Parent Power group host Oldham Question Time event

Date published: 14 April 2021

Parent Power Oldham continues to grow its knowledge and influence in their mission for equal opportunities and positive change within the community.

Prent Power Oldham is made up of 53 families of high achieving learners from five Oldham secondary schools.

In order to hold key local figures to account on topics that are important to them and their communities, the group organised a Question Time event.

It featured a cohort of Oldham parents who were given the unique opportunity of personally speaking with local influential figures about the issues that are important to them.

Local leaders were invited to be on the panel, which included Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth Debbie Abrahams, Samah Khalil BEM, the Oldham Youth Mayor, and local councillors Shaid Mushtaq and Sean Fielding.

Question topics ranged from educational opportunities, local facilities, the price of school uniforms, the need for greater local role models, transportation links and mental health issues.

What is Parent Power?

Parent Power is a collaborative project supported by Greater Manchester Higher, Women’s Chai Project, DfE and Opportunity Area-Oldham.

The project’s core aim is to engage and empower parents of high achieving children in the disadvantaged communities of Oldham to make a positive change to both their children’s and their own futures.

Since starting in October 2019, the parent group have achieved some major milestones and campaigns, including:

· Successfully lobbying universities for paid and bespoke Open Day visits

· Increasing their own parent voice via The Parent Power Podcast which has been featured on BBC radio

· Gaining support and funding for digital devices via partners, Trinity College, Cambridge

· Speaking at a recent International conference via the Open University re: Mature learning

· Featuring in a good practise piece from the Office for Students re: Engaging adult learners

A group of Parent Power Oldham parents

Parent Jodie Clough said: "It was a great opportunity to speak one-to-one with members of the council and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to personally ask our questions as parents.

"We were informed of proposed changes to answer our questions and concerns, and it seems like there are exciting things to come."

Mr Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: ““I want to pass on my thanks to everyone who helped put the Parent Power event together.

"It was a brilliant way to bring together elected members and parents.

"We discussed a number of key issues including crime, transport, mental health and digital exclusion.

"I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with parents about how we can make Greater Manchester the best place for young people and their families to live.”

MP Ms Abrahams added: "I really enjoyed taking part in the virtual Question Time organised by Parent Power.

"The parents asked some really thought provoking and pertinent questions.

"I relished the interaction and debate and I look forward to continuing the dialogue.”

The Parent Power podcast can be found here

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