As The Deregulation Act 2015 dispensed with the requirement for home-school agreements from January 2016, it is time to review how your school engages with parents/carers. Is your current communication platform reaching every parent? Can you identify which parents are least engaged? Are parents getting more involved as a result of your communications?
- Share the stories – little and large
Parents want to know that their child’s school has the ambition and drive to achieve their vision. Sharing plans, ideas and projects on a regular basis will help parents understand what your school is aiming for and what role they can play in that journey.
Sharing the day-to-day news, successes and ideas will not only help parents feel closer to their child’s education but it will also provide topics connected to school events that they can discuss with their child.
- Collaborate with parents
Communication between parents and schools should be two way. Collaborating with parents by asking for feedback, ideas and comments will lead to improved engagement.
Asking for views from parents confirms the important role they play in supporting their child throughout school life. The current Ofsted framework also sets out that inspectors should look for evidence that the views of parents are sought.
- Be accessible and consistent
Use one platform for school communications that is accessible across multiple devices at any time to make it easier for parents to get the whole picture, ensuring that the platform is the place to go for trusted school information.
- Go beyond the school gates
Sometimes the biggest impact on pupils can be the decisions made outside of the school gates by local or central government policy makers. Sharing sector news on a regular basis will help parents understand the expectations of schools and how national or local policy can directly impact their child.
- Monitor results
How many parents are you reaching? Which parents are least engaged with your communications? Are parents getting more involved and expressing their views? A good whole-school communication platform should be able to give you these answers and subsequently enable schools to identify those parents that are the hardest to reach. This allows for more informed decisions to be made on how best to engage with that group further.
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