and faculty for the smooth running of the school.
- To promote good relationships within the educational community.
- To conduct educational activities which reinforce the values and objectives of the school.
- To provide educational activities regarding the environment.
- Everything established by the Statutes or that is needed.