Source: Australian Government: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Focus: Parents and Teachers
Summary: Family-school partnerships are collaborative relationships and activities involving school staff, parents and other family members of students at school. Effective partnerships are based on mutual trust and respect, and shared responsibility for the education of the children and young people at the school.
Families are the first educators of their children and they continue to influence their children’s learning and development during the school years and long afterwards. Schools have an important responsibility in helping to nurture and teach future generations and families trust schools to provide educational foundations for their children’s future. At the same time, schools need to recognise the primary role of the family in education. This is why it is important for families and schools to work together in partnership.
Research demonstrates that effective schools have high levels of parental and community involvement. This involvement is strongly related to improved student learning, attendance and behaviour. Family involvement can have a major impact on student learning, regardless of the social or cultural background of the family.
Family involvement in schools is therefore central to high quality education and is part of the core business of schools.
The aim of the Family-School Partnerships Framework is to encourage sustainable and effective partnerships among all members of the school community, including teachers, families, and students. These partnerships should:
- view each partner as making equally valuable contributions, while respecting different contributions;
- respect student needs and preferences;
- address barriers to involvement in schools by families, in particular Indigenous families, and actively help previously uninvolved families to become involved;
- create better programs, opportunities and learning for students;
- give families appropriate opportunities to contribute to school decision-making and governance;
- and contribute to professional satisfaction for principals and teachers.