The last two years have demonstrated the impact parental engagement makes on a child's learning and community in the school. Yet, the schools' efforts on parental engagement frequently focus on dealing with requests or complaints by the loud minority or on attempts to reach those parents who have fallen out of the traditional communication channels. Therefore the silent majority of parents and their perceptions are not always heard. In our latest report on Parent Engagement, overall 60% of parents were satisfied with their child's school's efforts to engage them as a parent. However, 18% were only slightly satisfied or not satisfied at all. In this blog, we’ll be looking at why parental engagement matters.
What Impact Does Parental Engagement Have on Trusts?
Parents are one of your most important stakeholders. If your parents are engaged with your trust, it essentially means you’ll be sharing responsibility for the children in your trusts’ learning and educational goals. Below, we outline the benefits of parental engagement both on your trust and children.
- Improves Academic Performance
Perhaps the most obvious outcome of parents becoming more involved with their child’s education is increased academic achievement. Over the years, research has proven there’s a clear link between parent involvement and a children’s level of achievement with impact comparable with four months' academic progress in an academic year, especially for younger pupils.1 With some in the sector research going as far as saying that parents with an active presence in their children's learning can have a more prominent role to play than school.2
- Allows for Community Building
Parents who are aware of what is taking place at their child’s school help build a more cohesive community. Building an alliance with parents also usually leads to them being more involved with school activities and the curriculum.
- Strengthens Relationships Between Parent and Child
When parents are more engaged with their child’s education, parents and children tend to bond more as they have a common goal. Not only does this bond strengthen their relationship, it also helps parents better understand their child's strengths and weaknesses which enables them to support their child’s learning from a perspective different from teachers.
4. Enables Children To Be More Positive and Confident
Parents who are enthusiastic and engaged about their children’s learning often nurture children who are more enthusiastic and engaged with their learning. The involvement of parents during the learning process can also result in more confident children who have better social skills and classroom behaviour, leading to improved motivation in class 3 and less of a need for redirection.4
Where to Find Further Parental Engagement Resources
If you are looking to improve parental engagement in your school or trust, here are a number of resources that can help you pick up useful ideas and strategies.
Education Endowment Foundation Guidance Report - https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/education-evidence/guidance-reports/supporting-parents
A thorough review of the research on parental engagement with four recommendations to better engage parents with the learning.
Resources and training from Parentkind - https://www.parentkind.org.uk/For-Schools/Resources
A multitude of resources (including online training) on drivers of parental participation from England’s largest parental engagement charity.
Courses from Parental Engagement Network - https://www.penetwork.co.uk/
Courses on parental engagement, covering both primary and secondary settings.
Edurio Parent Experience Survey - https://home.edurio.com/parent-experience-survey
Any school or trust can participate in the survey and compare their results with validated national benchmarks as well as get an in depth report of their strengths and areas for improvement.
- Esther Sui-Chu and Jon Willms (1996) Effects of parent involvement on eight grade achievement, Sociology of Education, 69 (2), 126-141
- Charles Desforges and Alberto Abouchar (2003) The impact of parent involvement, parent support and family education on pupil achievements and adjustment: A literature Review London: Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
- Wairimu, M.J., Macharia, S.M., Muiru, A. (2016, November 27). Analysis of Parental Involvement and Self-Esteem on Secondary School Students in Kieni West Sub-County, Nyeri County, Kenya. Journal of Education and Practice, Vol 7. (82-98)
- Sheldon, S. B., & Jung, S. B. (2015). Parent Involvement and Children’s Academic and Social Development in Elementary School. Johns Hopkins University, School of Education