Hostility towards children’s teachers from their parents is having a negative impact on the education system.
That’s according to parent, teacher and columnist Jennifer Horgan who feels there are better ways to go out improving a child’s experience of school.
"There is quite a negative attitude out there - often to do with the long holiday,” she told The Pat Kenny Show.
“I think that that really damages the profession and in a way, it’s just a waste of time.
“It’s not a good use of parents’ power and involvement in education.”
In her 20 years as an educator, Ms Horgan has come to the conclusion that many parents underestimate “the power they have sometimes” in the education system.
“They’re really central because they’re the primary educators of their children. Constitutionally, they have that duty and that right,” she said.
“They can lead change in education.”
She gave uniforms and the use of smartphones as examples of issues where parents can take the lead in shaping school policy.
“There’s a really interesting initiative that’s just started up in Waterford where principals come together and parents are invited to sign a charter whereby their children will be given the freedom to not have smartphones in primary schools,” she said.
“To be protected from video games that are too old for them.
“It’s a voluntary charter but it’s empowering parents to get involved in improving the lives of their children.”
Ms Horgan is also aware of a school in Cork where parents got together and decided their children’s uniforms needed to be modernised.
“Now they’re getting rid of the formal shirts and pants,” she said.
“When you think about it, when my Dad went to school, that’s what he wore outside the school.
“It wasn’t an odd thing to wear, the shirts, the tie, the trousers.
“It’s really odd now - children don’t wear those clothes.”
Ms Horgan conceded getting involved in your child’s school is ‘not easy’ but thinks the benefits are worth it.
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Main image: A teacher at school with her pupils. Picture by: Alamy.com