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Schools and parents working together London Education Conference 8 February 2014.

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1 Schools and parents working together London Education Conference 8 February 2014

2 “The school has highly successful strategies for engaging with parents to the benefit of pupils, including those who find working with the school difficult.”

3 Giving you the tools you need Research Children’s views Parents’ views Barriers Success factors Process Support

4 Research ‘… parental involvement in the form of ‘at home good parenting’ has a significant positive effect on children’s attainment and adjustment even after all other factors shaping attainment have been taken out of the equation’ Desforges: The Impact of Parental Involvement, Parental Support and Family Education on Pupil Achievements and Adjustment (2003)

5 Research ‘Parental engagement is a powerful lever for raising achievement in schools. When parents and teachers work together to improve learning, the gains in achievement are significant.’ Engaging Parents in Raising Achievement - Do Parents Know They Matter (Harris & Goodall / University of Warwick / 2007)

6 Research ‘All the parents interviewed during the survey were very positive about how their confidence, communication and interpersonal skills had improved considerably since attending family learning. Parenting skills improved along with wider learning. Parents commented on how they were better able to manage their children’s behaviour, communicate with them and support their learning at home effectively.’ Family learning: an evaluation of the benefits of family learning for participants, their families and the wider community Ofsted, July 2009

7 Research Parental Involvement: The Missing Link in School Achievement (Larocque, Kleinman and Darling, 2011) Supporting primary-secondary transfer through home-school knowledge exchange, (Teaching and Learning Research Briefing, 2008) Supporting Parents and Supporting Children, Dr Joyce Epstein, 2013 (

8 What children say Moral support: “If they weren’t interested, then you wouldn’t be” Valuing education: “Your parents are your main influence, really – if they don’t care about it, you don’t take as much of an interest in it” Achievement and behaviour: “I try to be good for her (the student’s mother)” Homework: “if parents know what it is they should be doing then they’re more likely to do it”

9 Do parents feel involved? Around half (51%) of parents feel involved in their child’s school life (up from 29% in 2001 and 38% in 2003) The desire to increase involvement tends to be stronger amongst disadvantaged groups Parents of children who have been identified as having SEN but who had not been statemented are the least positive Parental Involvement in Children’s Education 2007, BMRB Social Research, 2008

10 Barriers to participation Reasons why parents are not confident helping with homework –Different teaching methods (39%) –Don’t understand children’s work (38%) –Not taught certain subjects at school (10%) –Difficulty with numeracy/number skills (6%) –Concern will confuse child/do it wrong (6%) Parental Involvement in Children’s Education 2007, BMRB Social Research, 2008

11 Success Factors Senior management commitment Whole school approach Parental awareness Gaining the views of parents Quality of communications Support all parents Importance of targeting Addressing other parental issues Involvement to achieve engagement Don’t give up

12 Making it happen Collaboration should be pro-active rather than reactive The engagement of all parents should be worked for Collaboration involves sensitivity to the wide ranging circumstances of all families Collaboration recognises and values the contributions parents have to make to the educational process

13 Getting started A comprehensive needs analysis The establishment of mutual priorities Whole school evaluation of resources and necessary organisational adjustments A public awareness process to help parents and teachers understand and commit to the strategic plan

14 External Support Frameworks LPPA (Leading Parent Partnership Award): EPPa (Effective Partnerships with Parents): Events Parental Engagement Seminars: (support/achievement) Other organisations Family Lives: Campaign for Learning (National Family Learning Network): www.campaign-for-

15 PTA-UK “A formal statutory relationship between schools and POs would facilitate a more educationally productive parent-teacher partnership”: What are Parent-School Organisations for? (Brook and Hancock, 2000) Charity and membership organisation for all PTAs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 13,600 PTA members and nearly 60 years of experience Support for PTA start-up Carlisle School Association (Middlesex): First International Party St Saviour’s Friends Association (Ealing): Donut Mornings Friends of Wykeham Primary School (Hornchurch): The Support Code

16 Annette Wiles


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