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Parents go back to school

posted 5 Jun 2018, 03:21 by Tim Williams
It’s not just young people who are getting the best chance of a successful future thanks to Nightingale Academy.
Parents are taking the opportunity to improve their life chances by signing up to employability, IT and English
lessons at the school in Edmonton.
Twice a week, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes are held and a weekly Aim Higher
project session on employability and IT is also on offer to mums and dads in the community.
The school also offers an eight-week programme to help parents to improve the way they communicate with
their children, to identify strategies for dealing with difficult behaviour and to set clear boundaries.
Sue Usta, parent and family support worker, said: “This is our way of supporting our parents to learn English
and other skills, so they can support their children and families. We look at employability to get them
prepared and looking for work, as well as helping those parents who may struggle with their children.

“The aim is to get parents applying for jobs and preparing for work. We are helping them to become
computer literate, teaching them typing skills, how to use email and handle correspondence, as well as
building their confidence. The courses give them everything they need to be able to apply for jobs and sit
interviews. It is great to see them securing jobs at the end of it. That, in turn, helps the whole family.
“One parent who is keen on Turkish cooking asked us what she could do with that, so we put her in touch
with the right courses and she is now looking to start her own business.
“With the ESOL courses, we see a positive change in the children in school as their parents grow in
confidence. We set parents homework of things to do with their children, so while they are learning, the
children are, too.”
During the ESOL sessions, school letters are explained which enables parents to feel more engaged with the
school and involved with their child’s schooling.
Mrs Usta said: “A lot of our parents depend on their children to communicate. This way, they understand
everything that is going on.
“It is a big thing. We are helping so many people, as well as the area as a whole.”
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