Effective partnership working with parents can only strive to strengthen the aspirations parents have for their children’s social, emotional and educational development.
As part of this partnership, there must be a mutual understanding of the roles both the parent and the school have for supporting their child in school. This understanding must include the statutory duties they both share around school attendance.
For a school this means:
- Providing strong lesson content which motivates, encourages and supports children to make their best progress
- Linking attendance to attainment/progress for that student
- Contacting parents where there are concerns and making a support plan to address those concerns.
For a parent this means:
- Taking an interest in school – knowing the timetable; school routines and who to contact if there is a concern.
- Encouraging punctuality
- Contacting the school when they have a concern
There are many ways to develop partnerships with parents and it is important that ALL parents are actively encouraged to take part in and support school life.
Induction evenings are an important opportunity for sharing expectations, who key staff in their child’s day will be, and giving supporting advice around attendance, timetables, progress evenings etc,
Other opportunities to engage parents may include:
- Sports Day
- Celebration and presentation evenings
- Social Events
- parent/carer workshops e.g. literacy; numeracy; IT support
- information events e.g. social media training for parents; drug awareness; work experience; options evenings
- Community activities on the school site – brownies; scouts; cake sales etc.
- Reading afternoons
- “Open door Fridays” – where parents can pop in and see what their children have been doing and speak to staff (last hour of day or once a term)
- Parent Teacher Associations
- Volunteer Readers etc
Successful schools find a variety of ways to engage their parents and acknowledge, celebrate and support their contribution to their child’s life within school.
If you were to ask a mixed group of parents/carers and pastoral staff in school to identify ways in which attendance could be encouraged; celebrated or supported or how they could better support their child in school what sort of responses would you get?