Some parents have also left the school due to the category coding which has impacted the school budget.
Alongside this issues, there have been changes amongst Governors, including a period of 12 months within which several different people took on the role of Chair of Governors. It was difficult to work with at times as we had a loss of continuity.
A lack of communication with parents from the school also led to complaints.
Continuity is key and all the changes we have had as a school, staffing, pupil numbers, changes to Governors positions, have certainly not helped the situation.
How schools engage with parents and carers is crucial. This case study provides an excellent example of the effect of dropping into a different national category and the reaction of parents as a result.
The School has implemented a variety of good approaches with the support from the Challenge Adviser to develop communication strategies with parents. This now needs to become fully embedded into everyday life and developed over time. Every school will have their own communication strategy in place, and what works for one may not always work as well for another school. By keeping parents fully informed along the way, this can prevent complaints and concerns escalating.
The numerous changes of the Chair of governors in a 12-month period is considerable and would not have helped to promote stability. The school and governing body now need to pull together in a concerted effort to develop and implement a longer-term Communication/PR strategy.
There are lots of examples of effective practice that provide useful ways to engage with parents. Effective parental engagement can help to inform strategic planning, improve learner outcomes, promote community engagement, as well as improving governor accountability. Parent surveys, information published in school bulletins and on the schools’ website about the work of the governing body and key school priorities, governor representative(s) attending parent evenings, are some of the ways to engage with parents.
Governors Cymru Services has a resource for governors on engaging with parents.
Here are a few case studies provided by Estyn to also help you on your way:
Parental involvement with schools helps pupils achieve
Involving parents – Communication between schools and parents of school-aged children
Information from Welsh Government:
Parenting engagement and support: guidance for providers
Family and community engagement toolkit: welcoming families to engage with the school
01443 844532 / 029 2075 3685
Sam MacNamara – 07943 887275 / Jane Morris – 07957 969708