This is the fourth in a series of blogs giving an overview of research-proven strategies that schools can adopt when budgeting their pupil premium – and how we can help. Previously, we discussed Collaborative Learning.
Parental engagement, perhaps not surprisingly, has been found to be most effective when it is implemented in early education and deeper involvement is often easier to achieve with parents of very young children. Research shows that parental involvement is most successful when it is implemented based on existing evidence. As with metacognition and collaborative learning, it is considered one of the lower cost strategies that has a decent level of effectiveness.
The EEF suggests a number of resources for teachers, as well as a few important considerations. For example:
- What approaches will you take to support parents in working with their children?
- Have you provided a flexible approach to allow parental involvement to fit around their schedule?
- How will you make your school welcoming for parents whose own experience of school may not have been positive?
- Have you provided some simple, practical ways that parents can support their children that don’t require a high level of ability (e.g. by ensuring that students have an environment where they can work at home)? [more]
The emphasis is on selecting the right strategies that meet the unique needs of schools, as it is not always clear how the increased engagement specifically works to close the attainment gap. This is where content we can produce for your planners can help to facilitate that engagement by opening clear communication with parents. For example, the home-school agreement gives parents something that they will need to read, consider, and sign. From the first day that child takes home their planner, their parent(s) or caregivers are involved in developing and supporting their education. Of course, this isn’t the only option: we can work with schools to put together a system that works specifically for them that addresses the unique challenges they may face.
The two pages pictured are both from our pages library and show two ways in which schools can use planner pages to communicate with parents. Image a) is an example of a contract between home and school, and b) is from our primary page ideas and encourages parents to get involved in their child’s weekly organisation.