School creates long-term parental engagement project
Thomas Tallis School in London has a large, ethnically mixed student population. They have embarked on a long-term project to improve the way in which they engage their parent community. They are developing a community framework based around three core principles: connect, communicate, collaborate.
They recently undertook an audit of their parent community, inviting them to tell the school about their knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications, and how they might use these to contribute to the school. They received over 100 responses to the audit, which have been shared with senior leaders across the school. Leaders and teachers have been able to use this information to send personal invitations to parents to participate in particular events, such as helping with drama productions.
The school has also begun to explore new ways of connecting with parents who are traditionally difficult to engage in school life. Key to this has been finding ways to engage positively with these parents, whose perception is often that school only contacts them to talk about problems.
Finally, the school is keen to better understand how parents currently engage with the various forms of media they use for communication, and how this engagement might be improved. They are analysing how many parents open emails, read newsletters, etc, and talking to parents about why they do (and, crucially, don’t) engage with particular forms of communication. The metrics from this analysis will help the school to focus on activities which are effective in engaging all parents, but particularly those who have traditionally been hard to reach.
- Long-term project to engage parents
- Audit of parents to create skills database
- Determination to reach harder-to-engage parents