Five tips to support parental engagement in schools

In the run-up to Teach 2017, our free conference open to all teachers, we will be sharing a series of blogs written by speakers appearing on the day to give you a taster of their sessions. Book your free place now

The first is from Neil Charlton-Jones, co-founder of SchoolCal, a parental engagement solution used by schools to easily keep parents in the loop with school activities.

Looking for ways to improve how you engage parents in your school? Try these tips to get you going.

1. Share the big and little stories

Parents want to know that their child’s school has the ambition and drive to achieve their vision. Sharing plans, ideas and projects on a regular basis will help parents understand what a school is aiming for and what role they can play in that journey.

Sharing the day to day news, successes and ideas will not only help parents feel closer to their child’s education but it will also provide discussion topics for parents to speak to their child about what they have been doing in school.

2. Two way communication

Communication between parents and schools should be two-way. Collaborating with parents by asking for feedback, ideas and comments will lead to improved engagement.

Asking for views from parents confirms the important role they play in supporting their child throughout school life. The current Ofsted framework also sets out that inspectors should ask for evidence that the views of parents are sought after.

3. Accessible and consistent

Using one platform for school communications that is accessible across multiple devices at any time will not only make it easier for parents to get the whole picture but will also make that platform the go to place for trusted school information. 

4. Go beyond the school gates

Sometimes the biggest impact on pupils can be the decisions taken outside of the school gates by local or central government policy makers. Sharing sector news on a regular basis will help parents understand the expectations of school and how national or local policy can directly impact their child.

5. Monitor Results

How many parents are you reaching? Which parents are least engaged with your communications? Are parents getting more involved and expressing their views? A good whole school communication platform should be able to give you these answers and subsequently enable schools to identify those parents that are the hardest to reach. This allows for more informed decisions to be made on how best to engage with that group further.

Want to find out more? Neil will be leading a practical workshop at Teach 2017 looking at the differences between parental engagement and parental communication. Book your free place now