Parents make a difference. If you’re not actively working to keep parents engaged in their child’s education, you may be missing one of the most powerful influences on student success – parent engagement.
According to the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), there’s strong evidence that when parents and families engage in their children’s learning, we see positive impacts on student wellbeing and achievement outcomes.
Research cited by the Department of Education has shown that when schools and families work together, children do better, stay in school longer, are more engaged with their schoolwork, go to school more regularly, behave better, and have better social skills.
And it’s not just students who benefit – schools gain significantly from successful parental engagement. They can improve connections with the community, raise their school profile, and improve family and community satisfaction with the school. It also meets the demands of parents who, faced with rising school fees, scrutinise every aspect of the school experience, including communications and any tools used to deliver them.
Yet, parent engagement is an ongoing challenge for schools. Most schools don’t have a formal communications strategy for parent engagement. Instead, they rely on a piecemeal approach comprising various channels and sporadic timings, which is not enough to turn a vision for parent and family engagement into something embedded into school life.
Parents don’t want to be overwhelmed with many different systems and platforms for payments, newsletters, reports, and other school communications. They need consistency, speed and ease.
So, how can schools effectively communicate with parents with consistency? And how can they make it quick and easy for busy parents to access timely information about how their children are doing?