Harnessing Parental Engagement

Victoria Hutchinson

Strandtown Primary School

Key Learning

  • As a result of online learning parents now have a greater understanding of what goes on in their child’s class.

  • As educators we should harness this greater understanding and continue to develop parental engagement.

  • Engaging with parents supports pupil learning as learning at home can be linked to learning in school.

  • Involving parents in the school experience leads to positive attitudes and dispositions towards learning for the whole school community.

  • Continue to use electronic formats that suit parents.

  • Harnessing the parent voice and experience of families can easily inform school planning, processes and protocols.

Points to Consider

  • Consult with parents regularly and systematically through different channels.

  • Communicate with parents on platforms which allow ease of two-way communication and which are built on the premise of clear, transparent and invitational messaging.

  • Collaborate with parents to purposefully navigate changes in the school landscape.

  • Invite parents to contribute to the development of their child’s learning by role-modelling, informing and equipping parents.

  • It is finding and recognising channels of communication that work for all families and parents, irrespective of their background or context.

To Recap

  • Going back 2/3 years what did you use to engage with parents? Perhaps it was information evenings, leaflets….. Did parents engage more in these settings?

  • What has worked well in engaging parents in the last year? Perhaps you have used Dojo, webinars, virtual meetings?

  • What do you do to engage parents in school planning? Do you have a parents voice?

  • Without putting pressure on parents how could you make it more invitational so that they are participating in their child’s learning and also school planning and decision making?

  • What could you try this term? Could you invite some parents into a focus group discussion and starting by asking about the school’s communication?