Solid learning partnerships between schools and parents key to increasing achievement for at risk kids

Schools that have built strong learning partnerships with parents show significant increases in achievement for children at risk of under achieving, according to a new report by ERO.

Building Genuine Learning Partnerships with Parents,” released today, is part of ERO’s Teaching Strategies that Work series, which investigates and promotes practical, evidence-based examples from across the country of best practice teaching strategies.

“We found that while many schools had good relationships with parents, those who extended that to a proactive, reciprocal learning partnership across the curriculum saw significant gains for their students,” said Chief Review Officer, Nicholas Pole.

The study looked at 40 primary schools, from a database of 129 with rolls over 200, which also showed increased levels of students achieving at or above standard as they moved through upper primary. The overall study identified a range of strategies being used by the schools to lift and sustain children’s learning and progress.

This report focuses on successful strategies from schools that implemented programmes to build parent/teacher partnerships.

“Leaders and teachers in these schools reviewed student progress and achievement before and after developing partnerships and found considerable improvement and sustainability of student learning,” said Mr Pole.

“The schools proactively developed collaborative programmes with parents. They held evening workshops, invited individual parents into the classroom, shared all of their assessment information about a child, and continued contact throughout the year. 

“The teachers took the time to understand the home environment and provide materials and strategies parents could use. In some schools, teachers were amazed by the amount of progress that occurred when parents knew the strategies they should focus on at home.”    

“This study is part of a growing body of research which shows that school/parent learning partnerships are a powerful pathway to success for children.”

Read Building Genuine Learning Partnerships with Parents.