So the children have been sent to school in new uniform, the dinner money and fees for sports clubs paid and the school’s new Show My Homework app downloaded. I have full wifi bandwidth and the house is quiet. I nurse a hope that the sibling comradeship that breaks out during the holidays will outlast the first day of the new term.
Much as I miss the children, it’s great to return to the coalface at The Parents Union. Jon Platt passed on the donations made to his Just Giving appeal for some funds to fight the term time holiday – 255 generous people donated a total of £3,365 to the appeal, and to be honest it’s both a great honour and scary to have their and Jon’s trust. The mountain we need climb to change the term time holiday regulations was high enough before the Supreme Court ruling but that now has reached Everest proportions. Secure in the knowledge that the law is on their side, the Department for Education will be even less inclined to listen to parents on this issue. In Westminster, Brexit fills everything. In the education policy world, battles rage over funding, governance, standards and teaching methods to name a few, and there are very few well-trodden paths for parent facing organisations to follow into that world.
We had hoped to get closer to our target of £10,000, which would have enabled us to employ two full-time workers for the rest of the year plus expenses to attend all the party conferences. As it is we are cutting our cloth accordingly, involving an ambitious and tricky balancing act between:
- lobbying politicians, policymakers and the education system;
- working with the media;
- engaging and supporting parents and volunteers;
- building partnerships with industry and other campaign groups;
- seeking more funds, and
- leaving a sustainable, entirely voluntary campaign if we are unsuccessful.
Wish us luck!