What is Parental Engagement?
As a parent, your aspirations, what you do with your child at home, and how you support your child’s learning and development before and during school have a real impact on how well your child achieves.
•Parental Engagement is about enabling parents to best support their child’s learning in the home.
•Parental Engagement is something all parents, regardless of their background, can do and do well. You don’t need a degree or a certificate and you don’t have to spend any money.
•The most effective form of parental engagement is when parent and child talk regularly in the home about school.
•Effective parental engagement does not require any teaching by parents. You don’t even have to understand what they do in the different subjects, in fact, it can be a real advantage when you don’t.
•Parental engagement is about parents simply showing an interest in what their child is doing in school. It’s about showing them that what they do in school is important to you.
•Regardless of the parents’ background, income, ethnicity and educational experience, parental engagement is second only to having a great teacher in influencing your child’s performance in school.
•The engagement of fathers has a greater impact than the engagement of mothers.
The most important thing is to let your child know that what they do in school is important to you.
Parental Engagement vs Parental Involvement
Parental Involvement is when parents participate in school life as PTA members, governors, reading partners, mentors etc. Parental Involvement is also achieved through effective communication e.g. individual student reports and consultation meetings with teachers.
Whilst Parental Involvement may provide a small amount of additional support for the school, the real impact on pupil achievement and attainment comes about through Parental Engagement.
It is your positive engagement in your own child’s school experience that is most important in raising attainment, not your involvement with wider school activities.
Parental Engagement – How do I start?
On a very simple level you can do this by talking to your child about what they have done in school. This doesn’t need to be an inquisition; just one or two well-timed questions every day are all that’s needed to improve your child’s achievement. Some estimates show that the impact can range from a whole GCSE grade to as much as 3 month’s additional achievement in any one year… just by talking to your child about what they do in school.
Isn’t it worth trying?
•Coaching your Teenager – This booklet can help you find new ways to coach your teenager, whether you are a parent, carer or other family member. The document is aimed at parents of teenagers aged 14 to 19 and addresses barriers to engagement (lack of time, confidence, not knowing how to help etc.), to help you to stay involved with your child’s education in the later stages of the learning journey. It provides confidence-raising tips and encouragement to become proactive in supporting learning, homework and revision and tools such as ‘conversation starters’ to encourage parents to have a regular dialogue with their teenager.
•Brannel School now uses Show My Homework, an online tool to help you keep track of your child’s homework. Show My Homework will allow you to see the details of the tasks your child has been set, as well as submission status and grades. Use it to check that homework is being completed and to open conversations with your child about what they are doing at school.
•Try to find a quiet place and some quiet time at home for your child to do their homework. Of course, in some households there just isn’t the space for this. Ask your child’s teacher if they can stay behind a bit later after school to do their homework. We now offer a Late Bus service which leaves school at 5.00pm on at least one day each week.
•Make sure your child attends school! We have been systematic in tackling issues relating to attendance and offer effective support to pupils and families for whom absence from school or lateness is of concern. We have made explicit our expectations to parents, carers and pupils. We will continue to reward pupils who attend school all of the time.