Best Practice

Building positive relationships with parents and carers

Good parental relationships are at the heart of the successful school. Steve Burnage offers a quick checklist of strategies to engage and support parents, including when it comes to tackling poor attendance

Positive parental engagement is a crucial ingredient if pupils are to reach their potential and it can have a specific role to play when trying to boost attendance.

Below are some general strategies and principles for effective parental engagement, which are then followed by some specific pointers for tackling issues of attendance.

A key issue for some schools is that reluctant parents (perhaps with low self-esteem) cite their own negative school experiences for their lack of engagement. As such, we must make the effort to re-engage with their families.

During the last academic year for which data is available (2017/18), one in nine pupils (11.2 per cent) were persistently absent from school (missing more than 10 per cent of possible sessions). The figure rises to 13.9 per cent in secondary schools. So how can schools work with parents and carers to tackle poor attendance?

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