That’s exactly what a quote from a study by the Department of Education finds: ‘The more parents are engaged in the education of their children, the more likely their children are to succeed in the education system’ (Goodall & Vorhaus, 2011).
So how can schools encourage parental engagement? You may have initiatives in place to do this already at your school, but we’ve provided some ways below that may be ideal to help you!
1. Put a Newsletter Together
A termly newsletter is a great way to tell parents about any classroom activities or study units that are going on, and are fantastic for keeping in contact, as well as creating a positive, welcoming image to encourage communication. On it, you could tell parents about any upcoming tests, special events or any resources you have they can use at home, and perhaps include your contact information too so they can get in touch with you.
2. Make Any First Contact Positive
Obvious as it is, it’s also worth mentioning that the first point of contact may be better off being a positive one, rather than calling a parent about a student’s bad behaviour. You could send an email, letter or postcard at the start of the year to introduce yourself and tell parents what their children will be learning over the course of the term to start a positive rapport.
3. Take on Parent Classroom Volunteers
Some parents may find it hard to know how to contribute to the school, so one idea is to ask parents to help you with certain class tasks to get them involved (and give you more time to focus on teaching too). You could also invite them in to talk about their jobs or show your class a new hobby.
4. Create as Many Opportunities to Connect as Possible
To create a relationship with parents so they are involved with the school, it’s ideal to create as many ways as possible to connect with them. You could create a parent page on the website with a blog on it to update parents on what’s going on, showcase what students are learning via email or social media, or call home when a child has done something exceptional.
5. Hold Social Events
Whether it’s the spring fête or the end-of-year play, by holding relaxed social events where families can come along, you’ll be helping to create relationships between parents and can even take the opportunity to speak to them too so they feel welcome to talk to you in future or share their ideas.
Do you have any other tips for encouraging parental involvement? Send them to us and tell us about them by tweeting @EducationCity.
Goodall, J. & Vorhaus, J. (2011). Review of best practice in parental engagement. URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/182508/DFE-RR156.pdf [Accessed 6th February 2018]