Use the following techniques to strengthen family and community engagement.
Effective two-way communication between families and schools uses a range of strategies to regularly seek and share information about students’ achievements and learning needs, school policies, practices and community initiatives.
- Use a variety of communication methods to seek and share information, including interpreters as appropriate.
- Report student achievements in culturally sensitive and respectful ways.
- Consult with all families and community members to identify issues and concerns within in the school.
- Ensure that all families and community members have access to school leaders.
Connecting learning at home and at school
Families and school share responsibility for student learning and wellbeing. They work together to create positive attitudes to learning, develop shared understandings of how children learn and learning programs build on families’ capacity to support learning at home.
- Provide multiple opportunities for all families and teachers to discuss students’ social and academic progress.
- Support families to participate in their child’s learning.
- Develop families’ understanding of learning programs and expected learning outcomes.
- Ensure smooth transitions for students and families at key points in the education continuum.
Building community and identity
School policies and practices, learning activities and community building initiatives have built a culture of welcome, inclusion and belonging that reflects and respects diversity within the school’s community.
- Develop strong relationships with all families and community members.
- Create a family-friendly school atmosphere.
- Facilitate connections between families and community members.
- Respect and celebrate the diversity within the school community.
Recognising the role of the family
School policies, practices and programs acknowledge families as partners in their children’s education. Schools recognise and build on the capacity of families to assist and encourage their children’s learning in and out of school and support school goals, directions and ethos.
- Value and build on families’ knowledge of their children.
- Recognise and support the needs of families and community members.
- Remove barriers to family involvement.
- Acknowledge the critical role of families in their child’s learning.
Families and community members are active contributors to school decision making and planning processes. They engage in relevant decisions about supporting student learning, school policy and practice and community building initiatives.
- Ensure that all families have a voice in decisions that affect their children’s learning and engagement irrespective of socio-economic status, Aboriginality and cultural background or geographic location.
- Involve families and community members in whole-school planning and evaluation processes.
- Develop and support accessible structures and processes which enable families and community members to be consulted on key matters affecting the school.
- Build parent and community leadership capacity to support student learning.
Collaborating beyond the school
The school has established on-going strategic relationships with government and non-government agencies, community groups, businesses and other educational providers which enhance learning opportunities and outcomes for students, families and community members.
- Connect families and students with community resources.
- Provide families and community members with access to community resources.
- The wider community provides services which can strengthen and support schools, students, families and community members.
- Build capacity in community organisations to engage with the school and support families and community members.
Families and community members contribute to the life of the school in ways that reflect their interests, skills, experience and capacity to do so.
- Provide opportunities for all families and community members to participate in the life of the school.
- Support families and community members to engage in student learning activities.
- Train parents and community members as classroom helpers and to work one on one with students during reading lessons.
Download the printable fact sheet, Strengthening family and community engagement: Options resource for school communities (PDF 358KB).