Parents involvement in schools

How do you deal with the parent in the playground that is undermining you to others? What about the parent who believes you are not stretching their child? Are you the type of teacher who becomes very defensive or do you actively go out and recruit them into your classroom?

There are two distinct camps when it comes to the role of parents in primary schools. Those who believe they should drop their children off at the gates and collect them at the end of the day and the other that actively encourage parents to be involved in school life.

Personally I have always believed the better you know your parents, their skills and concerns, the more it benefits you and the children. Getting fathers and grandfathers in to work with children is an excellent way to have positive role models especially for boys. It can open up areas of the curriculum that you are not a specialist in such as IT and DT. Additional hands are always great for offering cooking, gardening, sewing and activities outside. In my sons school they give reading training to parents who then listen to the children, so increasing the number of times they are heard in a week.

Many of these forays into school can lead to parents becoming fully fledged members of the school community with them moving across into the PTA and school governors.
So tell me what’s not to gain by having parents in? Tell me are there ways secondary’s can also benefit?

13 thoughts on “Parents involvement in schools

  1. 6 months training in practical issues such as classroom management, timetabling, curriculum balance, behaviour management etc would be OK PROVIDING the candidate has a speciality or trade under their belt, has instructed adults or apprentices and just need recognition of exisiting skills. In my opinion, 6 months teacher training for someone with no specialty subject knowledge, no degree or trade and no experience what so ever in teaching others, simply would not work and would be detrimental to both the teacher and students.

  2. I totally agree that the more that parents can get involved the better. It is obviously a delicate balance – but having been a teacher, I wouldn’t want the teachers becoming paranoid and feeling over-dominated by parental influence.

    I think the reading idea would be beneficial to most infant-readers and their primary schools; particularly, as my daughter’s school keeps on changing its “PHONETIC METHOD”.

    Sometimes, I feel a bit forced/pushed away by my daughter’s school – you don’t really know what they’re doing at the school- the school claims at Offsted Inspection time that it is a good communicator with parents – hopefully, this will improve now they have an email system in place.

  3. Parents involvement in their child’s education is vital. They are a strong influence on their children and therefore essential to have on-side.I teach in F1 and therefore am lucky enough to see parents every day to talk to. Not all parents have a positive view of their children and it’s a great buzz to see a shine to their eyes when you tell them something positive about their child. You will always get the hard to please parent, it’s human nature, but you just have to stay positive and constructive. You also get the parent who thinks their child is the bees knees when you know he/she’s far from an angel. You need to stay realistic but still look for the positive in that child and parent, however small that may be!To be honest we probably couldn’t cope if every parent came to work in school every week but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be involved in their child’s education. It will be a sad day if every school only allowed parents as far as the school gate! They are a wealth of talent that we would be foolish to waste.

  4. I definitely agree that parents should be encouraged into school life. I volunteered half a day a week to listen to children reading which not only encouraged the children to practise more but also encouraged me to go into a teaching career. Being part of my children’s school has made me understand the teacher’s role in my children’s lives much better enabling me to help the teacher and my children ensure that they get the best education.

  5. I teach FLLN ESOL and getting parents involved provides opportunities for them to hear and use English more and also encourages them to work more with their children. No I can’t see any negatives apart from a few difficult and overbearing parents who think they are the only ones with a voice.

  6. Unfortunately we have most of the Parents who consider theirselves as an educationist. Just like they dont want the involvement of any person in their job same like that they should consider the teachers as appropriate person for their job and they should not be involved in a way to instruct the teachers how to teach. If you are an educated person it doesn’t mean u are an educationist. Parents role shoud be advisory instead of administrative. Just think of a Parent who is a Labour or contractor and who runs the school? because its Saudi Govt. policy that Schools will be run by Parents board of directors. This is a case in Saudi Arabia. So you can imagine whats the condition of education in Saudi Arabia.

  7. musicman73, i agree that parents should be involved in all aspects of the childs education. However; 6mths training for teachers is not enough. I’m a qualified teacher (nqt) and i still say that even as an NQT, trainee teachers should still have a mentor, even if it’s just 6-12 mth period. Kids will run riot over the new teachers otherwise, and educaton WILL suffer. I’m now a supply teacher, because i can’t get a full-time job in what i teach. Most of the schools i visit, the kids are great (They push they luck a little), but overall, good. 6Mths training is not enough…

  8. Depends upon what is meant by “involvement”. Yes, I’d love it if parents supported teachers at home by reading to their children, talking about their day etc.. Sometimes, parents are wonderful volunteers as well. But here’s the catch–the parents I really need to see/talk to rarely make it to school with their child.

  9. Parents should be involved and interested in all aspects of their childrens education. These are the people from whom children will get their moral, social and behavioural ethos from. I certainly don’t believe in parents interfering with their childrens education but supporting them. As a parent I expect the best for my children, and I would follow a teachers educational advice in the best interests of my children. 6 months teacher training not good enough. Teaching is a tough, professional job.
    I would not like to be operated on, etc.., by a doctor who only had 6 months training!!!

    Michael

  10. In the current economic climate I’m sure that many people will enter the teaching profession with the pay and holidays etc. However, the six month training is an insult to the status of the job and many of these will leave once the economy and jobs in the private sector picks up.

  11. Thank you for sending all information.Parents Teachers(school) and students are three sides of a triangle.Parents involvement in school must be there,because if the parents are aware the whole community is aware of the children,their need and the educational system, which ultimately lead to a healthy society.

  12. Leaving aside the issue of teacher training, I very much agree that parents are a crucial resource.

    It was interesting to see the comment hoping that communication improved with a new email system, and another from a teaching mentioning those parents that never seem to make it in…

    I definitely feel that technology can really help bridge the communications gap here – if all have access to the tools they need. Many schools are running projects with the support of our charity to equip students with laptops/mini-laptops/PDAs etc to use in school and at home. For many schools being able to provide this access to all parents to online reporting materials, as well as their child’s e-Portfolio, is a key aim. For more see http://www.e-learningfoundation.com

    Another useful resource might be the Leading Parent Partnership Award – http://www.lppa.co.uk

  13. I work at an international school where parental involvement is extremely strong (this is due to a number of factors, most importantly the need for the “trailing spouse” to occupy their time/find friends and the parents’ experience of involvement at their previous schools in other countries). For the most part, having an active and supportive parent body works well, although the school is often easily swayed by the opinion of a very small vocal minority. When parents pay for education they assume a greater “right” to involvement (one of ours recently asked to see the school’s financial accounts) but there is a line which should be drawn. “We” are a service provider (with years of experience with thousands of children) and parents should recognise that; support us and trust that we will do only good for their child.

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