Generally speaking, parents are truly engaged with their child’s schooling as they take their first steps in education, but the opportunities to keep them engaged within schools appear to reduce drastically as they progress through the age groups.
For #UKEdChat, James Allen is explored issues to get parents engaged with schools – exploring strategies that work for Early Years, Primary or Secondary Schools. The session asked the following questions:
- What are the most effective strategies in your school to get parents engaged with activities?
- What is the biggest challenge you face with regards to parental engagement?
- Can technology help with parental engagement?
- How much of an issue is the lack of time and resources – any tips on maximising the time you do have?
- How can you best engage those “hard to reach” parents?
- How can you measure the impact of parental engagement?
Research conducted over the past few years has clearly demonstrated the importance of successful parental engagement and the impact it can have on pupil progress. In this week’s UKEdChat, we looked into some of the challenges that still remain regarding the engagement of parents.
The discussion raised a number of issues and many contributors provided an array of thoughts, advice, and best practice tips. One of the main themes to come out of the chat was the importance of changing mindsets of parents, some who hold a relatively negative view of the eructation system as a result of their own personal experiences; encouraging these parents to engage and adjusting their perceptions can be a difficult task.
We discovered that parental engagement is most effective if tailored specifically for each individual child and parent, although this clearly takes a serious amount of time and resources. However, ensuring that as a school, you remain flexible and approachable when it suits parents, rather than when its suits you, was the key to better engagement.
The use of technology featured prominently; with many feeling this has provided a number of different methods to make that initial contact with parents, and to ensure continuous engagement thereafter. However, this also sparked the view that ultimately, face to face engagement is far more beneficial as it often results in a two way relationship. And finally, this chat highlighted the importance of ensuring that parents are aware of their responsibilities and understand the impact they can have on their child’s learning and progress.
Notable Tweets from the Session:
- @ElliePrimary1 @ukedchat One challenge is engaging parents who underestimate the impact their support can make on their child’s learning. #ukedchat. ?
- @aknill #ukedchat difficulty in engaging by phone is timing – I use email and find easy to develop better contact and faster response time
- @MrAllsopHistory @SeahamRE Indeed. Parents respond positively to praise of their children…much as the children themselves respond positively! #ukedchat
- @1johngillard #ukedchat We need to move beyond thinking about teacher-parent interactions and think how we can help develop child-parent interactions too.?
- @jennylouisebond We hold termly community café where parents come and join a fun lesson led by the teacher and support children. Proving successful #ukedchat ?
- @cijane02 #ukedchat parents you really *need* to see are invariably the most difficult to make contact with-texts/emails/ twitter/ letters to no avail ? @ElliePrimary1
- @jennylouisebond The teacher is an expert on learning, the parent is an expert on their child. Together we can make an impact. #ukedchat ?
- @resourceasaurus @JamesAllen_OE Face to face is the way to go, be out on the playground at the start & end of the day, be available, be friendly. #ukedchat
About the Host:
My name is James Allen, I’m a conference producer for Optimus Education. As someone relatively new to the world of education, I’m keen to learn all I can from those who understand, from their own first-hand experiences, how the education sector really works.