Link for parents to schools

SPECIAL parent advisors have been appointed in classrooms across North Somerset in a bid to bolster relationships between families and schools

SPECIAL parent advisors have been appointed in classrooms across North Somerset in a bid to bolster relationships between families and schools.North Somerset Council has been chosen as one of only 20 local authorities across the country to pilot a Parent Support Advisers Project.The parent support advisers (PSA's) are employed at various schools and provide a link for families, offering support and advice to anyone in a parenting role.The move is part of a government drive to improve school attendance and behaviour and the PSAs will offer a range of services including drop in advice sessions, parenting groups, individual sessions and family events.They will also be able to let parents know about other services that North Somerset Council has to offer.And although PSAs will be based within schools, they will also be able to make home visits and hold events in the community.The Parent Support Adviser project manager said: "Many of us are parents ourselves and we know, that at times, parenting can be stressful."We often fear that we will be labelled as a bad parent if we talk about any difficulties."PSAs come from a wide range of backgrounds including nursing, teaching and psychology, but they have been chosen because they are warm and committed and really care about supporting parents during those stressful times."They are not there to judge, but to help parents regain their confidence."PSAs have already been appointed in each of the mainstream secondary schools and at Westhaven Special School.There are also PSAs in 10 of the primary schools across the district although more schools will be included, especially in transition work when year six children prepare to move to secondary school.The project, which is being monitored by the Government, runs until July 2008, and if it proves successful will be extended to other schools nationwide.


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