Headlines: March 2nd, 2010

Stronger partnerships between parents and schools could help to reduce the numbers of teachers being abused by parents and prevent parents feeling sidelined by teachers, according to a new report. Parentline Plus and the Teacher Support Network want to increase parental involvement in schools following the publication of ‘Beyond the School Gate’, which showed almost two thirds of teachers surveyed had been subjected to verbal or physical abuse.

At the same time a poll revealed that 62 per cent of parents felt they had been patronised, sidelined or ignored over issues at their children’s schools. While eight out of ten teachers felt their relationship with parents was ‘good’ or ‘very good’ only 57 per cent of parents said they had a positive relationship with their child’s school.

The two organisations said parental engagement in learning was crucial to wellbeing, behaviour, attendance and attainment. Recommendations in the report include making sure every school has access to a parent support worker trained to deal with a range of issues. The groups also want the whole school community to be consulted about creating a comprehensive Home School Agreement and they say communications from schools must make clear how parents can help their child’s education.

Jeremy Todd, chief executive of Parentline Plus, said: “It is clear that parental engagement in the form of supporting learning and reinforcing discipline in the home is key to improving outcomes for children,” and Julian Stanley, the Teacher Support Network chief executive said stakeholders across education had to engage to implement more parental involvement for the wellbeing of teachers and standards of education.