The SecEd Podcast: Parental Engagement in Schools

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

This episode discusses the tenets of effective parent/carer engagement work for secondary schools, offering advice, tips, ideas and best practice for building effective relationships.

Our expert panel discusses a parental engagement timeline – when this work should begin, how it can be sustained, and what forms this might take.

We also tackle how to handle conflict with parents, how to engage with “hard-to-reach” parents and community out-reach. We consider how parental engagement has changed during the pandemic, what practices/innovations are here to stay and how technology is helping.

Other topics include the future of parents’ evenings – online and face-to-face – the importance of positive communication with parents and how this can be done effectively, including proactive communication plans, building connections, and how to operate parental reporting.

We discuss how can we protect staff from inappropriate communications from parents and protect teacher workload. We also look at best practice for your school website, parental communication apps and social media, as well as other innovations such as online parental coaching sessions, video assemblies, and “stars of the week”.

The podcast is hosted by Matt Bromley, an education advisor and author with more than 20 years’ experience in teaching including as a secondary headteacher and MAT director. Our guests are

  • Dave Stephenson, head of year 10 at Honley High School in Yorkshire
  • Liz Lord, deputy head at Honley High School in Yorkshire
  • Paul Haigh, headteacher at King Ecgbert School, Sheffield
  • Sarah Clarke, Curriculum Engagement and Safeguarding Lead, Wilmslow High School, Cheshire

For more on this topic, Matt Bromley has also written a seven-page Best Practice Focus on effective parental engagement work. Available as a free pdf download, the focus looks at tenets of good practice, offering lots of ideas, tips and advice for communicating effectively and building strong relationships with your school’s families, handling conflict, using technology and more:

To hear other SecEd podcasts, or to subscribe for free to new editions, search for 'The SecEd Podcast' in your podcast streaming application of choice. Or visit

For details about The SecEd Podcast, or to suggest future topics, email editor Pete Henshaw at


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