NPC & European Parents Association Conference 2013 - Great Expectations

| 15 Jun 2013

National College of Ireland, Dublin


The National Parents Council Primary Education Conference in conjunction with the European Parents’ Association General Assembly was held in Dublin on the 15th of June 2013.

Guest speakers on the day included:

Mr Ruairi Quinn T.D., Minister for Education and Skills

Dr. Joyce L. Epstein, Director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) and Principal Research Scientist, and Research Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

 “From Expectations to Actions: Improving Programmes of Family and Community Involvement for Pupil Success”

Studies show that it is imperative to change from the “old way” of thinking about parental involvement to a “new way” of organising school-based programmes of school, family, and community partnerships for student success. This presentation discusses key concepts, essential structures, and expected results of research-based programmes of family and community involvement.   The session will prepare attendees to take steps in their own schools to strengthen plans and practices of family and community engagement linked to school goals for student learning and development.

 Mr. Harold Hislop Department of Education and Skills, Chief Inspector

“Parental involvement in schools and educational policy in Ireland: Some personal reflections and future possibilities”

Parental involvement in Irish schools, particularly at primary level, has grown from aspiration to reality over recent decades. During that time Harold has been a teacher and principal in a primary school, he has taught in teacher education programmes, he has worked in curriculum development and as an inspector of schools. Drawing on these experiences, Harold will offer some personal reflections on how parental involvement in schooling and educational policy in Ireland has developed and on some of the challenges that may remain. The Inspectorate of the Department of Education and Skills, which he now leads, has sought in recent years to involve the voices of parents to a much greater extent in the school inspection process and the presentation will look at some of the findings coming out of that experience. The Inspectorate is currently engaged in leading the introduction of school self-evaluation in all schools, and the presentation will conclude by looking at the potential this offers for schools and parents to work even closer together to improve learning for children.

Mr Neil Griffiths, creator of the worldwide, highly acclaimed, and award-winning Storysack® phenomenon 

“Back to Basics!”

At a time of great changes in society and education, this session will return us to the very basics of living and working with children. It will explore the fundamental question of: Why do we educate children? and examine how home and school can and must agree to mutual aims and work together collaboratively for the good of the child.

Recordings of Dr. Joyce Epstein's keynote address and that of Mr. Harold Hislop are available below, recordings of the other speakers will be available shortly. We apologise for the delay with same.

The event was sponsored by Prim-Ed, Brennan Insurances, UPC and media partners the Irish Daily Mail.


Dr. Joyce Epstein addressing the NPC & EPA Conference 2013 Click here


Minister for Education & Skills, Mr. Ruairi Quinn, T.D. Click here


Question & Answer session 1 Click here


Mr. Harold Hislop, Chief Inspector, Department of Education and Skills Click here


Mr. Neil Griffiths, Corner to Learn Click here


Question & Answer session 2 Click here