Best Practice

The four pillars of parental engagement

Now is a pivotal moment to take parental engagement seriously and review our approaches. Justin Robbins and Karen Dempster describe their four pillars of effective practice


There has never been a more important time to build strong relationships with parents, with the child at the centre of everything. Why? Because when schools establish trusted relationships with parents and pupils, children believe that school is important, parents feel trusted, and teachers are supported to teach at their best. Simply – we all achieve more.

Our book The Four Pillars of Parental Engagement examines the four pillars of Knowledge, Environment, Culture and Communication – four critical factors that will help schools to achieve parental engagement.

It takes a long-term plan that is delivered consistently to build parent (and pupil) relationships and trust and this is central to any meaningful connection. These cannot be built over night. But there are many simple actions that schools can take to start on this journey.

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