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As reflected in our strategic plan, we are committed to working in partnership with parents, communities and industry to help children and young people learn, develop and prepare for life after school.
To fulfil this vision, we are working on ways to better support parent engagement in learning – that is the role parents play in enabling learning activities and experiences outside of the classroom.
We are exploring how to:
- Provide leadership for parent engagement at all levels of the education system, both inside and outside a school setting.
- Build 3-way learning partnerships between parents, educators and students by providing the systems, resources, and tools educators need to involve parents in their child’s learning.
We aim to develop an approach that can be applied system-wide, yet can be tailored and adapted as children and young people transition through different stages of their education, from birth to 18 years.
To achieve this we need to identify the existing strengths and opportunities within our system, with a view to developing a best-practice, evidence-based approach to parent engagement.
Supporting parent engagement is important because children learn from the moment they are born. Parents are children’s first teachers, and continue to have a strong influence on their children’s learning as they proceed through the school system.
Research shows that when a parent is involved in their child’s learning their child has a greater chance of success.
Parent engagement in learning also helps improve attendance, provides children with stronger social skills, supports them to complete their schooling, and improves their behaviour.
Audit of current activity
We have undertaken an audit of current activity across the department to identify any gaps and opportunities for collaborative work.
We have undertaken extensive research to determine what best-practice in parent engagement support looks like and to identify any common themes.
Parent focus groups
In June 2020 we held 8 parent focus groups. The focus groups included parents and carers from diverse backgrounds, including CALD and Aboriginal communities.
Focus groups were used to collect information about the experiences parents and carers have engaging in their child’s learning.
We have begun working with selected children’s centres, preschools and schools on a number of case studies. The case studies examine parent engagement in learning activity, and aim to gather insight and expertise from our staff on what is working well and what can further assist them.
In some instances case studies will include students to make sure the student voice is captured and considered.
We are engaging with parent associations, leaders associations and a range of other groups to gather insights about what will work to support parents.
Parent Engagement in Learning Project Team
Email: Education.EngagingParents [at] sa.gov.au