chapter  8.2
Partnerships with Parents
WithJohn Ryan, Stephen Griffin
Pages 9

> *This unit focuses on building effective, purposeful and long-lasting relationships with parents/carers. For the purposes of this unit, the term ‘parents’ should be taken to include carers also – single parents, grandparents, foster carers or older siblings, acting in loco parentis. After the Education Acts 1988 and 1992, parents have been increasingly described as ‘partners’ in their children’s education. Coupled with the move towards greater parental choice in terms of the schools parents can send their children to, such as academy primary schools, there has also been an increased transparency of school performance data, via Ofsted reports, league tables and the publication of exam results; parents are viewed as key stakeholders in the educational process and, more recently, the choice of schools. Historically, in England, the home and the school have been two distinct and separate realms of a child’s life. The role that parents have as educators has, therefore, been underdeveloped in the past. Indeed, the Hadow Report (1931) highlighted the importance of a child-centred curriculum, but it was not until the Plowden Report (DES, 1967) that recognition was attributed to the vital role that parents can play in their child’s education: ‘One of the essentials for educational advance is a closer partnership between the two parties (i.e. schools and parents) to every child’s education’ (DES, 1967: 102). The power of parental involvement should not be underestimated – in 2012, PISA studies highlighted the impact of positive parental involvement in children’s education in terms of pupil educational outcomes (OECD, 2012; PISA, 2012). Therefore, it is evident that greater collaboration with parents needs to be a key aim in improving educational outcomes for children and as such should be a priority for all primary school teachers.