In a bid to push up standards, more and more primary schools throughout the district are employing a parental involvement worker.

Education experts throughout the district believe a key factor in improving standards lies in the link between schools and parents.

Councillor Ralph Berry, the Labour group’s education spokesman, said “parental engagement and school community links” had to be strengthened to help standards rise further – a call echoed by Liberal Democrat education spokesman Councillor David Ward, who has called for family members young and old to join a “year of education” in 2009 to drive progress forward.

Val Bottomley has just been appointed as parental involvement worker at Eldwick Primary School, one of 80 across the district.

Rachel Sharp, the Warren Lane school’s deputy head teacher, said: “We have employed Val as a direct response to a request from parents. Every year we have to produce a School Improvement Plan and one of the things parents are always asking for is more information about school and what’s going on in school.”

Eldwick is already a high-performing school but staff feel further improvements could be made by the increased involvement of parents.

Mrs Bottomley has devised measures including getting fathers more involved, setting up extra-curricular workshops for parents, and the launch of a website which will give parents access to their children’s progress and provide tips.