The Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools is the culmination of five years’ work, which has included:
- Extensive research and review of the evidence – supporting evidence can be found in Parentkind’s commissioned research report with the Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities at Canterbury Christ Church University, which served as a starting point for further consultation and development, in the parental participation framework
- Consultation with over a hundred organisations including, school leaders, key education stakeholders and government agencies involved in education - over the years of creating the Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools, we have collaborated with a huge number of education agencies and establishments, policy makers, head teachers and parents. They have helped us refine our Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools. We are enormously grateful for all their support and are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive feedback.
- Piloting in 21 schools across Doncaster - the pilot captured the impact of schools adopting our Blueprint on pupil attendance rates in schools with previously high levels of absenteeism. For more information please see below.
Blueprint pilot project in the Doncaster Opportunity Area
In 2019, Parentkind was awarded a contract by the Doncaster Opportunity Area to deliver a pilot project helping schools get more parents involved in their child’s learning. We focussed our work on the wider parental engagement agenda, using our 'Blueprint for Parent Friendly Schools’, working with schools selected from a group with the highest levels of persistent absence as research shows that there is a reduction in absenteeism where parental participation is strengthened. The project was scheduled to run throughout the academic year from September 2019 to July 2020.
The Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools was introduced to 14 primary and seven secondary schools so that they could capture the impact of increased parental participation on pupil attendance rates in schools with previously high levels of absenteeism. Head Teachers, Senior Leaders, Parent Support Workers and School Governors attended our training on a Whole School Approach to parental engagement. As the pilot progressed, we assessed the needs of each school and developed practical strategies that they could put in place to help overcome barriers to engagement and offer their parent communities different routes to getting involved in their child's education. Using this approach, schools embedded actions and formalised an action plan that can easily be continued once the pilot was finished.
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 had an impact on Parentkind’s plans for the closing stages of the pilot project however we gathered success stories from the schools which can be found below:
Kerry-Jane Packman, Development and Memberships Director at Parentkind said: "Our aim was to create parental engagement strategies that teachers and school leaders can easily make part of their school day to improve attendance and reduce exclusions. There is plenty of research to show that parents are a real force for good when it comes to their child’s education and learning. When they have regular and meaningful conversations with their children, set high aspirations for their futures and demonstrate their own interest and support of learning at home and school, the impact can be significant."
Charlotte Bown, Head of Delivery at the Doncaster Opportunity Area added: "The Doncaster Opportunity Area is pleased that Parentkind have delivered this work to support schools to improve their parental engagement strategies. Our programme focusses on improving social mobility and we know that engaging with families will be key to this."
For more details about the Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools click here.