There are so many good resources on the web. My cousin Margaret alerted me to the Family-School & Community Partnerships Bureau (an Australian site). It has some useful material on a range of topics including links to a range of research papers. In 2006 they commissioned a report Family-School Partnerships Project: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study which included 20 elements of best practice in developing school-community partnerships:
- Tap into the interests of parents.
- Break down the teacher/non-teacher barrier by allowing for activities that are not directly education-related.
- Use personal contact. It is the most effective form of communication.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate.
- Be a venue for, and agent of, parental self-growth.
- Ask for, and value, the opinion of parents outside the formal school structures.
- Create an environment that encourages parental autonomy.
- Emphasise the connection with the child’s education.
- Go out of your way to make parents feel welcome and valued.
- Build bridges across cultural and language divides.
- Be sensitive to parents’ sensibilities.
- Be prepared to engage in community capacity-building.
- Show leadership, be visible and available.
- Be realistic, patient, and a bit brave.
- Make it clear you think of parents as genuine partners.
- Don’t be frightened to ask parents to help solve big problems.
- Open your mind to parents’ needs and attitudes.
- Appoint a parent/community liaison person to the staff.
- Create a place that parents can call their own.
- Acknowledge and celebrate the parents’ input.
If you liked this post you might want to subscribe to the blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to read:
- Schools engaging families and the local community
- 10 Ways to build school-community partnerships
- Making parents feel welcome in schools
- Parent engagement @ school
Saulwick Muller Social Research (2006). Family-School Partnerships Project: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training.