Seven reasons why parental engagement is important

Berni Williams

Berni Williams worked as a business librarian for Staffordshire University and a research librarian for the BBC (at the now defunct Pebble Mill Studios) before becoming Resource Centre manager at Leek College. She now works for Jigsaw School Apps as a customer relations and social media manager. Jigsaw School Apps makes school apps for smartphones – Windows, Android and iPhone – that allow schools to keep in contact with parents wherever they are.

Follow @jigsawschoolapp | Facebook

Website: www.jigsawschoolapps.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As part of my job I attend a lot of education shows and meet a lot of teachers and heads in the UK. When I talk to them about improving their parental engagement I get a variety of responses. Some (hopefully half-jokingly!) say “Do we have to?”, but most are really interested in how this can be done.

In some ways it is easier to connect with parents – advances in communication technology ensure you can reach many people “on the go” via their smartphones – but in many ways it is also becoming more difficult. There are some areas in London where there are over 100 languages spoken. Many pupils will have parents who do not have English as their first language, and this can leave some feeling excluded from their own children’s education.

Research shows, over and over again, that the more parents are involved in their own children’s education the better the children will do at school. Here are seven reasons why it is important to find new ways to improve school-to-home communication:

1. Engagement is a two-way process. Parents who are kept up-to-date with school information, and are asked their opinions, are more likely to understand and support any particular approaches that are being used. In fact, they are more likely support these strategies at home.

2. Ofsted wants to see that schools have "successful strategies for engaging with parents, including those who might find working with school difficult". With inspectors now required to consider any stakeholder feedback collected by the school, it is essential that schools keep parents informed and get parent feedback quickly and efficiently.

3. Parents who get involved take a greater role in their child’s education and activities around schooling, which leads children to do better academically and socially. Make sure that meetings/events are flexible enough to allow for working parents to attend. Provide childcare to make it easier for busy parents to visit school. Try a variety of methods of contacting parents: phone, email, texts or via apps.

4. Many parents may have had bad experiences at school themselves, so they resist getting involved. Make school as welcoming and friendly as possible. Parents’ positive perception highly influences their children’s perception of school, which, in turn, positively contributes to students’ academic, social, and emotional learning. Being kept informed frequently and asked their opinion can help this positive perception.

5. Surveys will provide invaluable evidence for your School Self Evaluation, Ofsted Inspection and School Development Planning. Your school can ensure that you have the full views of all of your parents ready for when Ofsted visit. Also, by sharing their views, parents may well be providing useful insights for the school.

6. Asking parents' views on school issues on a regular basis can lead them to communicate or offer help in other ways too. This can benefit the school in many ways – eg volunteering, fundraising and attending more meetings.

7. Using effective channels of communication and getting parents involved in decisions helps to build strong relationships and encourages involvement in the child's learning and progress. Using parents’ preferred methods of communication and ensuring that no-one is excluded – for example by having language options available – can make all parents feel important and valued.

How do you bring parents into your school? Share your tips below.

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"