It is not uncommon for a school to have a twitter account or blog with some secondary schools even having a twitter feed for the different departments. Following these social media platforms allows parents to keep in the loop with what is happening at the school, the activities undertaken and the events or exam dates that lie ahead. There are some great apps out there too that have proved wildly successful. Remind gives teachers the chance to send texts and alerts out to parents and students, without exchanging numbers and Edmodo lets parents track the progress of their children, observe lesson plans and communicate with the teachers.
Although using technology for parental engagement is a flexible and efficient option, physically getting parents into the school is a sure-fire way to increase engagement. Many schools have had success with hosting parent-pupil events with a twist, such as bake offs and sports days. These events can be beneficial for everyone, for example an event about learning to code can align well with the curriculum whilst teaching parents a few new skills! Children can also bring the classroom home with them too and further increase parental engagement. Having a class mascot with a diary of what they have been up to at different pupils’ homes for the week is a great way to get parents involved.
Whether it is online or offline, having clear lines of communication between parents and the school is essential for any child’s success. If you are a teacher, asking parents for their opinion on certain things is a top way to show that you care and that they can make a difference. As a parent, there is nothing teachers like to see more than everyone working together for the benefit of their pupils.
So, whether you are a teacher or a parent, it is vital to the success of the children that parental engagement plays an active and significant role in education.