About Us

What we are fighting for

Parents have primary responsibility for the overarching care of their children and rights which accompany those responsibilities. In exercising those rights and in recognition that parental involvement in education is vital to our children’s future, we are campaigning for an education system we can believe in.

We want to see a system which

  1. demonstrates compassion and understanding of all pupils
  2. is adaptable to modern work patterns and family lives, for parents and teachers
  3. is suitably funded
  4. takes on board best practice and new thinking
  5. equips our children to adapt in a rapidly changing world
  6. provides opportunities throughout our children’s lifetimes
  7. actively listens to pupil and parental experience in policy formation & implementatio

Who we are

The Parents Union brings together parents, grandparents including teachers and education professionals from a variety of campaign groups. It is backed by lobbying and campaigning work by The Parents Union Ltd.

The Parents Union is not aligned to any particular political party. To our knowledge we have campaigners who are members of the Conservative, Labour, LibDems and Green Party and many who have no truck with any political party. We encourage campaigners who are members of political parties to lobby within their party for policies which align with the above.

At the core of the campaign are members of the following Facebook groups as well as a range of individuals in the political, campaigning, education and corporate world.

  • Jon Platt (over 32,000 supporters)
  • Parents Against School Holiday Fines (2,312 members)
  • Against School Holiday Fines/PCNs (6,156 members)

This group is growing. We welcome any offers of help.

Our funding

In summer 2017, Jon Platt raised £3,365 as a result of his justgiving campaign to further the campaign against the term time attendance regulations introduced in 2013. (This sum is £3,592 raised by 266 supporters, net of justgiving charges.) From September 2017, this funding has supported time and expenses for stakeholder engagement, research and the development of the “Perfect Storm” campaign.

In 2015, Karen Wilkinson and Tim Willmott received grant funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation totalling £7,500 for a 6 month project to further the work of the term time attendance campaign and to lobby in the House of Lords against the Government’s proposals to remove the right of parents and others to be consulted when schools were forced into becoming academies.

Joseph Rowntree funded project

The monies from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation paid for time and expenses for:

  • travel to Westminster to meet with Parliamentarians, unions and other groups campaigning on this issue;
  • travel associated with submitting the judicial review application for Noah Myers (other work and costs relating to that being met by the John Hemming);
  • briefing MPs for the 3rd debate on term time attendance;
  • attending LibDem Conference and successfully proposing a policy motion to reverse the attendance regulations;
  • expenses associated with attending Jon Platt’s case in the High Court and supporting media work;
  • attending the launch of Parents Defending Education and a subsequent meeting;
  • meetings with academics and building a body of knowledge and experience to further the campaign.

All of this provided significant experience in Parliament, the Courts and the media, as indeed does John Hemming’s own Parliamentary and campaigning experience.

Legal Advice

The Parents Union is unable to offer legal advice and assistance to parents facing prosecution at this time. Support and signposting from parents who have experience in these matters can be found in the facebook group “Against School Holiday Fines”. Parents are invited join in sharing news and debating the issues they face in that group or on Jon Platt’s page. Parents who wish to actively campaign on the issue are invited to join The Parents Union facebook group or email theparentsunionuk@gmail.com.

Structure

The Parents Union is a limited company, company number 09766754, the directors of which are Karen Wilkinson and John Hemming.

The Parents Union is not suitable for charitable status as its primary object is to campaign for a change in the law.

The Parents Union Ltd is registered under the Data Protection Act.