Parent
Power

Parent Power creates parent communities across the UK, each one supported by an anchor university.

Through support to develop skills in community organising and advice and guidance on accessing higher education, parents are empowered to make change to support their children’s future and ensure their children have a fair chance in education and their future careers.

The model gathers interest from parents, follows up with one-to-one meetings with interested parents, and then facilitates six weekly group meetings. Meetings are facilitated by a local PhD researcher trained in community organising. The parents themselves decide what activities will benefit their communities, such as tailored visits to universities for young people, visits from university alumni, or training on tutoring, student finance and university access.

Existing Parent Powers in South London and Oldham have already won bespoke open days to the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Leicester; received training on student finance and university access, and won bursary places at private summer schools.

If you are interested in starting a Parent Power project, please contact Jimmy Pickering, Head of Communities, via the button below.

I just wanted to say what a great event the bespoke Open Day was. It was lovely to see pupils (and parents!) so enthusiastic about university. During the day one of our mums shared with me that she would not have felt comfortable attending a University Open Day before Saturday...she would have found it too intimidating. She says she’ll have no such problem attending a regular Open Day now!

What we’ve been up to

Knowsley

The group, who are campaigning to see a return of A-Levels to the borough, met with

Knowsley council in July, and asked for 2 things:

  1. Listen to us as parents and embed that into the post-16 review
  2. Commit to regular meetings with us every two months

Read this Twitter thread from parent Patrick Obafemi at our Edge Hill campus visit in July.

Cardiff

At our first meeting in Cardiff, we created a wall of issues and asked parents to add a sticky note to the issue they cared about the most, and to explain why they cared about it.

At the second meeting, the group received training from Fiona Meldrum of Cardiff Citizens. The group decided to campaign to ‘reclaim opportunities that were lost during lockdown’, starting with bespoke campus visits to universities and getting information about contextual offers.

As part of this action, in September, there was a campus visit to Cardiff University.

 

 

Fenland

Fenland parents have written to and met with power holders around the issue of poor local public transport. This impacts on educations as, often without a car or the time to provide transport for their children, many parents are unable to facilitate transport for their children to extra-curricular opportunities which will support their general development and eventual application to university.

One of the first activities for the group was a campus visit for parents, carers and their children to the University of East Anglia.

Community organiser Dr Matt Williams wrote this blog about his experience with parents and carers in Fenland.

Hope

Watch this short clip of one of the parents from Cardiff Parent Power, who has now become a community organiser, Attia. She discusses what Parent Power means to her.

We have already begun work on setting up new Parent Power projects across the country with various partners. Below, you can view all current Parent Power Projects:

Parent Power brochure

Parent Power Cardiff

Parent Power Knowsley brochure

Parent Power Knowsley

Parent Power Fenland brochure

Parent Power Fenland