In the Canton of Zürich, all parents have the right to be involved in their children’s education; on an individual level as well as on a general level.
The individual parent involvement refers to the rights and responsibilities one has as a parent towards teachers, the school and public authorities.
The organised parent involvement refers to the cooperation between a Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the school and the public authorities.
The purpose of organised parent involvement is to encourage and create a good school culture. A PTA can be organised as a council consisting of at least one, and often two, parents from each class or as a parents’ forum. Its function is first and foremost to pass on information from the PTA, the school and other authorities to the other parents in their child’s class.
Parent Involvement and PTA work
The right to be heard and consulted when it comes to their children’s education is an important factor in regards to parent involvement and PTA work. However, there are several other ways for parents to participate:
- Be consulted in matters such as mission statements and organisation of school ground
- Involvement in the feedback process of the school's internal quality assurance
- Involvement in projects
- Assistance during school functions (e.g. project week, sports day, school parties)
- Coordination of parents’ assistance (e.g., school security, childcare services, homework help, break kiosk, website, etc.)
- Furtherance of parent education (e.g. organise events that take on themes and issues such as education, diet and nutrition, drugs, violence, sexuality, boundaries, use of new media, career choices, etc.)
- Contribution to making integration easier for families of foreign origin
Purpose and goals
- The parents should exercise their right to be involved in the children's education
- Organised parent representatives and transparent information flow and cooperation contributes to creating a school environment that is characterised by respect, appreciation, mutual understanding and trust
- The mutual understanding and trust is of great importance in regards to locate, follow and solve problems rapidly and effectively
- When parents are given the opportunity to actively participate in the school community, they are also taking on responsibility for the school environment
- Teachers, pupils and parents should all work towards common interests and define common values and norms together