What the research says about parent involvement in schools
Recent research suggests that schools that have effective parent involvement programs generally have enhanced student results (Jensen & Sonnemann, 2014). Parent involvement also impacts on student outcomes, behaviour, attendance and academic performance (Mapp, 2002; Desforges & Abouchaar,2003; Harris and Goodall, 2007; Mutch & Collins, 2012; Weiss, Bouffard, Bridglall, & Gordon, 2009). When parent Involvement happens in a school, social cohesion and equity are achieved (Auerbach, 2007, 2009; Mutch & Collins, 2012; Muller 2009).
What is happening in schools
While parent involvement is consistently supported in policy and now is an element of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, in reality, it can be challenging to implement. Schools may find it hard to identify what parent involvement strategies ‘work’ in their context. Given the diverse needs of any school community, it stands to reason that parent involvement practices may need to be as diverse as the community itself. Though parent involvement may at times be challenging to implement, the benefits for the school make it a valuable strategy to enhance school culture. Relationships with parent are beneficial to students and can be satisfying to staff.
The solution for schools
Developing the ‘right’ program for your school is the key to parent involvement. CLASS can work with principals and schools to develop a parent involvement program and strategies that suit the school’s needs and parent community.