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News from Head of Early Years Centre, Michelle Stevens

26 September 2014

It was great to see so many parents join us at our drop in mornings and at the Phonics Workshop for Reception parents this week. The interest of parents at events at school got me thinking about the value and importance of parental involvement at school.

Overall research has consistently shown that parental involvement in children’s education does make a positive difference to their achievement. Most children have two main educators in their lives; their parents and their teachers. Parents are the prime educators until the child starts school and they remain a major influence on their child’s learning throughout school and beyond. The school and parents both therefore have crucial roles to play. We view parents as partners in creating the correct learning environment for the children, the challenge we sometimes face is how best we can achieve this to create that involvement.

Parent involvement can range from activities such as checking homework, talking to students about school, attending events, and volunteering at school activities. I believe that when children see their parents actively involved it gives them a positive sense about school and helps them to feel that they belong and that school is a good thing.

Reasons to get involved:

What if you could help your child enjoy school more, get better grades, and reduce behaviour problems at the same time? Reams of research has shown that regardless of parents’ income and educational background, their involvement in education helps their kids do better in and out of school. Parent involvement can be as simple as helping with math homework or reading a book together at bedtime. As long as your actions show that you value education, your child is likely to respond.

Below I have listed five reasons you should consider getting involved in your child’s education (though there are many more than just these):

1. Higher levels of achievement. Students whose parents are involved in their education have a better chance at achieving higher levels. The more parents are involved, the more their children seem to benefit. A study of parents highly involved in the educational process showed that their children were more likely to improve in reading and math.

2. Better behaviour. Kids develop better social skills and show improved behaviour when their parents are involved at school. Studies have also shown that children are less likely to miss school, less disruptive in class, and more likely to do their homework when their parents are involved.

3. Improved education. Research shows that parent involvement can help improve the quality of schools, raise teacher morale, and improve a school’s reputation in the community. Involved parents gain the respect of teachers; as a result, teachers have higher expectations of their children.

4. Increased confidence. When students feel supported at home and school, they develop more positive attitudes about school, have more self-confidence, and place a higher priority on academic achievement. Children of involved parents are more likely to feel that they’re accepted, included, and respected and at school.

5. Parents benefit, too. When parents become involved in their children’s education, they become more comfortable in the school building, gain confidence in their parenting skills, and feel more capable of helping their children learn. They’re also more likely to continue their own education.

Involvement is easy. You don’t have to log hundreds of volunteer hours for your child to benefit. Even if you can only volunteer a few hours a year, every little bit counts.


Michelle Stevens

Head of the Early Years Centre