Hosting a Parent Forum

Why have a parents' forum?

All schools integrate aspects of Civics and Citizenship into their school curriculum, often linking it to the wider community through experiential learning. A parents' forum can provide an opportunity to learn about a school's Civics and Citizenship Education (CCE) Program and current trends in CCE. It can also provide the school community with a chance to formulate a parental consensus about future CCE directions, which can be used to inform the school's policy in this learning area.

How do you conduct a forum?

The process of conducting a parents' forum should be discussed and planned in collaboration with your local school administration and the school council and/or parents' association. The program for the forum should be gender inclusive and inclusive of all cultures represented at the school. Successful forums often use the services of an experienced facilitator.

A suggested program could include the following.

  • A keynote speaker (such as a local politician, community leaders, National or State/Territory parent council representatives) to talk about current trends in Civics and Citizenship.
  • A panel of community leaders speaking about the meaning of 'democracy' and/or 'citizenship' to them.
  • School representatives providing information about the school's CCE program.
  • Students talking about CCE programs in which they have been involved.
  • A group discussion allowing members of the forum to share their views and formulate feedback in relation to the school's CCE program.

Adult Learning Circles

Adult Learning Circles provide an excellent model for parent forums. A learning circle is a discussion approach to a topic such as Civics and Citizenship based on adult learning principles. They provide an opportunity for adults to share their ideas, experiences and strategies towards building Australia's future. Further information is provided at the following website.

Discovering Democracy – A Civics and Citizenship Program for the Adult and Community Sector (pdf)

Links to State/Territory and National parent council websites

If planning to organise a parent Civics and Citizenship forum you may wish to contact your local State/Territory parent council. The websites are:

Australian Council of State School Organisations

Australian Parents Council

ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations

Northern Territory Council of Government School Organisations Inc.

Federation of Parents and Citizens' Associations of New South Wales

Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Associations

Association of State School Organisations (SAASSO)

Association of School Parents' Clubs (SAASPC)

Tasmanian State School Parents & Friends (Inc)

Parents Victoria

Victorian Council of School Organisations Incorporated (VICCSO)

Western Australian Council of State School Organisations Incorporated