Group to explore key education topic for parents

DROMORE-based parents’ support group ‘Connect’ will welcome a Senior Educational Psychologist to its next meeting later this month.

Marie-Louise Hughes will speak on the theme of Parents as Partners in Education - examining “the vital role that parents play in ensuring good educational outcomes for their children”.

A support network for parents of children with additional education and support needs, Connect regularly draws in parents not just from Dromore but from as far afield as Donaghcloney, Banbridge, Hillsborough and Moneyslane.

Co-founder Judith Clarke this week extended an invitation to all parents of children with additional needs, and indeed other interested parties, to go along to Dromore Town Hall on Thursay, November 29 to hear Marie-Louise speak.

“A new advertising campaign by the Department of Education, aimed at highlighting that education works better when you get involved, was launched in September by Education Minister John O’Dowd.,” she said.

“The campaign seeks to highlight the vital role that parents play in helping their child do well in school and improve their life opportunities.

“With today’s hectic lifestyles it is sometimes difficult to set aside time for one-to-one with our children but, nonetheless, research shows that investing just a little time can reap significant rewards.

“A recent study of 15-year-olds, for example, showed that those whose parents had read to them often in P1 did much better at school than those whose parents did not.”

Judith said that, often, parents of children with additional needs were overwhelmed by the significant involvement necessary in simply ensuring their child had access to the curriculum.

“That is why I am delighted,” she added, “that Marie Louise Hughes from the Southern Education and Library Board’s Autism Advisory and Intervention Service (AAIS) is joining Connect at our next meeting.

“Marie-Louise Hughes is a Senior Educational Psychologist and manages the SELB’s Autism Advisory and Intervention Service.

“Marie-Louise has worked in the area of special education for over 30 years, and will join Connect to talk with parents on the theme of Parents as Partners in Education.”

The November 29 meeting will get underway at 7.30pm. If you wish to attend, or to find out more about the group, contact Judith on 077 6420 0870. You can also visit Connect on Facebook.