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Agency - the power to effect change

Reflecting on the last few months and preparing to talk to a parents' and carers' group tomorrow I have been thinking about the nature of the Finding Common Ground project. At heart it is about agency - giving parents and carers the language and approaches to effect change for their children in schools.

Thinking about the various conversations that I have had and looking at the feedback from each family the evidence clearly shows that it is by assisting families to frame their questions and requests they are more confident to work with the school and get changes made.

Why is this so important? Many parents and carers feel very strongly that they want their child to get the best possible provision in school, but do not know how to go about securing it. This leads to feelings of stress, lack of control and frustration. This can lead to significant upset at home and very high tension in meetings in school. Parents and carers often feel that the school holds all the cards and has all the power.

So the half hour conversations that are at the heart of the Finding Common Ground project clarify thought, give knowledge and chart a way forward. Individual agency leads to confidence, increased control and therefore to situations changing and children beginning to thrive.

Never underestimate the power of simple interventions! Never underestimate the power of a simple sense of knowledge and control of the situation. It matters. Children's lives change as a result.

As always, please get in touch with the Finding Common Ground project ( if you would like to discuss this further. Providing advice and guidance to parents and carers so that children thrive in school.

James Harris

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