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Thinking Schools Academy Trust has launched an innovative online parenting network to help improve parent voice and engagement across all its schools in Portsmouth. 

Parents from across the five Thinking Schools' in Portsmouth taking part were invited to attend the official launch of the TSAT Portsmouth Parent Network at Penhale Infant School, to find out more about how they could get involved with this exciting initiative and the benefits. 

The five Thinking Schools' that went to the launch in Portsmouth were Meon Infant School, Meon Junior School, Penhale Infant School, Newbridge Junior School and The Portsmouth Academy. 

The project is designed to bring together parents from across these schools into one online place, to engage them as part of the wider school and TSAT community and to gather feedback and insights to inform the work of both the individual schools and the Trust. 

The network will primarily provide an online platform for parent consultation, creating a space for parents and carers to share their views, thoughts, feelings and opinions. It will also hold three coffee mornings over the course of each academic year allowing for face-to-face interactions and parent networking and providing those without access to the online platform an opportunity to engage. 

Families across all the schools will receive Parenting Network Family Membership, which offers benefits, including discounted entrance fees to local attractions like the Mary Rose Museum and Blue Reef Aquarium. 

TSAT is partnering on the project with the Parenting Network, a not for profit social enterprise that works to build a supportive community of families in order  to drive forward social change through education on positive parenting and best practice. 

Natalie Sheppard, Director of Education Portsmouth, Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said: "We are delighted to have launched the TSAT Portsmouth Parents Network and to be working with the Parenting Network on this exciting project. It was fantastic to see so many engaged parents at the launch, keen to be a part of the Network and share their ideas and views. "We are confident that by boosting the parent voice and parental engagement in our schools, we can further improve outcomes for the young people we serve. Insights gained from the Network will also inform the work of the senior leadership teams and governing bodies at each of our schools and the Trust more broadly- ensuring that we are responding to and meeting the needs of our pupils and their families." 

Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said: "The TSAT Portsmouth Parent Network is a fantastic initiative, which will give parents a real stake, not just in the school their child attends, but in the wider TSAT community across Portsmouth. 

"We are proud of the central role that our schools play in their communities and the Network will help to enhance this and create new opportunities for parents to get involved and express their views. "The Family Membership will also give TSAT families preferential access to historical and cultural experiences - helping our students to build their cultural capital and broaden their horizons, whilst also supporting local businesses." 

Matt Foster, Managing Director, Parent Network said: "The Parenting Network are thrilled to be in partnership with The Thinking Schools Academy Trust and to be able to facilitate a closer relationship between parent and school that will enhance parental voice and engagement with home learning. "We will be bringing together school communities in a unique way and providing parents with a deeper insight as to what is going on across other TSAT schools in Portsmouth. "The additional inclusion of The Family Card creates greater opportunity for families to spend time going out together as a family which we know our partners from The Thinking Schools Trust feel very strongly about".