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Engaging with parents: A CPD resource

Last updated:
12 May 2016


What is this?

​This resource is designed to help practitioners reflect on parental involvement and to develop strategies/ideas for engaging all parents* and carers to become actively involved in their children’s learning.

The suggested activities can be used to support a whole-school approach or with key practitioners' groups to reflect on current practice and to generate thoughts and ideas to foster/enhance parental involvement.

[*Please note that, throughout this resource, the term 'parent’ includes any person who is liable to maintain or has parental responsibilities in relation to, or has care of, a child or young person, and should be seen as key partners in supporting their children.]

Who is this for?

​This resource will be of interest to all practitioners keen to reflect on levels of parental involvement.

​Explore the resource

This resource is split into the following sections:

  • What is parental involvement?
  • Key challenges
  • Communication and relationships
  • Learning outside school
  • Involving parents in transitions
  • Parental representation
  • Assessment and reporting

All documents, activities and videos are in the zip file at the end of each section.

Practitioners may decide to use all or part of these sections to meet their CPD needs. However, it is recommended that the sections ‘What is parental involvement?’ and ‘Key challenges’ are completed.

What is parental involvement?

The activities and videos in the zip file below are designed to help you consider what you understand by ‘parental involvement’ in your setting. They will also allow you to identify aspects of good practice in your setting and begin to consider changes in approach which could be taken to enhance parental involvement.

Having completed Activities 1 and 2, you should watch the 'Promoting Parental Partnerships' video. After considering the examples in the videos, go on to Activity 3.

 Zip file: What is parental involvement? (80 MB)

Key challenges

To develop ideas for engaging all parents and carers to become actively involved in their children’s learning we need to consider the range of factors parents and practitioners perceive which limit parental involvement.

Activity 1 explores factors which may be limiting parental involvement in your establishment. In considering what the challenges are for your school or establishment, you may wish to print out and use the resource sheet to help prompt discussion.

Activity 2 focuses on the support you provide to those families who find it most difficult to become involved in their children's learning.

Zip file: Key challenges (162 KB)

Communication and relationships

These activities are designed to assist practitioners, parents and carers to develop effective partnerships. They should help you to plan for improved partnerships with parents and carers which will have a positive impact on relationships and communications.

Activity 1 concerns the school or centre's general communications with parents. It looks at methods of communicating with parents and covers guidelines and processes governing communication.

Activity 2 asks participants to focus on how their school or centre communicates with parents about the curriculum and about their child's progress and attainment.

Activity 3 requires participants to examine their school or centre's relationships with parents and to consider changes in approach which might enhance those relationships.

Zip file: Communications and relationships (110 KB)

Learning outside school

These activities are designed to help practitioners to develop strategies which will encourage and support effective parental engagement in their child’s learning outside of school.

The activities also allow practitioners to consider how work done outside of school and personal achievements are recognised, celebrated and recorded.

Activity 1 looks at how you use homework tasks to promote parental involvement in their children's learning.

Activity 2 looks at how your school or centre encourages parental involvement in supporting children's learning at home.

Activity 3 looks at how you recognise, celebrate and record a range of personal achievements.

Zip file: Learning outside school. (220 KB)

Involving parents in transitions

Children and young people are entitled to support to prepare for and deal with transitions from stage to stage, class to class and between sectors and establishments. It is important that we recognise the vital role of parents in supporting their child at these key transitions.

This is also a time of change for parents, who may therefore need support and reassurance themselves.

In Activity 1, participants discuss their own experiences of transitions.

Activity 2 asks participants to evaluate their own current practice. The activity is designed to be used by practitioners within a specific sector or jointly by practitioners across sectors, for example on a learning community or cluster basis. The activity could also be used for joint training with partners. Select the most appropriate activity for your setting.

Activity 3 asks participants to reflect on aspects of their current practice which could be improved. Before carrying out Activity 3, it may be useful to consider the points raised in the sharing practice examples highlighted on this page. This may help to prompt ideas and discussion to inform the activity.

Zip file: Involving parents in transitions (232 KB)

Parental representation

These activities are designed to assist practitioners to develop strategies which encourage parents and carers to play an active role in their educational community. This includes developing an understanding of the role of the headteacher and the extent of the remit of the Parent Council.

They should help build knowledge and information required to plan for improved partnerships with parents and carers which will have a positive impact on the quality of parental representation, including the Parent Council.

Activity 1 will help to develop your understanding of Parent Council legislation.

Activity 2 focuses on evaluating your current approaches to encouraging parents to play an active role in their educational community.

The focus of Activity 3 is on helping you to develop strategies to encourage parents to play an active role in their educational community.

The sharing practice examples highlighted may be useful in prompting ideas and discussion by offering ways of addressing the issues highlighted.

Zip file: Parental representation (186 KB)

Assessment and reporting

Assessment is carried out to see what children and young people know, understand and are able to do. Tracking progress, planning next steps and involving parents, children and young people in learning are all part of the assessment process.

The following activities are designed to support practitioners to reflect on how they engage with parents and carers about their child’s progress and achievement.

Activity 1 requires participants to focus on how they support parents and carers to understand the purpose of assessment.

Activity 2 requires participants to focus on how they support parents to understand the range of assessment approaches and how evidence is gathered.

Activity 3a requires participants to focus on how effectively their school or centre communicates with parents about their child’s progress and achievement.

Activity 3b requires participants to consider the effectiveness and clarity of their written reports to parents.

Activity 4 asks participants to consider what opportunities there are for parents to share their views about their child's learning and progress.

Activity 5 asks participants to consider how profiles are used to share learners’ achievements with their family.

Zip file: Assessment and reporting (1.2 MB)




Tags:

Learning and assessment; Parental Engagement; Relationships