Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools

Access our free framework to support parental participation in your school and additional resources.

Great things happen when schools engage and involve parents. 

More than eight in 10 parents want to play an active role in their child’s education. 

And yet fewer than one in five schools have policies in place to facilitate this.

Engaging your greatest advocates and reaching parents when it matters most means your school will:

  • Build trust
  • Bridge the gap
  • Reduce absenteeism and exclusion
  • Raise aspirations and achievement
  • Inspire parents, pupils, and staff

Download your Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools 

There is a well-evidenced link between parental participation in a child’s education and academic attainment. However, we know that sometimes it is hard to build that bridge between school and home.

As a result, we have developed the Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools, an easy-to-use, free framework that can help set your school on the path to making long-lasting improvements in parental participation.

The evidence 

Our Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools is the culmination of five years’ work and research. We consulted with over a hundred organisations including school leaders, key education stakeholders and government agencies involved in education – and across this time we have collaborated with a huge number of education agencies and establishments, policymakers, headteachers and parents.

We did all of this to ensure that our Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools is relevant and easy for all schools to use.

Parental participation resources 

Our Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools helps school leaders to maximise parents’ interest in their children’s learning to create successful home-school partnerships, built on five key drivers. In addition to downloading our Blueprint, we have additional resources for your school that supports each of these drivers. 

Key Driver One: Leadership, Ethos and Resources 

Leadership at a school determines how effectively actions will be taken to improve parental participation as well as being key to creating the conditions in which parent participation can thrive. In general, head teachers or members of the senior leadership team are, and should be, in charge of parental engagement in their schools.

Key Driver Two: Effective Two-Way Communication

Building a relationship of trust between school and community, parents and teachers is vital, especially if there are likely to be some potentially challenging conversations further down the line. If schools can allay anxieties and parents feel able to open up about important factors that may affect children’s learning and behaviour in school, then both sides can focus their conversations on working together to support the child.

Key Driver Three: Supporting Learning at Home

Parents want to support their child, and where teachers can tap into this motivation and highlight things for parents to do, it can supercharge a child’s education and raise levels of achievement. When parents share a positive attitude towards learning and school, they create a home learning environment that has a positive impact on children’s attainment and that complements the work of schools.

Key Driver Four: Involvement in school life

Parental involvement in schools relates to the extent to which parents play a role in volunteering in school life. Getting parents involved builds trust and lays the foundations for positive longer-term collaborations.

Key Driver Five: Community Engagement

It is important for schools engage with the wider parent communities outside the school gates. Parent communities are made up of many cultures that can enrich the school but this diversity can also present barriers and inequalities to participation. Schools can work with their local communities to draw on specialist knowledge, skills and resources in mutually beneficial ways and to respond to a wide range of parents’ and children’s educational, social, health and wellbeing needs.

Our Parent Consultation is so valuable for us in shaping school improvement. We have a very open and honest partnership with our parents and the ideas they generate are invaluable.”

Melissa Heatherson, Hockley Primary School, Essex