M4 working with parents & families

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  2. 2. Research shows that parentalResearch shows that parental interest and attitudes to school,interest and attitudes to school, to books and to education areto books and to education are the single most importantthe single most important influence on a childs learning.influence on a childs learning.
  3. 3. ROLE, RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS Constitution: Article 42 - Primary Educator European Convention on Human Rights Circular 24/91, M27/91 Research shows that parental interest and attitudesResearch shows that parental interest and attitudes to school, to books and to education are the single mostto school, to books and to education are the single most important influence on a childs learning.important influence on a childs learning. White Paper the active participation of parents at every level Education Act Boards of Management Parents Councils Policy Making Formal home-school links Circulars Whole School Evaluation SEN Etc etc etc
  4. 4. HOW INVOLVED IS INVOLVED? The continuum of parental involvement ranges from proximal to peripheral and on the periphery, some voices are more distant than others. Hanafin & Lynch, 2002
  5. 5. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT The recognition of parents as the primary educators of their children under the Irish constitution enshrines their right to a say in that education. While this is recognised to some degree in present provision, the practice within schoolsallows for little actual influence, and parental involvement is limited to the giving and receiving of information, restricted consultation, and engagement in some supplemental responsibilities.
  7. 7. CHANGING THE PARADIGM IN SCHOOLS Materials Practices & Behaviours Beliefs Shared Tacit Assumptions Fairly easy Fast More difficult Takes longer Difficult Longer term Highly anxiety- provoking Difficult Time consuming
  8. 8. 15% of a childs waking hours from birth-16 are spent in school (McBeath)
  9. 9. EXTENDING THE DEFINITION OF LEARNING Schools pursuing a systemic agenda have a client orientation. They maintain a sustained focus on strengthening the involvement of parents with the school and their childrens schooling. They also actively seek to strengthen the ties with the local community and especially those resources that bear on the caring of the children (Fullan 1999, 46).
  10. 10. Partnership does not mean you always get what you want, it means that you may lose your argument, but you never lose your voice. (Block 1993)
  11. 11. CONNECTION & COLLABORATION Support & Welfare Prospectus Journal Parent/teacher meetings: formal & informal Discipline Homework Induction, Transfer & Transition Subject choice & level Attendance Uniform Policy Formation Progress Reports Liturgical events Visits Board of Management Special Needs Information Anecdotal Events Annual Report Communication Parents Council Celebrations Work experience Pragmatics: book rental, fundraising, teams, trips
  12. 12. HOW DOES OUR COMMUNICATION REFLECT OUR VALUES AS A SCHOOL COMMUNITY? Respectful Inclusive Child-centred Personal Helpful Free of jargon Appropriate Opportunity to contribute/respond Passion Engender Connection Fulfil a function merely PR Quality Learning
  14. 14. PARENT/TEACHER MEETINGS Purpose Hoped for Outcome Preparation Atmosphere Structure & Layout Where is the Principal? Where is the pupil? Where is the parent?
  15. 15. WSE & PARENTS The work of the parents association How the association supports the work of the school How parents are involved in helping their children learn Parental involvement in the life of the school How parents help the principal and teachers Parents involvement in school planning Communication between school and parents
  16. 16. Q1. Facilities are good in the school Q2. The school is well run Q3. Discipline is good in the school Q4. I am aware of the code of behaviour/school rules Q5. There is good contact between the school and home Q6. I am aware of the work of the school's Parents' Association Q7. There is a good atmosphere in the school Q8. The information about how to enrol my child in the school was clear Q9. The school made my child welcome when he/she first enrolled Q10. The school helps my child's social and personal development WSE - MLL
  17. 17. Q11. My child enjoys going to school Q12. I know who to talk to in the school if there is a problem Q13. My child feels safe and well looked after in the school. Q14. The school pays attention to drugs and alcohol issues with the school Q15. I am satisfied with the way bullying is dealt with by the school Q16. My child is involved in activities (e.g. music/sports) outside class time Q17. Teaching is good in the school Q18. My child is doing well in school Q19. I am happy with the amount of homework my child gets Q20. School reports give me a good picture of how my child is doing Q21. My child has very few free classes in a week WSE -MLL
  18. 18. WSE - MLL Q22. I received good advice from the school about my child's subject choices Q23. Teachers regularly check my child's written work Q24. I sign my child's homework journal on a weekly basis Q25. The school consults me if my child needs extra help Q26. There are good arrangements for parent/teacher meetings Q27. The school regularly seeks the views of parents on school activities Q28. If I have a problem with the school I get a fair hearing Q29. Financial contributions to help the running of the school are voluntary Q30. Overall, I am happy
  19. 19. TIMEFRAM E In the best of schools, with the best resources and the most skilled leadership, the timeframe for transforming culture, structure, belief and practice is years! (Evans, 2001)


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