As a father at the parents' evening

Have a say and help shape the school

The next parents' evening is coming up: Mothers and fathers are very welcome

Parents support their school-age children in a variety of ways: They motivate and arouse interest in school topics, they learn together with the children or help them with their homework. And the parents' association is also a place where you can do something good for your own child and other children. It is also a wonderful opportunity to be very close to your own son or daughter in the important area of school life.

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Fathers expressly welcome!

Once a semester - or more often if necessary - parents gather in classrooms: parents' evening! Sometimes there's cake or snacks, maybe some coffee. Most of the time, the parents sit where their children are studying geometry or grammar during the day. The meetings are an opportunity to get to know each other better as parents, to get in touch with teachers and, above all, to find out what topics are currently on the agenda in the class and the school, where there are problems, what the next school trip should look like or how the lessons are organized.

In many of these meetings, the situation is similar to the parent-teacher conferences: fathers are comparatively less likely to attend than mothers. Yet parents' evenings are a good opportunity to find out first-hand about the school, the class and other parents. And fathers in particular, who work full-time and are not so close to their children's everyday school life, get to experience a lot here. The exchange with teachers and other parents can help to form an informed opinion on many questions, for example about the school's orientation, special subject offerings and school projects.

Have your say and shape the future

Even though fathers are clearly in the minority in some parents' conferences, they are definitely not "foreign bodies": the fathers present are happy to take on functions and are also particularly often elected to positions such as the chair of the guardianship committee.

Fathers can play an active role via the parents' council and the school conference. They ensure greater transparency between the school and the parent body and help with problems with teachers by balancing and mediating. And they can even help develop the school program: the school's equipment, the range of subjects on offer and the question of whether the school should have a more artistic, technical or bilingual focus. These are all points where parents' opinions are needed. Parents who know what is going on in the school and who are organized in the school council also find it much easier to draw the attention of the relevant administrative bodies to grievances when something goes wrong. This is because the schools themselves, as state organizations, are not entirely free when it comes to exerting pressure on the local authority, for example to get money for the renovation of toilet facilities.

Bandleader wanted

But fathers can also get personally involved in everyday school life with their hobbies or skills. For example, those who enjoy making music can set up a band or choir through the nursery. In school clubs, passionate gardeners create flowering meadows or kitchen gardens with the children and craftsmen build new furniture for the common rooms with them. Professional life can also be integrated into the school: A factory tour in the father's company makes your own child proud and can be a new impulse for the others when choosing a career. It would be good for schools if more fathers were involved in all areas. And helping to shape their children's everyday school life is fun for fathers too.

Where can we find help and advice?

The Landeselternkonferenz NRW is available to parents as a platform for information, discussion and work. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the NRW State Parents' Conference, email: info@lek-nrw.de.

The School Ministry NRW provides information on the opportunities for school participation on its website on school life.

The Landeselternkonferenz (LEK NRW) represents the interests of parents of all types of schools vis-à-vis ministries and the public. Information and contact persons can be found on the internet platform.

Information about the Federal Parents' Council as the umbrella organization of the state parents' associations in Germany can be found at www.bundeselternrat.de

Brochures Download

An overview of the various school committees and information about their tasks and work can be found in the parents' brochure "The ABC of parental involvement".