After the pandemic, parents are playing an ever-increasing role in their children’s education, and it’s great that their valiant contribution is being recognized by politicians. The Government’s Parent Pledge, which is part of the Schools Bill, formalises schools’ accountability to parents if their child is falling behind in English or maths. Whether this promise alone is enough to ensure improved outcomes for children who are left behind or struggling, it is essential that the connection between home and school is encouraged and strengthened.
The Impact with Lockdown on Batkovsky Participation
As many children switched to distance learning at home during the lockdown as part of the national fight against Covid-19, parents took on a more important role in their children’s education. Parentkind’s research has shown that many parents have become more confident in supporting their children’s education, benefited from it and become more involved in their children’s education. More than half said they felt more involved in their child’s learning compared to before the lockdown. Moreover, they wanted it to stay that way.
Parentkind surveys during the pandemic asked what additional resources parents needed to support their child’s learning at home. They identified “more live lessons”, “better explanation of assigned work” and “more feedback” as areas they would like to use more to further improve their confidence.
Supporting Training Outside the borders The Pandemic
While children are now almost completely back in the classroom, parents still have many ways to support their child’s learning. Reading with children is a great way to improve their writing and speaking skills and expand their knowledge – and it’s also a great way to start a wide-ranging conversation.
Age-appropriate discussions of news events can go a long way in clarifying and broadening children’s understanding of the world they live in, which means knowledge they can apply in various areas of school work. Not every family will have a large collection of books, but libraries, including pop-up and mobile, are a cost-effective alternative, and the trips often have their educational rewards.
Sitting with youngsters while they do their homework is another important way parents contribute to their child’s education. For parents who lack confidence in certain subjects, many schools run classes for adults that cover aspects of the curriculum their child is studying. Even something as simple as positive words from parents about education can make children approach the school experience with confidence.
The The role of Associations of parents and teachers
Regardless of a parent’s background, skills or level of education, joining their school’s PTA is a great way to support their children’s learning. This provides local knowledge and helps build connections, including with teachers and other parents. Evidence shows that when parents are encouraged to be involved in school, their children’s academic performance improves.
Parents tend to cite lack of time and lack of support as the most common barriers to becoming more involved in school life. As the PTA is run entirely by volunteers, any additional help would likely be appreciated. PTA outreach benefits the educational experience of all children at school, often providing invaluable additional services such as additional learning resources, school tours, and playground equipment.
The closest home-school relationship will pave the way for the best outcomes for each child. To achieve this goal, Parentkind together with the Center for Educational Youth (CfEY) developed three policy solutions.
Parental involvement should be embedded in every school. This critical principle is perfectly integrated into the school system using the Parentkind plan for parent-friendly schools. The five key driving forces are: leadership, spirit and resources; effective two-way communication; support for learning at home; inclusion in school life; and community participation.
Parents should be consulted about children in schools. This should be achieved effectively by allowing parents to discuss, make decisions and provide feedback on their child’s education.
Parents should be consulted at local, regional and national levels. Local authorities and multi-academy trusts should consult with parents, ensuring that advice on matters affecting parents or family life is available.
Pa Carrie-Jane Packman, Chief Executive of Parentkind
Learning for parents, children and adults: Family learning policy in the 2020s
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